Alumni Awards

We celebrate the accomplishments of our alumni with awards for Distinguished Alumni and Emerging Leader. Duke Doctor of Physical Therapy Alumni Association presented the awards to these individuals on February 6, 2021.>

Distinguished Alumni Award 
Blair Packard ’94
Catherine Worthingham Fellow
American Physical Therapy Association

1984–1986: APTA Private Practice Section Board of Directors
1991–1994: American Physical Therapy Association Board of Directors
1998 Arizona Physical Therapist of the Year
1997 Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy President’s Award
1998 APTA Lucy Blair Service Award
2001 APTA Charlie Harker Health Policy Legislative Service Award
2002 Arizona Chapter Humanitarian Services Award
2006 AT Still University Annual Arizona Crystal Award- Community Service
2010 Richard McDougall Long Term Service Award–Federation of State Boards of PT

When I met Blair, he helped me understand and identify future telehealth competencies required for practice and regulation. He continued to mentor me even after our first encounter at FSBPT with his humble approach and demeanor with collaboration, discourse, and mutual respect. Even though I did not know Blair had attended the Duke physical therapy program at the time, in hindsight, I should have guessed that he was a Duke Alumni with his collegial mentorship and professional leadership that has helped so many professionals to advance practice and regulation of physical therapy profession. Mr. Packard has also devoted his time and energy in serving and engaging in sustainable community development in Mozambique, Africa with his wife, Cindy for the past 20 years.”
Alan Lee, Duke PT Class of 1994 & Kyle Covington, Duke DPT Class of 2004

Arizona Chapter–American Physical Therapy Association 
1981–1982: First Vice-President    
1979–1986: Chapter Executive Board
1983–1984 President
1994–1999: Chapter Legislative Committee Chair
Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy
1994–1997: Model Practice Act Task Force Chair
1994–1999: Legislative Committee Chair
1999–2004: President
1994–present: Physical Therapy Provider Network of Arizona- Co-founder, Shareholder, and current Board member of a network of 130 independently owned private physical therapy practices in the state of Arizona

State of Arizona
1997–2000: Appointed by Governor Jane Hull to Interim Study Commission on Regulatory Reform and Enforcement
1987–1991: Arizona Board of Physical Therapy Examiners member
1991:President


Emerging Leader Alumni Award 
Tara Widgins Dickson ‘12
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist
Tufts University School of Medicine
Director of Clinical Education and Assistant Professor

  • 13 peer-reviewed publications and 9 abstracts
  • >15 professional presentations on orthopedics, clinical education, and financial literacy
  • 2019 Education Leadership Conference Education Influencer Award- Outstanding Poster Presentation
  • 2019 Academy of Physical Therapy Education Award- Promotion of Doctor Studies (PODS) II Scholarship
  • 2018 University of North Texas Outstanding Graduate Student
  • 2015 Texas Physical Therapy Association Tom Waugh Leadership Development Program Fellow
  • 2014-15 University of North Texas Higher Education Scholar

“Dr. Dickson embodied the compassion, leadership, and work ethic which garnered respect from other clinicians, educators, and professionals around her. She took a genuine interest in my personal residency experience as well as the education of hundreds of physical therapy students. She went above and beyond to ensure each student felt cared for and gained a valuable experience during every lecture. She also demonstrated passion and perseverance in her time spent as a researcher and she has made an eternal impact in the profession of physical therapy. Dr. Dickson deserves the recognition as a Blue Devil who has gone on to better the lives of patients, colleagues, and students through her hard work and determination.”
Nick Mahaffey, Duke DPT Class of 2019

“As an educator, Dr. Dickson is a living example of the mission of the APTA which is to build a community that advances the profession of physical therapy to improve the health of society.  She is helping to build the community through her work with the advancement of innovative clinical education opportunities and also her service to educating future leaders regarding the power of service to the profession.  She has empowered numerous students to take a bigger role in special interest groups along with taking a larger role in the Texas state association. In addition, she has helped foster broader education of financial literacy among health professionals and medical students through research and grant initiatives.”
Mike Schmidt, Duke DPT Class of 2012