Daniel Stam is a candidate for Director on the Student Assembly Board of Directors.
"This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the life of ease"
–Robert F. Kennedy
I became a student member of APTA in April 2011, roughly 5 months before I began PT school. Immediately, I became a member of the orthopaedics, pediatrics, and sports physical therapy sections, as they initially caught my attention. Later, I joined the research and neurology sections, along with several special-interest groups in traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, and degenerative diseases. As a first-year physical therapist student, I served with one other co-core ambassador for the state of Michigan, and also on the Michigan chapter's Student Relations Committee.
During those first few intense months, I volunteered at the state fall professional conference and also at APTA's National Student Conclave in Minneapolis. Following the excitement from NSC, I joined the Student Assembly's Advocacy Challenge Committee and became a liaison for the states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin. In addition, I accepted an assignment to monitor and report on the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act. I had 2 letters to the editor published in regional newspapers: one in the South Bend Tribune (IN) regarding Medicare access to physical therapists and a second in the Lansing State Journal regarding direct access for physical therapists in Michigan.
In the winter, I attended the Combined Sections Meeting in the windy city of Chicago, A few months later, I participated in one of the largest state student conclaves in the nation, in Lansing, Michigan. In June, I served as a student usher at PT 2012 in Tampa, where I received the Student Assembly's National Outstanding Core Ambassador Award for 2011–2012. While serving on the #PT 2012 "Tweet Team" I "tweeted" live at such exciting events as the Opening Ceremonies, Mary McMillian Lecture, and Maley Lecture. What an honor it was to be surrounded by such diversity (9 countries were represented at this conference) as well as such great passion, energy, and leadership for the physical therapy profession!
A leadership concept that I have been working to develop over these past months is that you can create positive ripple effects in the world in contrast to negative. You can empower individuals to do more with their lives and within their community. As a leader, you may never see the end results of all of your interactions. However, just think for a moment that through the work of others we can accomplish so much greater good than what we could have done on our own. My vision for our profession and this association is one that strives to find and secure its place within both a national and global society. As future leaders in this field and future "playmakers" in rehabilitation, my challenge to you is to find your calling! And let's move forward.