Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Alumna named Outstanding Physical Therapy StudentBy Rebecca Wyatt Thomas, OU Web Writer
Oakland University Alumna Erin Brosko, DPT ’06, was named by the American Physical Therapy Association’s 2007 Outstanding Physical Therapy Student. As a student, she made it her goal to connect students to the profession of physical therapy.
“We were told in schools that we needed to be involved, but there was no way to get involved,” Brosko said. “I was part of a group of students that came together to change that.”
Brosko served on the Michigan Physical Therapy Association Student Relations Committee, educating students about becoming an MPTA member. She also helped start up the Student Conclave after it was inactive for 10 years. The event brought 200 students and 40 vendors together.
“There are 15 programs across the state but nothing to bring them together,” Brosko said. “We created the Student Conclave, a one-day conference for students to learn about all the different areas of physical therapy from guest lecturers from around the state and nation.”
Brosko came to Oakland University to complete her graduate coursework after doing her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan.
“Oakland has one of the top physical therapy programs in the country. The phenomenal faculty provides a high-quality education,” Brosko said.
While at Oakland, Brosko saw a need for physical therapy students to connect to each other. She helped develop the Graduate Student Physical Therapy Association (GSPTA).
“We were looking for a way to unify all of the physical therapy students at Oakland,” Brosko said. “Through the GSPTA, we participated in the Relay for Life, hosted guest lecturers, helped out at the Special Olympics, sent students to the Student Conclave and had information tables in the Oakland Center and the Rec Center.”
In addition, the GSPTA responded to a need after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast in 2005. The students collected items the victims would need, and working with “Hands of Light in Action,
] the GSPTA sent students to the area to work in clinics for two weeks.
“The GSPTA turned out to be a great way to get all of the physical therapy students together to talk about the issues we were facing, but also to help others,” Brosko said.
Brosko also serves on the Board of Advisers for the University of Michigan Dance Marathon, a non-profit organization that raises money for children’s rehabilitation.
Brosko said she didn’t do any of these things looking for praise — she did them because she saw a need.
“Receiving the Outstanding Physical Therapy Student was kind of a shock. There are so many other qualified students out there. It’s nice to be recognized, but I certainly didn’t do any of this to be recognized,” Brosko said. “I’m glad it’s giving me the opportunity to draw attention to the organizations I have been a part of. I want students to get involved in the community and the school and make a difference. There are many opportunities out there; you just have to take advantage of them. That’s what I did.”
Brosko, who graduated in December, is relocating to Washington, D.C. with her husband and she will be working for the Children’s National Medical Center in pediatric physical therapy.