First-Time Experience: Paige Bauer, SPT from Carroll University

Hi there! My name is Paige Bauer and I am a second year, physical therapy student and the 2023 Wisconsin APTA Student Representative at Carroll University. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my first-time experience, in hopes others will join me in this student-led effort to advance our profession. 

One of my professors initially introduced me to the Marquette Challenge and I did some research on the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research website to understand their mission. After learning more about the Foundation while understanding the importance of research in the profession of physical therapy, I knew I wanted to get my school involved in this nationwide, student-led fundraising effort.

To kick-start my school’s participation, I met with our program director, faculty, and business administration to get permission to hold fundraising events and to discuss what type of events we could hold.

I then set up a JustGiving crowd-funding page for our events, which made it easy to handle donations since they are directly sent to the Foundation. This site also allows me to post updates and photos on events to share with registrants and donors.

To make everyone aware of events we were holding, we posted flyers around campus and in local businesses (with permission). In addition, I created an Instagram account to promote our Marquette Challenge events, since social media is a big part of everyone’s daily life.

So far this year, I have worked with faculty and local companies to hold the Give a Toss for PT bags tournament, custom t-shirt sale, and an ethics CEU course. To wrap up the year, I am planning an event called Pay to Play Cookout, where people will pay to participate in a cookout that also includes fun outdoor yard games.

At first this was very overwhelming to tackle as there are a lot of components that go into hosting big events, but it is very rewarding to see a variety of people coming together to learn more about the Foundation while enjoying their time. Leading this fundraising effort has also allowed me to connect and educate undergraduate and graduate students on the importance of physical therapy and why research is needed.

My advice to anyone wanting to get their school involved is to start is by reaching out to faculty and students that would be interested to help by gathering support. It is a lot easier to accomplish large events with the support of others, and it makes the whole process more enjoyable. I also recommend checking out the Marquette Challenge website and student toolkit for steps to get started.

This has been a great experience to be able to advocate for the profession that I am excited to be a part of. Our DPT faculty are also excited to have started this Challenge and are looking forward to holding these events annually. I hope you will join us in this effort!

Give a Toss for PT Bags Tournament

First Place Prizes

Custom T-Shirt Sale

Ethics Continuing Ed. CEU Course