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SCC PTA Student Wins Two Awards Including National Minority Award and Named APTA National Student of the Year

photo of kyongho pak

A recent graduate of the Somerset Community College Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program has been named the recipient of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Student Assembly’s Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Student Award for 2018.  Kyongho Pak of Lexington will receive the award at the APTA NEXT Conference in Orlando, Florida in June.  Pak is the eleventh SCC student who has won the award.  SCC graduates who have won the award in the past include: Lindsay Bowen of Lexington, 2017; Courtney Watts of Kings Mountain, 2015; Briana Allen of Monticello, 2014; Debbie Lasure of Stanford, 2013; Melissa Keith of Columbia, 2012; Erin Green of Danville, 2011; Valarie Cooper of Jamestown, 2010; Rod Edwards of Somerset, 2009; Bethany Gosser of Liberty, 2008; and Heather Tuel of Somerset, 2007. 

The criteria for the award include academic and clinical performance, community service and contributions to the physical therapy profession.  Faculty members Ron Meade and Steve Hammons supported his nomination.

Pak has also been named the recipient of the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) Minority Scholarship Award for 2018.  Kyongho Pak of Lexington will also receive the award at the APTA NEXT Conference in Orlando, Florida in June. Pak is the third SCC student who has won the award.  His nomination was supported by PTA Program faculty members Ron Meade and Steve Hammons and by Cruz Romero of Phoenix, Arizona.

Pak served as president of his class and of SCC’s Physical Therapy Student Organization.  He was elected to serve nationally as the APTA Student Assembly’s Director of Student PTA Relations and has attended every major national APTA Conference since being admitted to the program.  He has also represented the state twice at the Federal Advocacy Forum in Washington, DC.  He was previously named the national Outstanding PTA Student Award recipient by the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy and received the APTA’s Minority Scholarship Award.     In 2017, he was named to the KPTA All-Academic Team and received the Student Leadership Award at SCC’s Honors Night. He is a peer mentor and tutor, is an active member of the Kentucky Physical Therapy Association (KPTA), and was named to the 2017 KPTA/Rehab Care All-Academic Team.  He presently serves as the national student liaison for the APTA’s Student Assembly Board of Directors to the Physical Therapy Political Action Committee (PT-PAC).

Pak has been active in a number of charitable and community service activities including raising awareness of homeless issues through conducting food and clothing drives for a local homeless shelter; assisting with free health screenings for athletes at the Kentucky Special Olympics; and participating in activities to support research through the Foundation for Physical Therapy. He has volunteered for efforts including the 2016 Bourbon Chase, the Special Olympics, Shoes4Kids, and PT Day of Service.  He has also participated in fundraisers for physical therapy research through the Marquette Challenge, with SCC being named the top fundraising PTA Program in the United States.

Pak graduated from the SCC PTA Program in May and is a native of Lexington, Kentucky. He is the son of Max Pak and Christy Smith and is married to Ashley Pak. He plans to work for KORT Physical Therapy in the Lexington area and plans to obtain a doctorate degree in physical therapy. 

For more information about the SCC PTA Program or the application process, contact the program’s director, Ron Meade at