Foundation Announces 2016 Recipients of Postprofessional Doctoral Scholarships and Fellowship Totaling $250,500

Categories: Press Releases

ALEXANDRIA, VA, – The Foundation for Physical Therapy Board of Trustees recently awarded a total of $250,500 in Promotion of Doctoral Studies (PODS) I & II Scholarships and a New Investigator Fellowship Training Initiative (NIFTI) to 16 physical therapists.

“We are astounded every year by the level of excellence of all our scholarship and fellowship applications,” said Foundation Board of Trustees Chair Barbara Connolly, PT, DPT, EdD, FAPTA. “Their hard work and dedication to the physical therapy profession show why they are truly deserving of these awards. We are pleased to be supporting such promising early-career physical therapist investigators.”

As part of its post-professional Doctoral Opportunities for Clinicians and Scholarships (DOCS) program to fund the most highly-qualified doctoral and post-doctoral students preparing for research careers, the Foundation awards PODS I Scholarships of $7,500 each year to physical therapists or physical therapist assistants who have completed at least two full semesters or three full quarters of their coursework toward a post professional doctoral degree. PODS II Scholarships of up to $15,000 each are awarded to physical therapists or physical therapist assistants who have been formally admitted to post-professional doctoral candidacy. These scholarships are made possible through funds established with the Foundation by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the Neurology Section, the Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Section and the Legacy Scholarship Fund.

Congratulations to the 2016 PODS I Scholarship recipients: Katie Butera, PT, DPT, University of Florida; Jason Falvey, PT, DPT, University of Colorado – Denver; Jody Feld, PT, DPT, NCS, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Abbigail Fietzer, PT, DPT, University of Southern California; Tamra Keeney, PT, DPT, CCS, MGH Institute of Health Professions; Allison Gustavson (Kosir), PT, DPT, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus; and Catherine VanDerwerker, PT, DPT, Medical University of South Carolina.

Tamra Keeney, PT, DPT, CCS, MGH Institute of Health Professions, is the recipient of the 2016 Scot C. Irwin Award for displaying outstanding merit within a PODS application focusing on post-professional studies within cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation. This award is in memory of accomplished physical therapist and Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Section member, Scot C. Irwin, PT, DPT, CCS. This PODS scholarship is supported by the Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Section Human Performance Endowment Fund.

Allison Gustavson (Kosir), PT, DPT, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, has been named as the recipient of the Pittsburgh-Marquette Challenge Award for exceptional achievement within a PODS application. This award was made possible by the 2015-2016 Pittsburgh-Marquette Challenge. The Marquette Challenge is the signature annual fundraising initiative of the Foundation, raising more funds each year than any other Foundation activity. The Challenge is coordinated and carried out by physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students across the country. Students organize grassroots fundraisers on their campuses and in their local communities that raise awareness for and benefit the Foundation for Physical Therapy.  Since its inception, the Challenge has raised over $3 million and has funded over 22 research grants and scholarships.

Catherine VanDerwerker, PT, DPT, Medical University of South Carolina, is the recipient of the 2016 Patricia Leahy Award for her outstanding application in post-professional studies within neurology. This award is given in memory of APTA Section on Neurology member, accomplished physical therapist, and Foundation Doctoral Training Research Grant recipient, Patricia Leahy, PT, MS, NCS. Leahy was a professor at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and was one of the first physical therapists ever to receive the Neurologic Certified Specialist certification. This scholarship is generously supported by the Neurology Section Endowment Fund.

The 2016 PODS II Scholarship recipients are: Ben Binder-Markey, PT, DPT, Northwestern University; Adam Bittel, PT, DPT, Washington University in St. Louis; Daniel Bittel, PT, DPT, Washington University in St. Louis; Timothy Faw, PT, DPT, NCS, Ohio State University; Jamie Holloway, PT, DPT, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Matthew Ithurburn, PT, DPT, OCS, Ohio State University; Rebekah Lawrence, PT, DPT, OCS, University of Minnesota; and Trevor Lentz, PT, MS, University of Florida.

Ben Binder-Markey, PT, DPT, Northwestern University, is the recipient of the 2016 Mary Lou Barnes Award for his outstanding PODS II application in postprofessional studies within neurology. This award is given in honor of APTA Section on Neurology member and accomplished physical therapist Mary Lou Barnes, PT, FAPTA. Barnes was the founding director of the West Virginia University physical therapy program and served as chair of Georgia State University’s program. During her terms, both programs achieved national recognition. This scholarship is generously supported by Neurology Section Endowment Fund.

Trevor Lentz, PT, MS, University of Florida, has been named the Viva J. Erickson Award recipient, for exceptional academic and leadership achievement within a PODS II application in honor of Viva J. Erickson, PT, an accomplished physical therapist and leader within APTA.

The $78,000 New Investigator Fellowship Training Initiative (NIFTI) was awarded to Miriam Rafferty, PT, DPT, PhD, of Northwestern University. Her fellowship will include a research training experience entitled “Preventive Physical Therapy for People with Parkinson’s Disease.” She will be under the mentorship of Allen Heinemann, PhD, Professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Medical Social Sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Fay Horak, PT, PhD, Director of the Balance Disorders Laboratory at Oregon Health and Sciences University, and Megan McHugh, PhD, Research Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

This award is supported through the APTA Supporting the Profession Fund and the APTA Fund.

The NIFTI supports post-professional, doctorally prepared physical therapists as they begin their research careers. It is designed to accommodate both traditional postdoctoral and new faculty applicants for a closely mentored research experience.

About The Foundation for Physical Therapy

The Foundation for Physical Therapy was established in 1979 as a national, independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality and delivery of physical therapy care by providing support for scientifically based and clinically relevant physical therapy research and doctoral scholarships and fellowships.

Over the last 37 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $17 million in research grants, fellowships, and postprofessional doctoral scholarships to more than 576 emerging scientists. Foundation-funded researchers have gone on to receive an estimated $753 million in external funding from the National Institutes of Health and other sources. Many of today’s leading and emerging physical therapist researchers, clinicians, and academicians began their careers with a grant or scholarship from the Foundation.

Contributions to the Foundation for Physical Therapy are tax-deductible and can be made online at Foundation4PT.org or sent to its headquarters at 1111 N Fairfax St, Alexandria, VA 22314.

To learn more, visit Foundation4pt.org.

For more information, e-mail info@foundation4pt.org or call 800/875-1378.