I believe Jordan deserves to be featured in the Spotlight to show that PT students can do so much to help people; not just in our own family or community but around the world too! Jordan is an amazing young woman with an amazing story that deserves to be shared! - DPT Student @ Univ. of Saint Mary
Jordan is proving herself as a leader, giver, and an impact to the community. She has impressive experience with traveling to Haiti to volunteer her time at an orphanage where she helps treat young children with disabilities! This year Jordan has put together a group of classmates to join her on a trip to Haiti. Check out below why Jordan was nominated as a SPT Spotlight, and be sure to follow our Facebook page for notifications when another Spotlight is featured!
“After graduating with my Bachelors, I planned to start the DPT program immediately, however, like many of us, I was not accepted that first year after undergrad. So, I did what most hopeful PT students would do and sought to gain more experience in the field. While I wasn’t necessarily looking for the opportunity, I stumbled upon an orphanage in Haiti that was looking for summer interns. For two months I worked with thirty-eight children, both special needs and able-bodied, at Notre Maison/St. Joe’s Orphanage in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. I assisted with therapy, helped the nannies with daily care, planned and implemented summer activities, as well as took children to doctor’s appointments and orthotic fittings.
Taking that leap of faith and traveling to Haiti has been life changing. In fact, it’s hard to put into words the impact the country and children have had on me. Haiti is a place like no other, filled with a rich culture and hope. The people are filled with a zest for life and will do anything to lend a helping hand. I have seen pure joy on a child’s face when he stands for the first time or gets her turn to ride the one bike in the orphanage. I have learned how stepping away from what is familiar to me for a short moment can change another person for a life-time.
Since returning home, I have been serving on the orphanage’s advisory board, where I co-manage their website, social media, and quarterly newsletter. The children and country of Haiti have had such an impact on me that I plan to travel and assist the children for the rest of my life. As PT’s, we are given a skillset that can help so many. Sometimes the biggest difference can be made with one little step outside our comfort zone.
If you are interested in the orphanage or interning, please check our website at https://gertrudesorphanage.weebly.com or feel free to email me at Jordan.firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to chat with you!”
Aside from being a leader in his PTA program at Kansas City Community College, Eddie is also impacting the PT field with involvement and advocacy through numerous avenues outside of the classroom. Check out below what a colleague wrote about this student, and why he was chosen to be featured as a SPTA Spotlight!
"Eddie Ernst is the embodiment of a student advocate. He not only gives a voice for the physical therapy profession but also PTA students. He is a great role model and strives to promote PTA students across Kansas. Eddie is currently a PTA student at THE Kansas City Community College. After his 1st semester of PTA school, Eddie was nominated for the APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors for the position of Director of SPTA Relations. Although he wasn't elected to that position, he took that passion and drive and directed it at the KPTA where he currently serves on the public relations committee and student special interest group as the SPTA liaison.
Eddie loves helping to connect fellow PTA/PT students alike and create opportunities for collaboration. His advocacy is shown through a podcast, “The PTA Tapes”, that he co-hosts with a fellow PTA from North Carolina. The podcasts gives a unique perspective to physical therapy through the lens of PTAs. He also interns with PT PubNights where he organizes candid meetings and conversations between students and Physical Therapists. One of his favorite things to do is talk shop with colleagues and spread the word of physical therapy advocacy!"
You can check out Eddie's involvement and activity in the PT community by following him on twitter at @EddieErnstSPTA!
Whether it's being involved in research, within the APTA, or outside of the classroom, Alicen is a proven leader. She has been awarded numerous honors and is dedicated to improving herself as a student through KU's PhD courses and being involved with a research lab. Check out below why she has been nominated and chosen as our latest SPT Spotlight!
The following has been shared with us from a fellow student about our Spotlight, Alicen:
"When the SSIG shared that they were looking for students who deserved to be recognized, I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving than Alicen Whitaker. Alicen sets the standard for students seeking to push the physical therapy profession forward. Her commitment to excellence is visible through her involvement with the APTA and her leadership roles in the KPTA SSIG and on the campus of KUMC. Additionally, Alicen is highly involved in research, an interest developed through being awarded the NIH summer T32 Neurologic Research Grant. It was this opportunity that allowed her to connect to a faculty mentor, Dr. Sandy Billinger and opened the doors to her enrollment in the DPT/PhD dual-degree program.
So not only does Alicen put in countless hours to excel in the DPT curriculum along with her classmates, she also has a full commitment to PhD courses and current research.
When asked about this immense workload, Alicen shares, “It is worth it. I have loved every minute of it. It gives me a new perspective both in research and in the physical therapy program. My eyes have been opened to critically evaluating evidence in physical therapy and how to adapt research, so it reflects what happens in the clinic.”
This work ethic has shined through in the awards and honors she has received. Most recently being awarded Best Research Platform Presentation at KPTA Fall Retreat. Furthermore, Alicen has already been listed as an author on 1 published manuscript and 2 more that are currently being submitted!"
Facebook Research Lab: @KUReachLab
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