Student Information

2022 Emerging Student Leader Award

Oregon Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association
Emerging Student Leader Award

The Oregon Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association (Chapter) has a unique program to foster leadership for interested students in our profession – the Emerging Student Leader Award (ESLA).  The ESLA provides an opportunity for a student physical therapist (SPT) and a student physical therapist assistant (SPTA) to become fully engaged in the governance of our profession at the state and national levels.  The highlight of the award is funding to attend the House of Delegates (HOD) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

The HOD is composed of delegates from chapters, sections, the PTA Caucus, Student Assembly, and Board of Directors.  In preparation for the House of Delegates, the 2 student awardees attend (either in person or virtually) meetings of the Oregon delegation to the HOD, which are usually held in Portland on a monthly basis. At these meetings, the students are able to meet members of the delegation (7delegates, 1 PTA Caucus Rep, and alternates), learn about developing issues for the HOD, and prepare for the HOD itself. The delegation discusses issues to come before the HOD, and ultimately decides how to vote on motions that will be presented.  The delegation frequently brings motions as well, such as the pivotal policy, Evaluation and Plan to Address Student Debt in Physical Therapy, which was passed unanimously by the HOD.

Awardees are highly encouraged to apply to be House ushers. This is a great way to meet students from other components and play an active role in the business of the HOD.

Student leaders are also welcome and encouraged to attend other Chapter meetings and events of interest, including Board of Directors meetings, Annual Business Meeting, annual retreat in December, and of course PT Night Out!

Finally, Emerging Student Leaders are expected to share their experiences with their classes, keep them up to date on professional issues, and share the many tangible and intangible values of membership. This can include encouraging your peers to become members, to participate in their professional organization, and to develop their own leadership skills. Traditionally, Emerging Student Leaders make a presentation to their class and write an article for the Oregon Log outlining their experiences, as well as the benefits of membership and involvement in the association.

In the end, the experiences that students gain through the ESLA help lay the groundwork for rewarding professional experiences for the rest of their careers. The award provides excellent networking opportunities, allowing students to find mentors who can help accelerate their career development. Many members of the current Chapter Board of Directors and delegation to the HOD were past recipients of this award, and find that those experiences were invaluable in their own professional and leadership development. Most of all, it’s fun!


First year PTA students and second year PT students who are APTA and Chapter members are eligible to apply for the award.


The Chapter will provide reimbursement for expenses to attend the HOD, including travel, lodging, and meals.


Interested PT and PTA students may apply for the Chapter Emerging Student Leader Award by completing and submitting an application accessed on the link below. Submit the completed online application, including two letters of recommendation, by November 22, 2021. Letters of recommendation should be completed by two persons who are not relatives of the candidate, and one recommendation must come from a faculty member of the program in which the student is enrolled. The Oregon delegation to the HOD will select the most qualified candidate for each award (PT and PTA).. The selected student will be notified directly.


Congratulations to the 2021 APTA Oregon Emerging Student Leader Award Recipients!

SPT - Mason Flores

SPTA - Rebekkah Joliff


Congratulations to the 2020 APTA Oregon Emerging Student Leader Award Recipients!

SPT  - Gavin McBride

SPTA - Michelle Spindler

Apply for the 2023 ESLA Here!
Provide Student Recommendations here
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Welcome, Future of the Profession of PT!

APTA Oregon recognizes that as a student of physical therapy, your interests and passions are critical to keeping our organization vibrant and engaged.

YOU are the future. Tomorrow's APTA Oregon will be shaped by you. Your voice is important, and your perspective is needed. Your contributions – big and small – are appreciated.

Join APTA Oregon and take advantage of some of these opportunities:

  • Network at the Annual and Fall business meetings.
  • Attend an APTA Oregon community outreach event.
  • Observe a Board meeting.
  • Challenge your professors with new research you learned at a “Doc Talk.”
  • Meet for coffee with a committee member to talk about your passions.
  • Be a Student Leader

Mary McMillan Scholarship Award

Congratulations to Tabitha Galindo, SPT, the 2019 recipient of the Mary McMillan Scholarship award for Student Physical Therapists! Read more about Tabitha and her award here.

Student Leadership

The mission statement of the Student Leadership Committee (SLC) of APTA Oregon is to grow a thriving community of recent graduates (<5 years) and current PT and PTA students. We aim to promote student involvement and provide a unified voice in APTA and APTA Oregon in order to express views and concerns of students and recent graduates. We strive to foster a collaborative relationship between students and licensed clinicians to promote professional excellence both pre- and post-graduation.

Any of these opportunities (and many more) can be initiated through a quick email to [email protected].


Oregon's Schools of Physical Therapy

Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs

George Fox University

Pacific University

Physical Therapist Assistant Programs

Lane Community College

Mount Hood Community College

Please also visit APTA's website for additional student resources:

Prospective Students of Physical Therapy

Current Students of Physical Therapy

Getting in 'The Loop'!

APTA's Student Assembly