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SSIG Candidates for 2017-2018 Executive Committee
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We are very pleased to announce the candidates for the 2017-2018 SSIG Executive Committee

Voting for the SSIG Elections opens on April 17th and will close at 11:59pm on May 5th. Results will be published on May 15th and those elected into position will take office on June 1st, 2017.

Voting is as simple as 1, 2, 3!

1. Go to the voting site:

2. Log in by entering your last name and your APTA member number.

3. Follow the online instructions to cast your ballot.

Using your APTA member number ensures that your vote is unique to you and can only be cast once. Once cast, it is anonymous in the system.

Your vote matters. Voting is the most powerful way for you to have a voice in who serves in leadership and where you see the IPTA heading.

Best of luck to all candidates!

*** All candidates appear in order of positions & alphabetically

Executive Committee Positions





2nd year student at University of Illinois at Chicago



Why do you wish to run for this position?

"My greatest passion in physical therapy is advocacy for our profession. As an undergraduate student studying the integrated factors that encompass human health, one of the challenges I observed in our healthcare system was the lack of a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of patients. Furthermore, as a future student of physical therapy, I recognized the diverse nature of this profession and its ability to be utilized in holistic treatments for those seeking care. I believe that the people best equipped to expand the scope of physical therapy are those who practice it. As President, I will use my position to advocate and empower students so that we may have the persistence and drive to advocate for our patients. In a time when US healthcare reforms are unknown and the scope of physical therapy practice in Illinois will not budge, we need students to rise up and be prepared to take on new challenges. Because if we do not advocate for our profession, who will?"

A little bit about Samantha:

"I am currently a second-year student at the University of Illinois at Chicago and have been my class liaison to the IPTA SSIG since entering the program in the fall of 2015. My interests in physical therapy practice focus around sports, namely baseball/softball and athletes with disabilities. I am one of the co-chairs for UIC Adaptive Endeavors, an organization that promotes PT student involvement in events and programs tailored towards athletes with disabilities. While most of our work is in collaboration with GLASA, I led the partnership between our organization and the Chicago Park District Special Recreation department in order to expand our scope to include Special Olympic athletes. I love running, rock climbing, and hanging out with my roommate, who is a 2-year-old Whippet mix. If I wasn't pursuing a career in physical therapy, I think I would try my hand at being a writer due to my love of reading. I am a die-hard Cubs fan and would probably faint at the sight of Anthony Rizzo in person."





2nd year student at University of Illinois at Chicago



Why do you wish to run for this position?

"I want to run for Vice President because I am passionate about physical therapy and its future as a profession. I believe that, along with my peers, I can make a positive impact in our state as an advocate and liaison between the IPTA and our fellow classmates. My experience in leadership roles in undergraduate organizations have prepared me for this responsibility, and I look forward to representing the SSIG and assisting the IPTA in furthering our profession in the state of Illinois. "

A little bit about John:

"As a lifelong resident of the Chicago suburbs, it was a dream come true to move into the city for PT school, mainly because it has fueled many of my interests. When I'm not in school, I enjoy exploring the city, watching and playing sports, and finding new breweries to try. I am most interested in going into orthopedics or sports, and I am looking forward to my first 12-week clinical at a sports clinic in Phoenix. "




1st year student at Northwestern University



Why do you wish to run for this position?

"I would really like to get involved in my profession early and continue my involvement throughout my career. I enjoy being involved and spreading the word to other students. I am dedicated and organized and look forward to being a part of SSIG. "

A little bit about Megan:

"I have wanted to be a physical therapist since I was in 5th grade. I can not wait to be a part of a profession that provides hope and answers to people's movement problems. I enjoy reading all sorts of books and doing puzzles. I love exploring Chicago and being a part of what goes on in the city. I was a collegiate gymnast and uneven bar specialist. Exercise is very important to me. I especially enjoy participating in various types of work out classes "




2nd year student at Midwestern University


Why do you wish to run for this position?

"I wish to run for the Vice President position because I would like to become more involved within the IPTA Student SIG. I am a big proponent of organizing events and people ahead of time, and then being able to relax during the event. I believe that this skill will help when overseeing SSIG committees and conducting SSIG activities. I am adept at reading bylaws because of my experiences within scouting organizations, and I would do my best to properly report any bylaw changes to everyone involved. Being able to be part of the team to represent the SSIG at the Chapter's Assembly of Representatives would further inspire me to become involved within the IPTA after PT school graduation."

A little bit about Rima:

"I am 100% Lithuanian (a small country by Poland), which impacts most of my hobbies and activities. I am a vyr skautė, which is the equivalent of a Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout, within the Lithuanian Scout Association. By becoming a vyr skautė, I have had the opportunity to be a scoutmaster for 25 girls aged 5-10 for 5 years before starting PT school. Whenever possible, I still help run a scout meeting. I have helped organize numerous scouting events for the Boy Scouts of America Venturing program as well, and am a Silver Award recipient (the equivalent of an Eagle Scout in the BSA). Also, I have been dancing Lithuanian Folk Dancing for 21 years, and have taught 2-5 year olds and 12-18 year olds for 6 years.

Currently, one of my greatest hobbies is staying connected with other SPTs/SPTAs/PTs/PTAs on social media. I love finding new podcasts through Twitter or Facebook, and using the hashtags to find new topics to talk about. My favorite hashtag is #PTFam, because it makes me feel more connected to students/professionals outside of my Midwestern University bubble. "




1st year student at Rosalind Franklin University



Why do you wish to run for this position?

"I'm interested in the opportunities that this position holds for me. I want to become more involved in the PT community through working with others on events for networking, education, volunteering, and fundraising. In the past I've worked on the executive board for the Future Physical Therapist Organization as the Vice President and Treasurer. I've also worked as the Personnel Chair in my sorority which entailed enforcing chapter bylaws as well as educating members about them and worked on maintaining interpersonal relationships among chapter members. All of the positions I held during my undergraduate education helped me grow and allowed me to have fun in the process. Through taking on this position, I hope to grow into a more professional version of myself while interacting with other like-minded people. I want to make sure things are able to get done and that members are able to enjoy everything this organization has to offer."

A little bit about Nicole:

"I moved up to Illinois from Florida for my DPT program. I was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and attended the University of South Florida in Tampa. When I'm at home in Florida I like boating and kayaking. In my free time here I enjoy swimming, yoga, and rock climbing. Recently I've been getting into photography and like taking pictures when I'm discovering new places around the area. My favorite place I've been to so far has been Lake Geneva when the leaves were changing. Also, I'm excited about going to Belgium for a couple of weeks this summer to visit some of my family and hopefully take a side trip with them to see another European country. "





2nd year student at Rosalind Franklin University



Why do you wish to run for this position?

"With almost a quarter of the members of the IPTA being PT and PTA students, I am eager to step into a leadership role whereby I can help voice the opinion and ideas of this key component in the Illinois chapter as well as the APTA. Along with this, I'd like to help spread information related to topics that advocate for the profession of physical therapy and events that appeal to the student body. I'm someone who prides myself on meticulously budgeting my personal finances regularly and feel that I can be responsible in creating a budget that helps to maximize the group's annual funds while focusing on the interests of the SSIG. Additionally, I am someone who is very prompt and thorough with my correspondence which will aid me, if elected, in maintaining the SSIG's record-keeping and archives. "

A little bit about Murtaza:

"I am currently a 2nd year DPT student at Rosalind Franklin School of Medicine and Science. In my 1st year, I served as a student PT Manager at our school's Interprofessional Community Clinic that offers low cost and free medical services to residents of the North Chicago and surrounding areas. I was also a Panel member and involved on the Patient Appointment's committee as part of the Interprofessional Community Institute. In addition to being passionate about learning, some of my hobbies include hiking, working out, cooking, specialty coffee, listening to podcasts, and practicing the guitar. "




1st year student at Northern Illinois University



Why do you wish to run for this position?

"As the Secretary/Treasurer I wish to improve the development of other qualified candidates. I think I could keep the minutes of all the meetings concise and informational as possible. I am prepared to contact the SSIG members of meetings and prepare annual budges for the funds that are available. I would be excited to write up financial reports to the board when requested. I would be proud to represent the SSIG at the chapter's Assembly of Representatives. It would be my pleasure to serve the SPTA community."

A little bit about Ryan:

"I have always had an interest in finance and a passion for physical therapy. I often find my self working through finical problems within our class fundraisers and projects in order to maximize the use of our money while staying fiscally responsible. I like to stay organized through out my first semester of PT school which I believe has helped me become a better student. I often take notes and record lectures to make study guides for my fellow classmates. I would like to add my skills to the group of board members to improve the SPTA community as a whole. "




1st year student at Rosalind Franklin University



Why do you wish to run for this position?

"I would like to run for this position because I want to be more involved in the field of physical therapy aside from being a student. Being able to be a part of what we do as physical therapists on a larger scale has always seemed interesting to me as well as important for the future of the field. Being able to hold the position of Secretary/Treasurer appeals to me personally because I enjoy a bit of the organizing and behind the scenes work. Being able to take notes during meetings as well as being able to work with the budget is perfect. I take notes diligently during class as well as during group projects and research meetings. Doing so allows me to pay attention and put my own personal habits to good use for more than just myself. As for the budget portion of the position, I have always loved math and organizing information. Again, being able to organize and budget money seems very fitting for my personality and would benefit more than just myself. I also have some experience working with financial aspects from undergrad when I was the fundraising chair for a year and a half for the co-ed professional chemistry fraternity I was a part of, Alpha Chi Sigma. So being able to use my own personal habits and knowledge to do tasks that I enjoy and will help benefit a larger community seems like a perfect opportunity that I just couldn't pass up. "

A little bit about Deidra:

"I am from Wisconsin which has greatly influenced me as I grew up. Specifically, I love cheese so much that it might be considered excessive, however, I make up for it by also really enjoying an active lifestyle. I am a runner and have been one since I decided to join track in middle school. I have completed a few 8Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, and one full marathon. It has been my physical activity of choice forever and I love the feeling of accomplishment I get after I complete a race, a long run, or when I improve my pace! I learned how to knit as a little kid from my grandma when I would go stay with her for two weeks over the summer. I was so amazed by how quickly she could knit and without even looking. My talent was no where near as good as hers and I was a little discouraged. I put the knitting needles away for many years and recently took up the hobby again. I find it to be very relaxing because I can occupy my hands while letting my mind wander and relax. Aside from that, there is nothing I love more than being with my close friends talking about anything from what is going on in our lives to how much I can't wait to have my own dog when I finish school. "




2nd year student at Midwestern University



Why do you wish to run for this position?

"I would like to be the next secretary/treasurer of SSIG to become more involved as a student physical therapist. I am currently the student representative for SSIG at Midwestern University and would like to take on a larger role. Running for this position will allow me to have a bigger voice during SSIG meetings and my hope is that by becoming more involved I will encourage others to do the same! "

A little bit about Lauren:

"I enjoy being outdoors, hiking, and camping. I like cooking and trying out new recipes! "





1st year student at Governors State University



Why do you wish to run for this position?

"Growth is essential to push a profession toward new heights. Physical therapy, specifically, grows on the strong unity of SPT/SPTAs. Uniting people to complete a task is a skill that I enjoy. It requires streamlining communication, realistic goal setting, and problem solving to find solutions. Coupling this skill with the needs of SPT/SPTAs such as, access to opportunities, direction with leadership, and an enthusiastic environment, I will embrace the role of Special Events Coordinator and facilitate the growth that is essential for physical therapy."

A little bit about Garrett:

"Outside of class, I spend my weekly free-time rock climbing with friends at a gym called ClimbOn. When I have a free weekend I often organize rock climbing trips to southern Illinois or Devil’s Lake in Wisconsin. These trips require the initiation of the trip, teamwork, and safety within the group. In addition, I also have fun water skiing, downhill skiing, running, and play board games with friends. For work, I am a part-time personal trainer at a local gym. This job requires initiating assessments, scheduling, and a perspective which puts my client first. Having trained people of all ages and functional levels, I am always proud to see the success of careful planning and hard work.."





1st year student at Fox College



Why do you wish to run for this position?

"I am running for SPTA Director to become active in the community of Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants. Don't let the fact that I am a first year student fool you. Due to the accelerated program that I attend my cohort are referred to as the equivelancy of being in between "Sophmore" and "Junior" status. Our teachers constantly talk about giving back to the profession and becoming involved, and this is the best way I can do that until I am eligible to become a CI or take on other leadership roles after getting licensed. I am hoping to learn a lot in this position and hopefully bring my own experiences as a leader and in other aspects of the medical field to the SPTA Director position. "

A little bit about Jason:

"Prior to deciding to pursue a career in Physical Therapy, I was a paramedic. During this time I ended up injuring my mid-back and was told by both Chiropractors and Physical Therapists that there was not much that could be done for mid-back injuries. My Physical Therapist did an amazing job in getting me back to work. Unfortunately, my back pain would continue to come back and I began to develop an interest in Physical Therapy in order to learn more about mid-back injuries and hopefully find new therapeutic interventions.

Whenever I'm not in school or studying, I spend my time relaxing in different ways. I am an avid movie-goer, reader, and gamer. Me and my wife spend many nights either going to the movies or working on puzzles while watching movies at home. Whenever I hang out with my friends we enjoy doing things such as playing board games such as Mysterium (A new and more advanced version of Clue), Telestrations (think Pictionary meets the telephone game), and more comedy/party based card games (Cards Against Humanity and the like). We also thoroughly enjoy playing Dungeons and Dragons and other table top games, yes we are quite geeky. Thanks to being a Paramedic and now an SPTA, I can no longer watch sports (college football being a personal favorite) without analyzing every injury and trying to predict what the trainers will say is wrong."

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