Posted by vanessa on July 24, 2017
By Claire Hamnett, CUDPT 2019
Columbia students were a strong presence at the most recent APTA NEXT conference in Boston June 21st – 24th. Four Columbia students earned volunteer positions - Julia Rosenthal 17’, Hung Trinh 18’, April Shaiu 18’, and Claire Hamnett 19’. They assisted with the mobile app help desk, served as chairpersons for individual sessions, checked in research posters, and guided attendees to their destinations, among other tasks, in order to ensure that conference attendees made the most out of their experiences.
Volunteering at national conferences is a great way to give back to our profession, while also making invaluable connections with other volunteers and conference attendees. To volunteer at these conferences is to become a part of what makes them so worthwhile. I attended national conferences in my first year of PT school, but NEXT was the first one at which I was able to volunteer.
I love conferences for their networking and educational opportunities – they always remind me why I’m working so hard in school. However, volunteering at NEXT added another dimension to the conference experience for me, and I made amazing friendships and connections that I hope will continue. Helping others to optimize their time in Boston in turn helped me to make the most out of my own experience.
Pictured above from left to right at the NEXT conference in Boston: Hung Trinh 18’, Jef Fox 16’,
Anna Duffey 18’, Claire Hamnett 19’, and April Shiau 18’. Hung and April are sporting their volunteer shirts
after a shift.