ALEXANDRIA, VA, (June 16, 2015) – The Foundation for Physical Therapy Board of Trustees recently awarded a total of $235,500 in Promotion of Doctoral Studies (PODS) I & II Scholarships and a New Investigator Fellowship Training Initiative (NIFTI) to 15 physical therapists.

“The quality of scholarship and fellowship applications coming in is exceptional,” said Foundation Board of Trustees Chair Barbara Connolly, PT, DPT, EdD, FAPTA. “We are proud to be able to support such outstanding 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 postprofessional doctorate 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 funded by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Fund, the Neurology Endowment Fund, and the Center of Excellence/Health Services Research (COE/HSR) Fund.

Congratulations to the 2015 PODS I Scholarship recipients: Amelia Arundale, PT, DPT, University of Delaware; Daniel Bittel, PT, DPT, Washington University in St. Louis; Jason Falvey, PT, DPT, GCS, CEEAA, University of Colorado, Denver; Timothy Faw, PT, DPT, NCS, The Ohio State University; Abbigail Fietzer, PT, DPT, University of Southern California; Allison Kosir, PT, DPT, University of Colorado, Denver; and Trevor Lentz, PT, MPT, University of Florida.

Timothy Faw, PT, DPT, NCS, The Ohio State University, is the recipient of the 2015 Patricia Leahy Award for his 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 members of the Neurology Section through the Foundation’s Neurology Endowment Fund.

Trevor Lentz, PT, MPT, University of Florida, has been named as the recipient of the Miami-Marquette Challenge Award for exceptional achievement within a PODS application. This award was made possible by the 2014-2015 Miami-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 specifically funded over 20 research grants and scholarships.

The 2015 PODS II Scholarship recipients are: Allyn Bove, PT, DPT, University of Pittsburgh; Kendra Cherry-Allen, PT, DPT, Washington University in St. Louis; Andrew Kittelson, PT, DPT, University of Colorado, Denver; Rebekah Lawrence, PT, DPT, OCS, University of Minnesota; Philip Malloy, MSPT, SCS, Marquette University; Jacqueline Palmer, PT, DPT, University of Delaware; and Andrew Smith, PT, DPT, Northwestern University.

Andrew Smith, PT, DPT, Northwestern University, is the recipient of the 2015 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. Members of the Neurology Section provided generous support for this award through the Foundation’s Neurology Endowment Fund.

Kendra Cherry-Allen, PT, DPT, Washington University in St. Louis, 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 Amee Seitz, MS, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, of Northwestern University. Her fellowship will include a research training experience entitled “Mechanisms of Painful Rotator Cuff Tears: Establishing Scientifically-Based Treatment.” She will be under the mentorship of Jules Dewald, PT, PhD, Director of the Neuroimaging and Motor Control Laboratory in the Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Science at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Ana Maria Acosta, PhD, an Associate Professor in the department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences at Northwestern University. 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.

The Foundation for Physical Therapy was established in 1979 as a national, independent nonprofit organization to fund physical therapy research to optimize health and movement. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $17 million in research grants, fellowships and scholarships. Many of today’s leading physical therapy researchers, clinicians, and academicians began their careers with this support. Foundation-funded researchers have gone on to secure more than $824 million in follow-on funding.

To donate or learn more, visit or call 800/875-13678.




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