The following candidate statement was written prior to Rob's election as vice president of the Student Assembly Board of Directors.
The Student Assembly Vice President possesses the unique responsibility of ensuring the proper function of The Loop through overseeing The Loop Communication Network and its committee. A simplistic definition of The Loop is the transfer of information and involvement opportunities from the APTA to the students nationwide. The Core Ambassadors (CA) are the gatekeepers that provide the Student Assembly Board the ability to deliver information to students in their state. Each CA's role is individualized by the additional needs of their state. It is imperative that the Vice President is able to foster creativity to assist the Core Ambassadors on how to fulfill The Loop and State Chapter responsibilities. My experiences with professional involvement, including acting as Chair for The Loop Communication Network Project Committee and Wisconsin CA, have provided me with great insights and prepared me for the role of Vice President.
Thus far, the Loop Communication Network Project Committee has focused its efforts on the backbone of The Loop, the CAs. The committee has done an exceptional job with easing transitions between CAs, developing communication platforms amongst CAs and reorganizing essential documents that have vastly improved the functionality of the CA position. One of the best ways to strengthen the communication chain further is to promote the CA position so that students in each state are aware of with whom they can communicate to transfer important information back up The Loop. Additionally, there needs to be a shift in focus from the CAs to the rest of the students in The Loop. Opportunities of various levels of involvement need to be created to get more students involved. This will, in turn, strengthen the Loop Communication Network not only within the state chambers but also nationally.
My focus as the CA of Wisconsin was to provide more opportunities for students to get involved and to find their niche in our profession, which lead to the strengthening of the student voice in Wisconsin. During my tenure, a network of PT/PTA students was created where students work together on committees involving Networking, Advocacy, and Student Recognition. More attention and value was also placed on the Student Contacts at each PT/PTA program to help promote excitement and involvement. These opportunities not only provided students in each program with someone whom they can discuss current information and opportunities with but also allowed for relationships to be created with other future professionals. The connections made amongst individuals have created an exciting, fun, and innovated group of students who are passionate about our profession. I was honored with the 2014 Outstanding Core Ambassador Award from the APTA Student Assembly for my efforts.
As a Student Assembly Board Member, I will continue to build relationships and assist students in finding their passion in APTA, just as others have done for me. My vision is that when students think of the Student Assembly, they will picture the faces of those with whom they have made personal connections and envision the incredible potential for our future.