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A student currently enrolled in second-year studies in the Somerset Community College Physical Therapist Assistant Program has been named the recipient of the 2010 Mary McMillan Scholarship Award by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Valarie Cooper of Jamestown will be presented the award at a ceremony at the APTA National Convention and Exposition in Boston, Massachusetts in June. She will also receive the APTAs National PTA Student of the Year Award while attending the conference.

The Mary McMillan Scholarship Award honors Mary McMillan, a dedicated pioneer of physical therapy in the United States and abroad, the founding President of the American Physical Therapy Association, and an esteemed teacher. The intent of the award is to recognize students who exhibit superior scholastic ability and potential for future professional contribution. Awards are made on a competitive basis and recipients are selected based upon superior scholastic performance, past productivity, evidence of potential contribution to physical therapy and service to the American Physical Therapy Association.

Cooper was recognized by the APTA Orthopaedic Section in February as the sections outstanding physical therapist assistant student in San Diego in February. In her acceptance speech, she recognized the efforts of SCC administration and faculty in promoting excellence and in supporting students in their endeavors. She was also recognized by the Sports Physical Therapy Section in a letter of commendation.

In 2009, she was named the recipient of the James H. Anderson Award, a peer-selected award based upon the expectation that the recipient will make a significant and lasting impact upon the physical therapy profession, and in 2010, she was named the recipient of the Total Rehab Award for Outstanding Second-Year PTA Student. She recently received a commendation from the Kentucky House of Representatives for academic excellence, community service, and her commitment to the profession and serves on the SCC PTA Programs Advisory Board. She was elected to serve as President of the SCC Physical Therapy Student Organization and Vice-President of her class and has coordinated many charitable activities in these roles.

Cooper is the second SCC PTA student to be recognized with the award. Jeff Buis of Liberty was the 2009 recipient. The award includes a $3000 scholarship.

Cooper will graduate from the SCC PTA Program this May and has plans to ultimately further her education by obtaining a doctorate of physical therapy degree.

For more information about the SCC PTA Program, please contact the director of the program at