2020 National Advocacy Dinner Webinar

Join us for the National Advocacy Dinner on Thursday, April 16, 2020 via webinar format!

An evening dedicated to networking among professionals in our field  on how to get involved in advocacy for our profession as students. 

Christina Howard,PT, MPT, President of the Oregon Physical Therapy Association and Program Coordinator for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon
Derek Fenwick, PT, MBA, SHRM-SCP, APTA Nominating Committee
Keaton Ray, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC, CSCS, OPTA Delegate
Talina Corvus, PT, DPT, Chair, OPTA Cultural and Minority Affairs Committee


This year's National Advocacy Dinner will be held in a webinar format!

Register Here!

Date:  Thursday, April 16, 2020
Time:  6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location:  Via Zoom Meeting

Primary Contact:  Sydney Zamora      [email protected]

2020 Emerging Student Leader Award

The Oregon Physical Therapy Association Emerging Student Leader Award was created to foster leadership in physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students by providing opportunities for involvement in our professional organizations, the Oregon Physical Therapy Association (OPTA) and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). This award gives students first-hand experience in the governance of our profession at the state and national levels.

The Emerging Student Leader Award provides funds for one PT student and one PTA student to attend the APTA House of Delegates (HOD), which will be held in Phoenix, AZ, June 1-3, 2020.  The award also includes support for the PT student to attend APTA National Student Conclave. In preparation for the House of Delegates, awardees attend (either in person or remotely) meetings of the Oregon delegation to the HOD, which are usually held in Portland on a monthly basis. At these meetings, 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.

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 OPTA 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 Emerging Student Leader Award 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 OPTA 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 OPTA members are eligible to apply for the award.


OPTA will provide reimbursement for travel expenses up to $1500 to attend the HOD. An additional $500 is available for the PT student to attend the National Student Conclave. This award may not fully cover the cost of attending these conferences. The student’s school may provide additional funds.


Interested PT and PTA students may apply for the OPTA Emerging Student Leader Award using the application found at https://opta.memberclicks.net/student-information. Submit the completed online application, including two letters of recommendation, by November 18, 2019. Application process is now closedLetters of recommendation should be completed by two persons not related to 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. The delegation may seek additional feedback and recommendations from the schools’ program directors. The selected student will be notified directly.

Congratulations to the 2020 OPTA Emerging Student Leader Award Recipients!

SPT  - Gavin McBride

SPTA - Michelle Spindler

Click here for the latest "Pulse" Newsletter!

Welcome, Future of the Profession of PT!

The OPTA 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 OPTA will be shaped by you. Your voice is important, and your perspective is needed. Your contributions – big and small – are appreciated.

Join OPTA and take advantage of some of these opportunities:

  • Network at the Annual and Fall business meetings.
  • Attend an OPTA 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 the Oregon Physical Therapy Association 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 OPTA 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