2018: An Exciting Year for Students
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My fellow students,
I hope this message finds you well and in good spirits at the start of this new year. It is with great pleasure to greet you as your new APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors (SABoD) president.
Since our elections at the 2017 National Student Conclave in Portland, Oregon, your 10 board members have begun the process of strategizing the upcoming year, and let me just say, we've got a lot in store for you.
2017-2018 APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors
In December we began the process of reviewing, analyzing, and updating the SABoD strategic plan. Since then, we have decided to continue using the guiding principles (value, professionalism, and communication) that the previous board had set. It is important that we continue to build on these principles, in order to maintain continuity and to ensure that we are providing you with the optimal experience as a Student Assembly member.
As you continue, or begin, your physical therapist or physical therapist assistant student career, we hope that you will consider different ways to connect and engage with students, faculty, and practicing clinicians on the state and national level. How do you do that? Here are some suggestions that I can offer:
Attend a conference or an event: I firmly believe that you cannot find more engaged physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students and practicing clinicians in 1 setting than at an APTA national conference. Every year there are 3 great opportunities (CSM, NEXT, NSC) for you to meet colleagues who have the same professional interests and passions as you do. If a national conference is not an option, reach out to your local chapter about events that they're hosting in the near future. I can attest that at these events you meet people who you wouldn't have met otherwise, you learn about new and cutting-edge science pertaining to our profession, and you leave feeling even more excited about our profession than when you arrived. Trust me, these experiences are truly invaluable and invigorating to your professional career!
Become involved in federal and state advocacy: There are ample opportunities for you to advocate for the profession on the state and national level. On the national level, Federal Advocacy Forum (FAF) is available to you to speak to legislators and advocate for your profession. The same is available for state level advocacy. As a past attendee of FAF, I can assure you that this experience will light a fire in you for the profession like no other! Additionally, there are opportunities such as legislative days in your state and the APTA Action app that will aid you in contributing your part in the advancement of our profession. The smallest efforts contribute to making a difference to you as a student and for the future of our profession. Let's work together to advance the profession!
Be on the lookout for information coming soon from your SABoD on National Advocacy Dinners.
Connect with other students: As students, there is no greater time to connect with fellow #DPTstudent(s) and #PTAstudent(s) on different social media outlets using these hashtags (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Additionally, #PTfam, #APTAFuture, #ChoosePT, #PTTransforms, #APTAvalue, and #BetterTogether are hashtags that you can use to connect with students who have the same drive and vigor as you. Also, reaching out to your local chapters and requesting information on how to be involved with their Student Special Interest Groups, and possibly even coordinating a PT Pub Night, are definite ways to open doors for engagement opportunities with other students.
Remember, we are the future of our great profession, and building connections now will afford us opportunities to create new ideas, build our network, and grow the profession.
On behalf of the SABOD, thank you for your confidence in us, and we look forward to a prosperous year. We hope to see and speak with you this year. Please feel free to contact us anytime at email@example.com.
Jeremy Curtis, SPT, 2017-2018 President, APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors. Connect with Jeremy on Twitter at: @J_CurtisSPT.