Student SIG News

Students from PT and PTA programs in Wisconsin were among students from 146 schools that participated in the 2016-2017 VCU-Marquette Challenge, raising $340,986, with a record number of returning schools. Since its inception in 1989, 269 schools have participated in the Marquette Challenge and have raised a cumulative total of $3.7 million for the Foundation.

The Foundation wishes to thank physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students from University of Wisconsin – Madison, and University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and Marquette University for raising a total of $21,599 in support of the Challenge. The success of the challenge woul dnot be possible without their contribution.

This top fundraisers include:
• 1st Place: Mercer University
• 2nd Place: Virginia Commonwealth University
• 3rd Place: University of Pittsburgh

As the top fundraiser, Mercer University earned first place by raising $45,220. Mercer University will serve as co-host and won naming rights for next year's Mercer-Marquette Challenge, which is currently underway.

The Challenge annually supports grants, scholarships and the rigorous peer review process which results in the awarding of all Foundation scholarships and grants. Michael Borich, DPT, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Emory University, is the recipient of the $40,000 VCU-Marquette Challenge Research Grant. His 1-year project, "Targeted Neuromodulation of Abnormal Interhemispheric Connectivity to Promote Neural Plasticity and Recovery of Arm Function After Stroke," will study the ability of ihPAS, a promising non-invasive brain stimulation approach, to target a critical pathway contributing to arm dysfunction and persistent disability in stroke. The Challenge also funded a PODS I Scholarship in 2017, which was awarded to Jacob J. Capin, BS, MS, DPT, University of Delaware. His research focuses on better understanding and treating anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries.

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 funded over 22 research grants and scholarships.

Faculty and students of PT and PTA programs in the state of Wisconsin are encouraged to visit the Foundation’s Web site at to learn how they can support the Foundation for Physical Therapy and physical therapy research through the 2017-2018 Mercer-Marquette Challenge. Contributions for the Mercer-Marquette Challenge should be submitted by April 26th, 2018. Donations are tax deductible and can be made online at or sent to its headquarters at 1111 N Fairfax St, Alexandria, VA 22314.

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 38 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $17 million in research grants, fellowships, and post professional doctoral scholarships to more than 590 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.
To learn more, visit

Submitted by Haley Lynam, SPT and Emily Schaefer, SPT

SIG Resources

SSIG Executive Board Chair:

  • Chair: Lindsay Fons, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Vice-Chair: Samuel Schwartz, University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse
  • Secretary: Brad Johnson, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Nominating Chair: Shannon Carpenter, Marquette University
  • Core Ambassador: Caitlin Martin - UW-Milwaukee Class of 2017
  • Core Ambassador Elect: Chris Chism - UW-Madison Class of 2018

Watch The Video!

A big thanks goes to Ryan Lifka (Marquette, Class of 2015) for putting together the video and doing all the editing.

WPTA Program Champions


Superstars Program

The mission of the Superstars program is to recognize students who are doing exceptional work that may otherwise go unnoticed. This program provides the opportunity for professionals, professors or fellow classmates to show admiration for the effort and work that students are doing. All you need to do to nominate a student is click on the link below and fill out the survey (if you choose you can remain anonymous). The Superstars nominated will be notified that they were recognized and be provided with their nomination.

Click Here to Nominate a Student


WPTA Student Scoop

The WPTA Student Scoop is a monthly source for information and opportunities for SPTs and SPTAs in WI. The Scoop also spotlights the incredible things that all the PT/PTA programs are doing in WI. All students and professionals have the opportunity to have an article in the Scoop. Please contact the Core Ambassador at with any feedback or ideas for future stories.


WI PT/PTA Schools

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