Eric graduated from San Diego State University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Athletic Training and a Minor in Psychology. He then received a post-graduate certification as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. In 1998, he met Ted and started training high school, college, and Olympic athletes in Ted’s facility. Six months later Ted began seeing Mike Thomas, his first SCI client. Eric watched as Mike began to progress and became intrigued; people with spinal cord injuries were not supposed to be able to gain function below the level of injury. He began assisting Ted and learning what he was doing with Mike. Project Walk had begun…
Eric is now the Director of Research and Development for Project Walk and a Level III Certified SCI Recovery Specialist. In the past 11 years he developed many of the exercise techniques used with our clients, was responsible for developing the Home Program, designed a new evaluation scale (Developmental Activity Scale™ or DAS), and built the database Project Walk uses to track client workouts. In 2006 he began collaborating with the University of California, Irvine and California State University San Marcos on multiple research projects focusing on the Project Walk program and spinal cord injuries. His first paper arising out of these collaborations was published in 2008. He has published multiple papers in peer-reviewed journals. Eric has also worked with manufacturers and independent engineers to design unique equipment for the benefit of Project Walk’s clients.
Brian has more than 10 years of experience in the field of education and exercise physiology. His tenure with Project Walk dates back to 2007 when he started as an SCI Recovery Specialist and worked to establish the foundation for Project Walk’s current Institute of SCI Recovery. Since then he has built a certification program that has certified over 150 individuals across the world and helped expand the licensed facility program to 17 different locations. Beyond the certification and facility program, he has managed the launch of Project Walk’s new online Home Program, and a telehealth program that is the first of its kind in the field of activity-based recovery.
Previously Brian has held the title of Administrator of Faculty Development for on online university where he built and managed their online training program for more than 65 faculty members across the United States. Previous work experience also includes teaching positions at CSU, Chico and Arizona State University where he taught courses in child development, teacher education and management. These positions were held in conjunction with his role as Senior Editor for a non-profit organization that advocated for the improvement of health and wellness programs for children.
Brian has a MA in Kinesiology and a BA in Physical Education with an emphasis in both coaching and exercise physiology. He has also completed more than 40 units towards a PhD in curriculum development through Arizona State University. His passion for spinal cord injuries, education and business development have provided him with the opportunities to help Project Walk expand and effectively help those within the SCI community.
Michelle is originally from Hawaii, but calls San Diego her second home. She has been with Project Walk since 2007. She graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology with emphasis in Fitness, Nutrition, and Health. She is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Personal Trainer, with over 6 years of working with various fitness levels. Her previous experience working with geriatric care and adaptive fitness with special population groups such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and stroke recovery patients sparked an interest in working with spinal cord injuries. Working at Project Walk over the years has made her even more passionate in continuing education for SCI.
After completing her Level I & II Certification, she transitioned into the Education and Training Coordinator role. In addition to training her clients, she also leads the quality training for new hires and provides educational support to the Internship Program. For our Certification Program, she has led many of the “hands-on” training application hours for therapists and health fitness professionals from all over the world.
With an active lifestyle, Michelle pushes herself hard when training in any sport. She enjoys the team competitiveness and culture aspect of Outrigger Canoe Paddling. Enthusiastically, she took the initiative to organize an Adaptive Outrigger Canoe Paddling Event for Project Walk clients. The success of the event was with the help of her colleagues and teammates from the Ikuna Koa Outrigger Canoe Club, which she plans to continue each year. Through Project Walk, Michelle found a rewarding career in helping her clients reach their goals.
Jillienne attended Loyola Marymount University where she earned a B.S. in Natural Science with an emphasis in Kinesiology and Physical Therapy. Jillienne has six years of student athletic training and has completed an internship with the Sports Medicine Institute of Los Angeles. She has been a part of the Project Walk team since 2007 and loves that she has the opportunity to incorporate her athletic training background into her exercise-based SCI recovery training. She feels truly blessed to be part of an organization that is changing the way the world looks at spinal cord injuries and is making a difference every day.