Student Physical Therapy Association
The Sacred Heart University Physical Therapy Association is a graduate student funded and operated Organization established by the Physical Therapy students of Sacred Heart University to function as the representative advocate and resource for all members of the Sacred Heart University physical therapy graduate population. The Student Physical Therapy Association shall pursue continuous improvement of all aspects of the graduate physical therapy education and University life experience through open dialogue and constructive and positive interaction within all areas of the University community.
In keeping with the philosophy, overall mission and traditions of Sacred Heart University, the Student Physical Therapy Association shall seek to embrace all physical therapy students and encourage participation and development within Sacred Heart and local communities.
SPTA Officers 2016
Robert Mahlman, President, is a member of Sacred Heart University DPT class of 2017 and is originally from Bronxville, NY. Rob graduated from Sacred Heart University with a B.S. in Exercise Science in 2014. He is very excited to be involved with the SPTA while completing his doctorate in physical therapy. Rob has always had a desire to help people and work with his hands. He feels that physical therapy is a profession that allows him to push himself each day and constantly adapt to new ways of thinking. Rob looks to pursue a career in either orthopedics or neurology. In his free time Rob enjoys mountain biking, photography, the outdoors, and spending time with friends and family.
Lany Wenke, External Liaison, is a second-year DPT student at Sacred Heart University, Class of 2017. She received her B.S. in Exercise Science from High Point University in 2012. After she working for two years as a Personal Trainer for individuals with neurological injuries she decided to pursue a career in Physical Therapy. Lany is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association and enjoys attending local and national conferences. She hopes to one-day return to her hometown of Philadelphia to pursue her passion of working with patients with spinal cord injuries and volunteer for adaptive wheelchair sports programs. In her free time she enjoys running, training for half marathons, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Alexandra Swoyer, Treasurer is a second year DPT student at Sacred Heart University. She grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts and received her B.A in Health Sciences from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA in 2012. Alex worked as an a physical therapy aide at an outpatient orthopedic clinic in Boston, MA for two years between her undergraduate and graduate education. She is very interested in working with patients with neurological disorders in her future clinicals and career. In her free time she enjoys cheering on the Boston Red Sox and spending time with friends and family.
Emily Dolan, Secretary is a second year DPT student from Hamilton, New Jersey. She graduated from Duquesne University in 2014 with a BS in Athletic Training. She enjoyed working with an active and athletic population and chose to further her education by attending Sacred Heart University for her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She is excited to work with other populations as she moves through her clinical experiences at SHU. In her free time Emily enjoys reading, being at the beach, watching movies, and spending time with family & friends.
Lindsay Aponte, Marquette Challenge Representative, is a second-year DPT student from West Islip, NY. She graduated from SHU in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and a minor in Psychology. She has always had a passion for working with children and hopes to pursue a career in pediatric physical therapy. Lindsay is looking forward to planning fun events for her classmates with the hope to fundraise and promote physical therapy research through the Marquette Challenge.
Anna Acciarino, Marquette Challenge Representative is a second year DPT student who completed the 4+3 program at Sacred Heart University for her undergraduate degree with a B.S. in Athletic Training. She is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association, as well as the National Athletic Training Association. In high school, she had fallen in love with the physical therapy profession while volunteering at an orthopedic outpatient clinic. She really enjoys working with children and hopes to be a pediatric physical therapist after graduation. In her free time, she loves tap dancing, spending time with her family, and traveling.
Lindsey McAlonan, Junior Secretary is currently in the SHU DPT class of 2018 and is am from Victoria, Kansas. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from University of Kansas. Between her undergraduate and graduate education she worked at University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas as a mobility aide/PT technician for one year. In her free time she enjoys watching the KU Jayhawks play basketball, cheering on the Denver Broncos during football season and working out to be active. As she embarks on this journey through PT school she is excited to be a representative of SPTA, grow in her catholic faith, and learn the profession she is passionate about.
Susie Collins, Junior External Liaison, is a first year DPT student. Susie graduated from the University of Vermont with a BS in Exercise and Movement Science in 2014. During her time there, Susie enjoyed going for hikes and enjoying the beautiful scenery. Susie is originally from Florida, NY and is excited to be starting a new chapter here at Sacred Heart University. She is hopes to one day pursue a career as a pediatric physical therapist.
Erika Doyle, Junior Treasurer, is a first year DPT student. She graduated undergraduate from Sacred Heart University with a BS in Exercise Science. Her interest in physical therapy was sparked at a young age from playing competitive sports and learning all that there is to body mechanics, injury and rehabilitation. She continued to learn from the athlete perspective but also began volunteering in the clinical setting to get a therapist’s outlook. In her spare time, Erika continues to participate in recreational sports and loves to travel. Her goals for after graduation include; completing the nationwide mlb stadium visits, working for a major league sports team and spending time at The Hospital for Special Surgery.
Sean Walsh, Vice President, is a first year PT student from Steep Falls, Maine. Sean graduated from Sacred Heart University with a B.S. in Exercise Science in 2015 before continuing on to pursue his Doctoral degree. Sean has always been interested in health and fitness, and found enjoyment in athletics. Coming out of high school this lead to an initial decision to be a Physical Therapist which has only grown deeper and more enjoyable for him as his education has continued. He has since then developed his skills at many locations including most recently, an internship at PriMed Physical Therapy under Ed McKiernan in the fall of 2015. Sean continues to play hockey at a recreational level and remains active with his friends and community in both volunteer and athletic capacities.
Scott Sheehan, Marquette Challenge Representative, is a first year DPT student from Beverly, Massachusetts. He graduated from Sacred Heart University class of 2015 with an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science. He first found interest in physical therapy after a series of sports injuries throughout high school. He plans to pursue the sports medicine/orthopedic route. He is also a member of the men’s track and field team as a javelin thrower.
Pre-Physical Therapy Club
The association's aim is to provide pre-physical therapy students with information on the graduate program, volunteer opportunities and to set up a mentorship with graduate level students.
For more information or to join, contact:
Donna M. Bowers, PT, DPT, MPH, PCS
Clinical Associate Professor/Chair