Students in the Division of Physical Therapy have received honors from the 2016-2017 Foundation for

DPT Class of 2017 members from left to right Megan Schilter, Hannah Leshin, Kristen Ignaszewski and Brennan Ehlinger.

Physical Therapy’s VCU-Marquette Challenge for their fundraising efforts; the challenge is an annual initiative to support new investigators in the field of physical therapy research. UNC-Chapel Hill physical therapy students sponsor an annual golf tournament to support the challenge.

UNC-CH students received the Award of Excellence for raising a total of $10,100 during the 2016-2017 challenge season. Additionally, the division will join the Cornerstone Society of the Foundation’s Marquette Challenge Philanthropy Circle, which acknowledges a cumulative fundraising total of more than $50,300 in addition to 10 years or more of dedication to the Foundation through the challenge. Students will be recognized for their achievements at the annual PT NEXT conference, to be held June 22 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Deborah Givens, director of the Division of Physical Therapy, praised this year’s physical therapy students for their extraordinary accomplishment.

“This year’s leaders, Hannah Leshin, Kristen Ignaszewski, and Molly Miller, and their classmates set a new bar for philanthropy by raising more money than any UNC-CH student group in the past,” Givens said. UNC-CH’s typical donation to the challenge is about $3,000 to $3,500. Once they realized they could join the Philanthropy Circle by raising $10,000, students became determined to meet the goal in one year, and they did.”

UNC-CH physical therapy students join 143 other schools that participated in the challenge; three schools reached the Award of Excellence level.

Since the challenge’s inception, 264 schools have raised more than $3.3 million for physical therapy research.

The 2017 golf tournament will be held Friday, September 29 at the Golf Club at Chapel Ridge in Pittsboro, North Carolina.