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SCC Student and Stanford Native Named American Physical Therapy Association National Student of the Year, McMillan Scholarship Recipient

Debbie LasureDebora Lasure, a student currently enrolled in second-year studies in the Somerset Community College Physical Therapist Assistant Program has been named the recipient of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) National Physical Therapist Assistant Student of the Year Award for 2013.  Lasure, of Stanford, will receive the award at the APTA Annual Conference and Exposition in Salt Lake City, Utah this June.

This is the seventh year in a row that a SCC student has won the award.  SCC graduates who have won the award in the past include: Melissa Keith of Columbia in 2012; Erin Green of Danville in 2011; Valarie Cooper of Jamestown in 2010; Rod Edwards of Somerset in 2009; Bethany Gosser of Liberty in 2008; and Heather Tuel of Somerset in 2007. 

The criteria for the award include academic and clinical performance, community service and contributions to the physical therapy profession.  Her nomination was supported by faculty members Ron Meade, Steve Hammons and Claudette Prather and by Dr. Sam Brown, PT, of Monticello.

Lasure has been highly visible on SCC’s campus and in her community.  She serves as treasurer of her class and vice-president of SCC’s Martial Arts Club, and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honorary.   She was the recipient of the prestigious Lake Cumberland Auxiliary Scholarship and the Fergus-Hanson Memorial Scholarship.  As a former preschool aide, she developed two programs in college that assisted and encouraged students: the Back2School4Kids Program, providing backpacks, school supplies, clothing and shoes to needy children in a three-county area; and Design Your Future, an art and essay competition for elementary school children to encourage consideration of college at earlier ages.  

In addition, Lasure has volunteered for a number of community service projects and fundraisers, including serving as the student co-chair for SCC’s participation in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk.  Other activities included volunteering to assist with free health screenings at the Kentucky Special Olympics, fundraising for the March of Dimes and assisting with the Bourbon Chase.

Lasure represented the college at the 2012 APTA National Conference where she accepted the Most Outstanding PTA Program Award from the Foundation for Physical Therapy as SCC’s top fundraiser for physical therapy research.  In 2013, she received the APTA Section on Geriatrics Outstanding Student Award in San Diego.  She has also served as Kentucky’s Core Ambassador to the APTA Student Assembly and, in this role, facilitated the funding of APTA memberships for students from each of Kentucky’s physical therapy educational programs. 

Lasure has also been named the recipient of the APTA’s highest honor for PTA students, the Mary McMillan Scholarship Award.  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 APTA, 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 APTA.  The scholarship amount is $3,000.   

Lasure will graduate from the SCC PTA Program this May and has plans to ultimately further her education by obtaining a higher degree.  She is the daughter of James and Emma Meade of Stanford and is married to Jeff Lasure.  She has two children, Ashley and Josh.

For more information about the SCC PTA Program, please contact the director of the program at ron.meade@kctcs.edu.