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Kaela Burge-Beckley Selected for KPTA All-Academic Team

West Kentucky Community and Technical College physical therapist assistant student (PTA), Kaela Burge-Beckley, is one of two WKCTC students to be selected to the 2013 Kentucky Physical Therapy Association AllAcademic Team (KPTA).

The KPTA partnered with RehabCare to select the students from Kentuckys PTA and Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs.

Only three Kentucky institutions placed more than one student on the 2013 All-Academic Team. Beckley of Madison County joins fellow PTA student Amanda Boyd of McCracken County, KY, as two of only nine students selected for the award.

Beckley attended the University of Evansville (UE) where she earned a bachelors degree in athletic training and exercise science in 2011. But she wanted more.

In order to be more marketable and give me the option of the business hours job that athletic training is not, I wanted to go somewhere other than UE, but not too far from Evansville. So, fate would bring me to WKCTC and the Paducah area. Very few programs begin coursework in the spring semesters, are flexible to and respectful of prior education and offer a complete course scheme, Beckley said. But the PTA program in Paducah was a good match for everything I was looking for.

Beckley said being selected for the KPTA All-Academic Team is an honor, and is encouraging because students are reminded that hard work in coursework needs to be supplemented with involvement in local and American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) happenings. We are the future of the physical therapy profession, responsible for exceptional practice and a display of understanding of our rightful place in the healthcare system, Beckley added.

Students are chosen for the competitive team based upon academic and clinical performance, extracurricular, campus and community service activities, participation in physical therapy-related activities and organizations, and a personal statement discussing the students career goals and the importance of being an advocate for the physical therapy profession.

Beckley lead the fundraising for the colleges PTA program in the Pittsburg/Marquette Challenge where programs raise money for physical therapy research and served as student liaison for the student APTA portion of KPTA. She was also a work-study student in the WKCTC financial aid office and played on the colleges intramural volleyball team.

Beckley looks forward to graduating from the colleges PTA Program in December. My goal is to combine athletic training and physical therapy in order to provide the best care for athletes and active people, Beckley said. She will reside in Evansville following graduation with her future husband (shes getting married in December too) and hopes to work in area high schools and clinics.

This years recipients also include: Jimmy Crick, Bellarmine University DPT Program; Shawn Frazee, Somerset Community College PTA Program; Samantha Grubb, Somerset Community College PTA Program; Sarah Beth Martin, University of Kentucky DPT Program; Kirby Mayer, University of Kentucky DPT Program; Megan Oleksa, Jefferson Community and Technical College PTA Program; and Avery T. Schroyer, University of Kentucky DPT Program.

Members of the KPTA All-Academic Team will be recognized at the KPTA Fall Conference in Lexington and will receive cash scholarships from RehabCare, a leading provider of rehabilitation services, including physical, occupational and speech therapies. Thirty-eight students have been recognized through the program since its inception in 2010.
For information about the 2014 KPTA All-Academic Team, contact the KPTA Chapter Student Liaison at