Alumnus Kevin Kunkel is an accomplished man. Hardworking and multi-talented, he has achieved professional success in pro sports, health care, business, and education. As a part of our “Alumni Re-Connection” effort, we spoke with him recently and enjoyed hearing about his Rumson Country Day School memories and his life since 1979.
“I remember many of my RCDS teachers,” he told us, “like Mrs. Egner, Mr. Warner, Mr. Baldwin, Mr. Chevannes, Mrs. Quinn, Mrs. Huber…. the level of their teaching was phenomenal. They established a whole different mindset for me, a new work ethic, an expectation level that I had never encountered before. I also had a great time. Our ninth grade play was Oklahoma and I had the part of Will. It was fun. Our class really jelled in our efforts and we still connect on Facebook several times a year.”
Kevin and his siblings, Jeff ’77 and Lisa ’80, were all natural athletes who excelled in multiple sports at RCDS. “I was always impressed by the school’s competitiveness in the sports arena,” Kevin told us. “We played against some high level teams. Lawrenceville’s coach saw me pitch at Rumson and encouraged me to apply there for high school, and I continued to play baseball all through Lawrenceville and Stanford University.”
“After graduating from Stanford in 1986 with a B.S. in Biology, I was drafted by the Oakland Athletics and pitched with their organization for two years. (My brother, Jeff, played with the Texas Rangers.) I’d always been interested in the health sciences, so, after my baseball career, I decided (following in my sister Lisa’s footsteps) to become a physical therapist. I studied at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, completing a Master’s in 1990 and a Ph.D., specializing in cancer rehabilitation, in 2010.
“My practice today is in West Palm Beach. I am the founder, president, and owner of a comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation center, the Flagler Institute for Rehabilitation, specializing in the treatment of cancer rehabilitation and lymphatic disorders. We provide a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic services to patients requiring complex rehabilitative care.”
“I also teach. I’ve been an adjunct professor at the Miller School of Medicine in Coral Gables since 1991, and in 2011, I joined the faculty at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale as an Assistant Professor, teaching multiple courses: Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Anatomy and Physiology, Diagnosis, Pharmacology, Oncology, Lymphedema, Exercise Physiology, Gender Issues and Applied Decision Making, among others. Last year, I received a very special tribute at NSU; I was nominated for a Student Life Achievement Award and was honored to be a finalist for NSU Professor of the Year.”
“The Rumson Country Day School made a difference” he concluded. “Sometimes you understand life better by looking backwards and I can still see how RCDS helped me. Without that school, some of the things I’ve been able to accomplish might never have occurred.”