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Centennial Scholars Program

2021 Centennial Scholar

Marybeth Wilson, Dillon Montana


The APTA Centennial Scholars Program is designed to build a cadre of future association leaders at both the chapter/section/academy and national levels. Demonstrating APTA’s investment in the sustainability of the association as it begins its next 100 years, the program will support our collective quest for a diverse and prepared leadership pool.

The 12-month program will run throughout 2021 with a goal of engaging 100 scholars, including the goal of at least one scholar sponsored by each of APTA’s chapters, sections, and academies. The curriculum will cover association leadership and management topics and be delivered through three face-to-face meetings and regularly scheduled virtual learning experiences.

Additionally, scholars will work directly with their APTAMT to design and complete a capstone project that addresses an existing need as determined by the sponsor. Scholars will also benefit from the guidance of Centennial Scholar mentors who will work directly with the scholars in small groups to support the completion of their projects.

Program Curriculum (subject to change)

  • Essential association leadership skills
  • Strategic planning
  • The future of associations; challenges all associations will face
  • Delivering value to members
  • Mission and vision and why these things are important
  • Board roles and responsibilities for non-profit organizations
  • Individual capstone projects

Benefits for Scholars

  • Expand awareness of issues and challenges facing APTA, APTAMT, and the association community
  • Increase leadership skills and recognize arenas in which unique contributions may be applied
  • Make an immediate positive impact through their capstone projects
  • Network with fellow APTA and APTAMT leaders on a personal and professional level

Scholar Expectations (2021 program)

  • Scholars should demonstrate a commitment to being a future leader, staying active within APTAMT for at least 3-5 years.
  • Scholars must commit to attend the three in-person events; scholar travel and lodging is included in the program fees paid by APTAMT in collaboration with APTA.
    • January 16, 2021: First meeting of scholars and mentors during Founders Day Weekend (Changed to Virtual Mtg due to Covid-19)
    • April 2021 (exact date TBD): Second meeting of scholars and mentors at APTA’s new headquarters (Alexandria, VA)
    • September 12, 2021: Third meeting of scholars and mentors during Centennial Gala Weekend (Washington, DC
  • Participation in regularly scheduled virtual learning experiences
  • Scholars will work directly with APTAMT to identify and complete a capstone project that addresses an existing need or current strategic priorities as determined by APTAMT.
    • The capstone must be completed by the end of the Centennial year
    • The capstone will be a project of sufficient depth or breadth that multiple hours of engagement are required for completion
    • An average commitment on the scholar’s part of no more than 2-3 hours per month over the course of the year
    • An outcome or ‘deliverable’ that serves the component in some way while also contributing to the development of the scholar
  • Scholars will have the guidance of a Centennial Scholar mentor who will work directly with the scholars in small groups to support the completion of their projects.

    Application Deadline

    We are anticipating an announcement from APTA about continuing this leadership training program in 2022 or 2023.


    Eligibility and Application Requirements for 2021 program

        • Be a current PT, PTA, or student member in good standing of the APTA and APTA MT at the time of application and throughout the 2021 Centennial year.
        • Attend three mandatory in-person events [expenses paid by APTA and APTA MT] and regularly scheduled virtual meetings. The in-person events are currently scheduled for:
            • January 15, 2021, New York, NY (changed to virtual due to Covid-19)
            • April 2021 [exact date TBD] in Alexandria, VA
            • September 12, 2021 in Washington, DC
        • Commit to developing and completing a capstone project in collaboration with APTA Montana, which may extend beyond 2021. It’s our intention to work with the successful applicant to finalize the scope of the capstone project between September 20 and December 31, 2020.
            • Capstone project examples:
                  • Increase membership engagement in APTA MT Chapter;
                  • Establish more networking opportunities among PTs, PTAs, and students;
                  • Increase community awareness of the benefits of physical therapy and the APTA MT Chapter;
                  • Candidates will be encouraged to suggest their own project ideas.
        • Intention to serve as a volunteer leader in APTA MT for three to five years following the APTA Centennial year.
        • Preference will be given to current or past APTA MT volunteers.
        • Preference may be given to applicants who are within 10 years of graduating from their PT or PTA program.
        • Submit a completed application by the application deadline.

    Application Materials

    Please submit a letter in Word or PDF Format with the following information and answers:

    • (Required) Contact Informaton:
      • Email address
      • First and Last Name
      • Designations
    • (Required) Please respond to each of the following: 250-300 words per answer
    1. What has sparked your interest in representing APTA Montana as Montana's Centennial scholar?
    2.  In what active role do you visualize yourself helping to grow within APTA Montana? How do your past leadership development experiences contribute to this?
    3. How will your project add value to APTAMT and its members upon completion?
    4. Considering the unique healthcare challenges and opportunities in Montana, how do you envision APTA Montana from 2021 and beyond?

    Please include:

    • (Required) Resume or CV detailing educational, professional, and volunteer service experience.
    • (Desired but not mandatory to include): Two references (not letters of recommendation) from people familiar with your potential for future professional leadership, at least one of which can also speak to your ability to commit to and successfully complete a substantial project.

    Please submit information to the APTA MT office at mapta@mapta.com by (Future dates TBA, 2022 or 2023)


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