Student Assembly President

Student Assembly Board of Directors: Matt Debole 75x110 Matt DeBole, SPT
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The following candidate statement was written prior to Matt's election as president of the Student Assembly Board of Directors.

"Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience" – New Vision of the Physical Therapy profession adopted by the 2013 APTA House of Delegates

Take a moment to read the new vision statement: "Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience." Repeat it again, but this time read very slowly. Each word carries momentous weight and meaning; when combined, the statement is courageous and inspiring. This bold new vision is what we are aspiring to achieve on a daily basis. It captures the significance of our education and the immense power within our hands. This new vision speaks to the reason why we have all entered into a career in physical therapy and marks a more outward, all-encompassing focus on our future direction.

Though I have held other leadership positions, serving as your 2012-2013 Student Assembly Director has been the most rewarding of all. This past year, I learned a great deal about my personal ability to effectively lead as well as how the value of the Student Assembly extends far beyond our Board of Directors. Every PT and PTA student makes us great and is able to bring a unique skillset to the table. Realizing the goal of our new Vision Statement will not only take time and effort, but it will require uniting every student in the country around our common belief that we possess the ability to change the world!

If given the chance to serve as your Student Assembly president, I will strive to better engage members of the Student Assembly by improving 3 key areas: communication, involvement, and opportunity. First, we will streamline and strengthen communication through more effective management of our Loop Communication Network, better leveraging of our social media outlets, and increased utilization of the APTA smartphone app. Second, we will work with APTA Member Services to enhance student involvement by creating a "One Free Attendance" to a national conference with an APTA student membership. Third, we will collaborate with APTA sections and chapters, student special-interest groups (SSIGs), and the Academic Council to establish more extensive opportunities for formal student mentorship and networking in particular areas of interest.

I deeply believe in the individual and collective potential of the Student Assembly and am passionate about our direction as a profession. My previous experience and perspective as a member of the Student Assembly Board will serve us well in creating a cohesive and powerful plan. The future of physical therapy truly resides in our ability to unite as students and it will take the talents, ideas, and collaboration of us all to achieve our goals. We possess the ability to change how we are perceived and what we achieve in the evolving health care landscape. By building a stronger, more engaged Student Assembly, we as students are moving our profession toward transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.

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