Rob Hofschulte is a candidate for the nominating committee chair-elect on the Student Assembly Board of Directors.
How does physical therapy successfully improve the human experience for patients? This is not a question that is simply answered, but one that can be broken down into 2 major components: the pursuit of increasing our knowledge base and the passion for personal connection and care. Both of these vital components cannot be realized unless information is made easy to understand for our patients. I translate these components into my professional approach in APTA and, if elected, I will translate them to the Student Assembly Nominating Committee.
As I reflect on what I have done to increase my own skill set and knowledge base and how it would benefit the Student Assembly, I continually circle back to Steve Jobs' commencement speech quote: "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards." At Marquette University, I assumed our APTA liaison position, which allowed me to attend my first National Student Conclave. I was extremely excited to attend the presentations and bring new and useful information back to my classmates. It was here that I had my first exposure to the Student Assembly Board of Directors. In meeting with those individuals, I immediately gained a greater sense of purpose that encouraged me to use my talents to increase my involvement and aid others in doing the same. After the National Student Conclave, I became more involved at Marquette by managing the development of a professional lecture series and designing a program to recognize and promote student involvement. On the national level, I became a member of the Scholarship and Opportunities Committee; additionally, I reached out to get involved in the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association, assisted the Academic Liaison Committee, attended the Combined Sections Meeting and Federal Advocacy Forum, and eventually assumed the role of Wisconsin core ambassador. Reflecting on my experiences and "connecting the dots" have given me great knowledge and enthusiasm that I will apply to my future.
If elected to the Student Assembly Nominating Committee, my primary aspiration is to mentor and assist students in finding their niche in APTA, just as others have done for me. There are few feelings more gratifying than helping others in achieving their dreams. Occasionally, intimidating language and acronyms may make understanding and involvement difficult. I would make it my responsibility to present information in a simplistic way that settles any uneasiness so that more students can become involved and progress the profession forward. I would stress the importance of educating our peers, just as it is crucial to educate our patients, to create engagement and a continuum of learning. I will be genuinely and enthusiastically engaged with other students so that the excitement of the "conference bug" is never lost. When students think of the Student Assembly, I hope they picture the faces of those with whom they have made personal connections, envision the incredible potential for our future, and, one day, look back and "connect the dots."
"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." —Ralph Waldo Emerson