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CCAC Physical Therapist Assistant student presented with state leadership award

Alysse Dambrot with award and PTA professorsPITTSBURGH­­—Alysse Dambrot, of the Bridgeville area, a student in the Community College of Allegheny County’s Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program, has received the American Physical Therapy Association Pennsylvania Chapter (APTA PA) Student Leadership Award. The award, which recognizes a student for facilitating and mentoring leadership skills and encouraging membership in the organization was presented Oct. 23 at APTA PA’s MovePA conference, held at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh. Annually, two outstanding students from the 19 physical therapy programs and 18 physical therapist assistant programs in the state are selected to receive the award. Dambrot was nominated by CCAC Physical Therapist Professor and Program Coordinator Dr. Norman Johnson. 

“Alysse’s personal initiative, leadership, community service and professional contributions make her an exemplary role model for fellow students to emulate,” said Johnson. “She has consistently demonstrated her limitless potential for future contributions to the health care workforce and health care advocacy service to the community.”

Alysse Dambrot receiving award Dambrot is a second-year student in the PTA Program at CCAC Boyce Campus. She was elected by her peers as the Student Physical Therapy Association president for the Class of 2022, and she serves as the PTA student representative for the Southwest District of the APTA PA. Dambrot has actively supported and participated in APTA PA sponsored events, such as the group’s Special Olympics of Pennsylvania FUNfitness screenings in June. She and Class of 2021 President Melissa Sell worked together to coordinate classmates and participate in the Virtual American Heart Association Walk and the Virtual Alzheimer’s Walk earlier this year. They also coordinated the collection of Thanksgiving food items for Help Give Thanks, which provides full Thanksgiving dinners to 60 local families in need. Other service projects in which she has participated include a spring clothing drive, a food drive for the CCAC Boyce Campus Cupboard, and a Boyce Park Cleanup Day. In addition, Dambrot is the student representative on the Perkins Career and Technical Education Grant Stakeholders Advisory Committee, and she worked with PTA program faculty during interactive sessions for high school students enrolled in the CCAC Healthcare Careers Academy summer program.

Dambrot is the eighth recipient of the Student Leadership Award from the PTA Program at CCAC, which is the only program out of the 37 accredited programs in the state to have eight students honored with the award since its inception in 2010. Johnson explained that this outstanding achievement rate is thanks to the program faculty, including three adjunct faculty who are also alums of the program—one of whom, Rebecca Shakoske, won the award in 2013. All of the faculty members strive to identify potential student leaders, challenge them, mentor them and lead by example.  

Learn more about the CCAC Physical Therapist Assistant program

CCAC PTA professors Dr. Norm Johnson (left) and Dr. Stephen Bannister (right) congratulate Alysse Dambrot at the conference.

Dr. Colleen Chancler, APTA PA president, presents Alysse Dambrot with the APTA PA Student Leadership Award at the MovePA Conference on October 23, 2021.