Every year a new group of students are elected as the Student Physical Therapy Association Executive Board officers. The board’s role is to organize meetings to form student committees, plan events and serve as faculty liaisons for their class.
Get to know this year’s class of 2023 SPTA officers.
Keaton Yaw, SPTA President
I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. As a kid, I saw my dad go to PT for his low back troubles, and then grew up and had to go myself for knee issues. The environment and flow really connected with me, and it was something I have been hooked on ever since. As President, I would like to bring our class closer to each other even during times when we barely get face-to-face contact. Uniting our class has been the goal of my SPTA career so far. I’d also like to provide a roadmap for next year’s class to help navigate the transition into this professional program. Finding my groove early on was key, and I want to do my best to help the incoming class find their own.
Simone Norman, SPTA Vice President
I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology from the University of Florida. I LOVE the thought of being a health professional who gets to spend quality time with patients and gets to know them in such a vulnerable way. I wanted to be a part of the SPTA to help create a positive class culture within the program. I want to help create a safe space where students are encouraged to have courageous conversations or bring ideas to the table to help cultivate an open and positive culture. As Vice President, I would love to implement a mental health day that implements mindfulness activities and ensures that we’re not only supported academically, but also mentally.
Alyssa Brooks, SPTA Secretary
I graduated from UF with a degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology. I’ve always had a passion for physical fitness and the human body, which led me to exercise science when I got to college. Being a part of a person’s journey to optimal physical health is such a rewarding experience I have been able to witness through my volunteer and internship opportunities, and I can’t wait to make that difference myself in the future. I wanted to be in SPTA because I enjoy being a leader and voice for my class. I want to create effective communication between our class and faculty to ensure everyone’s voice is heard.
Ali Austin, SPTA Treasurer
I graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in exercise science and a minor in exercise and sports nutrition. I love PT because of the close relationships they make with their patients. PT is such a rewarding career and I love how empowering and impactful our care has on our patients. I have always loved the healthcare profession, but I specifically love how PTs become a part of the patient’s social support. As a future PT, it is truly amazing to know that my care will help my patients regain their independence, confidence, and quality of life. As the Treasurer, I hope to bring the student community together and create a supportive and positive environment for our class. The relationships we build today can translate into a professional network that helps us support our fellow gators for many years.