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The APTA Association Leadership Scholars Program, an innovative project that aims to develop future leaders of the association, announced this year's cohort of members selected to participate in a curriculum designed to hone their skills. The 25 PTs, PTAs, and students come from 18 states, and represent diverse backgrounds, practice settings, and experience levels.

This year's scholars are:

  • Maria Aguila, PT, DPT (N.J.).
  • Kylee Austin, SPT (Ariz.).
  • Brittany Battle, PT, DPT (N.C.).
  • Holden Cox, SPT (N.C.).
  • Lisa Flick, SPTA (Wash.).
  • Emma Goldberg, PT, DPT, MPH (Ga.).
  • Rabekah Gramlich, PTA, BSPTA (Tenn.).
  • Kaliea Green, SPT (Texas).
  • Brandon Johnson, SPT, MS (Colo.).
  • Francesca Kaspar, SPT (N.J.).
  • Jemma Kim, SPT (Mo.).
  • Alisha Ladenburg, SPT (Va.).
  • Katie Landier, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy (Nev.).
  • Gustavo Martinez, PT, DPT (Okla.).
  • Kimberly Martin, SPT (Minn.).
  • Shane Mathew, SPT (Fla.).
  • Kylie McCarty, SPT (Fla.).
  • Jessica Munk, PT, DPT, JD (Ala.).
  • Samuel O'Melia, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy (Alaska).
  • Tatiana Paz, PT, DPT (Ga.).
  • Emily Schmidt, PT, DPT (Ga.).
  • Natalie Surut, PT, DPT (Utah).
  • Razeena Umrani, PT, DPT (Kan.).
  • Sabrina Wang, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy (Fla.).
  • Dilina Weerapperuma, SPT (Minn.).

During the one-year program scholars participate in a curriculum that covers association leadership and management topics, with activities that can include group projects and engagement opportunities. Throughout the program, scholars are connected with experienced leader-mentors who enrich their understanding of the profession and the association's role. This year's mentors are Anthony DiFilippo, PT, DPT, MEd; Jamie Dyson, PT, DPT; Aaron Embry, PT, DPT, PhD, MSCR; Laurie Hack, PT, DPT, MBA, FAPTA; and Mary Jane Rapport, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA.

Now in its second year as the APTA Association Leadership Scholars Program, the initiative's origins were in the APTA Centennial Scholars program offered in 2021 in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the association. That program earned an American Society of Association Executives Gold Circle award for its excellence in member engagement. Many of the elements of the Centennial Scholars program have been adopted in the current curriculum.

Interested in joining the next class of leadership scholars? Applications for the 2024 cohort open Oct. 1; find out more about the program on the APTA Association Leadership Scholars webpage.

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