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Ensuring that the physical therapy profession realizes transformative vision requires skillful, committed leaders who can help shape the future. That's what the APTA Fellowship in Higher Education Leadership, now approaching its 10th year, is all about.

The fellowship program provides developing and aspiring program directors in physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs with the skills and resources they need to be innovative, influential, and visionary leaders. Thanks in part to the innovative learning approach it uses, the program was awarded a 2018 "Power of A" Silver Award from the American Society of Association Executives for its leadership in "advancing society and improving the economy."

This year's graduates were William Bails, PT, DPT; Erin Bock, PT, DPT; Misha Bradford, PT, MPT, DPT; Christopher Cesario, PT, DPT, MBA; Jamie Dehan, PT, DPT, MS; Victoria Hurwitz, PT, DPT; Sara Knight, PT, DPT; Beven Livingston, PT, PhD; Melissa Mendoza, PT, DPT, MS; Teresa Miller, PT, PhD; James Moore, PT, PhD; Leigh Murray, PT, PhD; Kathryn Nesbit, PT, DPT, DSc; Donald Reagan, PT, DPT; Mary Riopel, PT, DPT, PhD; Aaron Rindflesch, MPT, PhD; Shellane Shattuck, PT, DPT; Jacob Thorp, PT, DHS; and Thomas Werner, PT, PhD.

The final gathering was held virtually, and capped off a yearlong program that included:

  • Nine online modules provided by content expert faculty;
  • virtual mentorship sessions and ongoing mentorship provided by experienced physical therapy program directors;
  • mentorship provided by higher education leaders; and
  • Iimplementation of a personal leadership plan and an institution-based leadership project.

Partners who help promote and support the fellowship include the American Physical Therapy Association, American Council of Academic Physical Therapy, Academy of Physical Therapy Education, and PTA Educators Special Interest Group.

The program was first accredited in 2012 by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education, the accrediting body for postprofessional residency and fellowship programs in physical therapy, and it was reaccredited in 2017 for a 10-year period.

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