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The APTA Association Leadership Scholars Program is an investment in the future of the profession. This innovative initiative fosters new, diverse leaders and thinkers by supporting the journey of APTA members as they prepare to lead the association in pursuit of its vision.

During the one-year program (January through December), scholars participate in a robust curriculum that covers association leadership and management topics, with activities that can include group projects and engagement opportunities. Graduates of the program come away with new understanding, new skills, and a personal leadership development program that they can put to use to benefit the profession.

2023 Scholars

Congratulations to the 25 PTs, PTAs, and students accepted as 2023 Association Leadership Scholars!

  • Maria Aguila, PT, DPT (NJ)
  • Kylee Austin, SPT (AZ)
  • Brittany Battle, PT, DPT (NC)
  • Holden Cox, SPT (NC)
  • Lisa Flick, SPTA (WA)
  • Emma Goldberg, PT, DPT, MPH (GA)
  • Rabekah Gramlich, PTA, BSPTA (TN)
  • Kaliea Green, SPT (TX)
  • Brandon Johnson, SPT, MS (CO)
  • Francesca Kaspar, SPT (NJ)
  • Jemma Kim, SPT (MO)
  • Alisha Ladenburg, SPT (VA)
  • Katie Landier, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy (NV)
  • Gustavo Martinez, PT, DPT (OK)
  • Kimberly Martin, SPT (MN)
  • Shane Mathew, SPT (FL)
  • Kylie McCarty, SPT (FL)
  • Jessica Munk, PT, DPT, JD (AL)
  • Samuel O'Melia, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy (AK)
  • Tatiana Paz, PT, DPT (GA)
  • Emily Schmidt, PT, DPT (GA)
  • Natalie Surut, PT, DPT (UT)
  • Razeena Umrani, PT, DPT (KS)
  • Sabrina Wang, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy (FL)
  • Dilina Weerapperuma, SPT (MN)


  • Anthony DiFilippo, PT, DPT, MEd (OH)
  • Jamie Dyson, PT, DPT (FL)
  • Aaron Embry, PT, DPT, MSCR, PhD (SC)
  • Laurie Hack, PT, DPT, MBA, FAPTA (PA)
  • Mary Jane Rapport, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA (CO)

Become an APTA Scholar

The application cycle is July 15-Aug. 18.


Any APTA member in good standing is eligible to be a scholar. Scholars must commit to participating in one in-person event (APTA will provide travel and lodging), multiple virtual learning experiences, and regular check-ins with APTA staff and mentors. In addition, these criteria are considered for scholar selection:

  • Ability to fulfill leadership needs and aspirations. Leadership development goals might include working or volunteering in the DEI space, a specific position on a board, or certain leadership roles, e.g., committee chair.
  • An individual in an early leadership role or on the cusp of moving into a leadership position who could benefit from additional leadership development.
  • Demonstrated commitment to being a future leader and an intention to stay active within the profession for at least three to five years.
  • Value and demonstration of a team approach.
  • Demonstrated strong work ethic.
  • Demonstrated commitment to developing and/or advancing APTA's strategic priorities.

Benefits of Participation

  • Expanded awareness of issues and challenges facing APTA, the association community, and curricular content.
  • Increased leadership skills and recognition of arenas in which unique contributions may be applied.
  • The ability to contribute to a rapidly growing pool of prepared, diverse association leaders.
  • Personal and professional networking opportunities with emerging and established APTA leaders.

2022 APTA Association Leadership Scholars

Check out a discussion of the 2022 program.

View 2022 Scholars Capstone Projects.