CCAC Boyce student recognized for leadership by the Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association

Article by: CCAC Public Relations

Sierra Dunlap with PPTA awardPITTSBURGH-Sierra Dunlap, a resident of Penn Hills and a student in the Physical Therapist Assistant program at CCAC Boyce Campus, was presented with the Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association (PPTA) 2018 Student Leadership award at PPTA's annual conference, held last month in Valley Forge. Annually, two outstanding students-one each from among the 18 physical therapy programs and the 17 physical therapy assistant programs in the commonwealth-are honored with the award. 

Dunlap, who is president of the CCAC Student Physical Therapy Association (SPTA) Class of 2019, is the sixth recipient of the award from CCAC's Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program. She was nominated by professors Dr. Norman Johnson and Rebecca Stevens-the latter being the 2013 award recipient. Since the inception of the award in 2010, CCAC Boyce Campus is the only institution out of the 35 accredited programs in Pennsylvania to have six  students honored with the award.

Dunlap serves as the Southwest District Board PTA student representative and as an ambassador to the PT Day of Service. In addition, she is a member of PPTA ConnectPA! and she holds the inaugural PPTA Service and Volunteerism Coordinator position to facilitate increased participation in service to communities throughout the commonwealth. 

Dunlap's record of academic excellence-she continually makes the dean's list and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society-is matched by her commitment to serve. She has assisted with the coordination of SPTA members to participate in nine community service events providing nearly 1,320 hours of volunteer community service in local neighborhoods. She is also coordinator of the association's newest initiative for civic development, "Healthcare Advocacy in Physical Therapy Education and Practice." Dunlap and Stevens presented a poster on the topic at the PPTA conference, where it was viewed by more than 400 attendees.

"Sierra's personal initiative, leadership, community service and professional contributions are exemplary," said Johnson, who started the PTA program at Boyce Campus in 1988. "She is a stellar role model for other students to emulate." 

Over the past 30 years, CCAC's rigorous PTA Program has graduated 772 students. The program boasts a 93 percent pass rate on the licensure examination, a 95 percent employment rate and a 75 percent graduation rate. For more information about the CCAC PTA program, email njohnson@ccac.edu or call 724.325.6663.

Photo: CCAC student Sierra Dunlap, recipient of a 2018 Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association (PPTA) Student Leadership Award, is congratulated by PPTA President Colleen Chancler.

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