Nominate a Classmate

The Duke Physical Therapy Alumni Association recognizes and honors alumni for outstanding merit with the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Emerging Leader Alumni Award.

Distinguished Alumni Award

Nominations may be submitted online and are accepted from any source, but especially from Duke PT alumni, faculty, staff, and professional peers.

This award is open to any alumnus from the Duke Doctor of Physical Therapy program who graduated ten or more years ago. It is given to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, achievement, and service in advancing healthcare through the physical therapist profession, and in support of the mission and goals of the Duke PT professional program, in one or more of the following ways. Greater consideration will be given to candidates whose background and accomplishments incorporate elements of all three:

  • Expanding and refining the scientific basis for clinical physical therapy practice through research and scholarship
  • Contributing to new models of practice to foster the provision of effective, affordable, and ethical physical therapy care in particular, and/or healthcare in general
  • Contributing significantly to advancing the mission, reputation, and standards of the Duke Doctor of Physical Therapy program


Contact Rosie Canizares, Alumni Relations

Emerging Leader Alumni Award

This award is open to all alumni who have graduated with their first professional physical therapist degree from Duke University within the past 10 years. It will be awarded to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and enthusiasm and made significant contributions to his/her physical therapist profession in one or more of the following ways:

  • Implementing innovative models or programs that contribute to advancing the physical therapist profession and have the potential to positively impact the overall delivery of healthcare in the 21st century
  • Committing to, and promoting, ethical physical therapy practices in the local and/or global community
  • Using their leadership role and skills to advocate for change and clinical advancement in the physical therapist profession

Nomination Process

The deadline for nominations is October 15, 2023. To nominate an individual for either of these awards, please submit the following:

  • A letter of recommendation citing specific reasons why the individual is deserving of the award
  • The nominee's name, year of graduation, and complete contact information
  • The nominee's resume or curriculum vitae
  • OPTIONAL: Up to three supporting letters or documentation. Each supporting letter should be no more than two pages long, and at least one of these must come from outside the current faculty and staff of the program.

Nominations for both awards may be submitted online. You may also email your nominations or send us a note via email if you have any questions. 


The alumni awards will be presented during the 2023 Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association, at the Duke DPT program reception, and Alumni Association annual meeting. Date, time, and room TBD. Recipients will be notified in mid-December, and are responsible for any travel arrangements. Recipients and their guests will be invited to attend. 

Selection Committee

The committee will be comprised of the current elected officers of the Duke PT Alumni Association and up to two alumni or current program faculty members appointed by the current association president.