By Greg Peters, communications coordinator
School of Health Professions
March 25, 2014
A faculty member in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science has been tapped for a national honor by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
The APTA announced March 21 that assistant professor Sandra Billinger, director of the Research in Exercise and Cardiovascular Health (REACH) Laboratory, has been named the organization's 2014 Margaret L. Moore Award for Outstanding New Faculty Member. The award recognizes a new faculty member who is pursuing a career as an academician while demonstrating excellence in teaching and research.
"It is a great honor to receive this award from the American Physical Therapy Association. The award highlights the great support I've received from the University of Kansas Medical Center - specifically the physical therapy department - for my teaching, research and service," Billinger says. "To have colleagues and students write such great letters in support of the work I do is very humbling."
"Being recognized by the APTA not only reflects positively on Sandy, it brings positive attention to the entire KU Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science," says department Chair Lisa Stehno-Bittel. "We are so proud of Sandy and can't wait to celebrate with her when she receives the award at the association's national meeting."
The honorees will be recognized on June 21 at the Honors and Awards Ceremony during the 2014 NEXT Conference and Exposition in Charlotte, N.C. Honorees receive a plaque and $1,500.
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The New Faculty Award was established in 1989 to recognize excellence in teaching and research by a new faculty member. The award is named for Moore, who spent many years as the director of the Division of Physical Therapy at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where she fostered the development of many young faculty members.
"I'd like to thank Dr. Stehno-Bittel and those who wrote letters of support for the nomination package," Billinger says. "I hope that by receiving this award that it draws greater attention to KU Medical Center and our department for having a strong faculty and curriculum for our students in the doctor of physical therapy and Ph.D. programs."
Billinger earned her Bachelor of Science in physical education with a minor in gerontology in 2002 from Fort Hays State University. She received her Master of Science in physical therapy in 2004 from the University of Kansas and her doctorate in rehabilitation science from KU in 2008.
In 2013, Billinger was named chair of the American Heart Association's Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery Committee. Billinger is leading a 10-member committee that represents rehabilitation and recovery professions.
Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science is one of more than 25 academic programs offered by the School of Health Professions. The School is recognized for its highly ranked educational programs as well as the significant research and clinical service it provides in support of the local community and the state.