Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Physical Therapy & Human Movement Sciences

NUPT Student Elected to IPTA Leadership Role

Congratulations to James Babana, NU-DPT Class of 2018, who will serve as the 2016-2017 president of the Student Special Interest Group (SSIG) for the Illinois Physical Therapy Association (IPTA). James was elected by his peers to lead the SSIG which is comprised of over 900 PT and PTA students across Illinois. The group provides a platform for students to communicate, share information and ideas, and participate in the Chapter and Association.

The following interview was featured in the IPTA August 2016 Newsletter, Keeping You Connected.

IPTA: What inspired you to pursue a degree in physical therapy?
Babana: "My education after high school began with massage therapy, and after approximately 3 years in practice I quickly realized that I craved more knowledge and experience! I was inspired to pursue a degree in physical therapy after being introduced to some amazing therapists and role models at my first position as a rehab aide. Those experiences taught me so much about compassion and how we can use physical therapy to intervene and return people to what they love to do most. By choosing to further my education, I wanted to gain leadership experience, new tools for therapeutic intervention, and help others along their rehabilitation process."

IPTA: The newly elected leaders of the SSIG have already spent time this summer being orientated in their roles and holding their first board meeting. As the SSIG President what is the most important initiative you and the SSIG Board are working on?
Babana: "We are currently collaborating with the Illinois Core Ambassador to the APTA Student Assembly to work toward common goals for increasing student participation of both SPT and SPTA membership. It is very exciting work, that I believe will have a significant impact on student involvement! We are all excited about the opportunities to come including supporting APTA’s #ChoosePT campaign and the upcoming October 15th PT Day of Service (PTDOS)."

IPTA: Student membership in the IPTA has been steadily on the rise since 2012. SPTs and SPTAs are witnessing, and benefiting from, the importance of being a part of their professional association. James, the floor is yours – if you had the attention of all the SPT and SPTA Members what message would you like to convey?
Babana: "Let your voices be heard! Hesitation and doubt are damaging to a budding dream. We have so much to offer our society, on a local and national level, that we cannot risk letting our talents and efforts go to waste. Participate on the local and national level and stay informed so that you can all be pillars of wisdom and insight in your communities."