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Nominate an Outstanding Alumni

Alumni nominations for both the Outstanding Alumni and Early Career Alumni Awards will open in January 2025.

Outstanding Alumni Award

The Outstanding Alumni Award is presented to a graduate from any RMU program for their distinguished contributions to their profession and for service to the University or community at large.

The nomination requires a nomination letter, endorsement letter, (if self-nomination) and current resume or curriculum vitae. Self-nominations are permitted. Outstanding Alumni Award Instructions & Requirements

A completed nomination package must be received by the deadline, of the award year, to be considered. The awardee will be recognized at an annual commencement ceremony.

Early Career Alumni Award

The Early Career Alumni Award is presented to a graduate who has been practicing in their profession for no longer than five years at the point of nomination and has demonstrated a drive, passion, and commitment to their profession in advancing healthcare and providing service to the University and community at large.

The nomination requires a, nomination letter, endorsement letter (if self-nomination) and current resume or curriculum vitae. Early Career Alumni Award Instructions & Requirements

A completed nomination package must be received by the deadline, of the award year, to be considered. The awardee will be recognized at an annual commencement ceremony.

Awards Submission Criteria

The following submission criteria must be included with the nomination and will be used in determining the nominee’s qualifications for receiving the award:

  • Nomination letter
  • Endorsement letter from a second individual (if self-nomination)
  • Nominee’s resume or curriculum vitae

The nomination letter and endorsement letter should take into consideration the following factors:

  • Demonstrated ability to inspire and motivate colleagues
  • Demonstrated ability to incorporate evidence-based practice concepts in his/her professional setting
  • Professional accolades and achievements
  • University or community service and other notable acts of service
  • Innovation and engagement in scholarly and/or creative activities in his or her discipline
  • The nominee’s current resume or curriculum vitae addressing the following items should also be submitted:
  • Relevant employment positions and/or business affiliations
  • Activities or organizations
  • Professional associations and activities.
  • Business, professional and civic honors, awards, and achievements
  • Scholarly work including significant publications
  • Research


Alumni Awards Information

  • The award is presented to the recipient during an annual University commencement ceremony
  • The University will cover any necessary air travel and lodging expenses associated with the recipient’s attendance
  • A plaque bearing the recipient’s name and a monetary gift will be presented

This honor carries with it an expectation of conduct worthy to serve as an ambassador of the University. Whereby, the University reserves the right to rescind the award if in the future the recipient’s actions and values are inconsistent with the core values of the University.

Previous Winners

Outstanding Alumni Award Recipients

2024: Nominations Closed

Nominations Closed

Leah I. Fullman, MBA, ScD CCC-SLP, is a graduate of RMU’s Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology (SLPD) program. Dr. Fullman also serves on RMU’s Board of Trustees, using her experience in administration, accreditation, and assessment to serve and help provide oversight to University operations.

In her current leadership position, she’s developing a speech-language pathology school and a College of Health Sciences at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Previously, Dr. Fullman was the Founding Dean of the College of Health Sciences at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama. For seven years at Faulkner, she guided the strategic planning and development of six health science programs and oversaw the construction of an 85,000-square-foot Health Science Center.

Clinically, Dr. Fullman worked for medical centers, private clinics, school districts, and skilled nursing facilities. She served a diverse caseload — from NICU infants to geriatrics. She has shepherded regional and specialty accreditation processes, managed financial planning, acquired grants, and acted as a legal consultant. Dr. Fullman has published and presented widely on topics pertaining to her clinical specialties.

Along with a doctoral degree from RMU, Dr. Fullman earned a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies at California State University, Fullerton; a Master of Science in Communication Disorders and Sciences at Southern Illinois University Carbondale; and a Master of Business Administration at Faulkner University.

Paige Harasha is a Wisconsin native who received her Bachelor of Science from Marquette University and later a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. She is an inpatient hematology and bone marrow transplant PA practicing at Huntsman Cancer Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT. She was recognized earlier this year for outstanding patient care receiving both, “The Key of Huntsman” and 2022 University of Utah APC clinical excellence awards. When not working, Paige loves to spend time with her friends, family and golden retriever, outdoors, hiking, biking, camping, climbing and snowboarding.

Brad Schoenfeld, PhD, CSCS, CSPS, FNSCA, is a professor of exercise science at Lehman College in the Bronx, New York, where he serves as the graduate director of the Human Performance and Fitness program.

Dr. Schoenfeld has published more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific papers on various exercise- and sports nutrition-related topics, and authored the seminal textbook, “Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy.” His research has been cited in over 10,000 peer-reviewed papers and he is currently ranked as the world’s top researcher on the topic of resistance training by ExpertScape, an independent site that grades researchers based on their scholarly activity. He was the recipient of the 2016 Dwight D. Eisenhower Fitness Award, presented by the United States Sports Academy for outstanding achievement in fitness and contributions to the growth and development of sport fitness through outstanding leadership activity, as well as earning the 2018 National Strength and Conditioning Association Young Investigator of the Year Award.

In addition to his academic efforts, he has consulted with numerous professional sports teams and formerly served as Sports Nutritionist for the New Jersey Devils hockey organization.

Mimi Secor, DNP, FNP-BC, FAANP, FANN, received her Nurse Practitioner Certificate and her Master’s degree in Nursing from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts, a Master’s degree in Education from Antioch University in Keene, New Hampshire, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Provo, Utah.

Currently, Dr. Secor is a Senior Faculty with Advanced Practice Education Associates (APEA) in Lafayette, Louisiana, and is a Fellow in both the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and the American Academy of Nursing (AAN). She is a national speaker, educator/entrepreneur, #1 international best-selling author, and health and fitness advocate. She has worked for 43 years as a family nurse practitioner specializing in Women’s Health and more recently health and fitness. She has also published extensively, including her International Best-Selling book, “Debut a New You: Transforming Your Life at Any Age.”

Her commitment to women’s health and her own fitness transformation inspired her to expand her work beyond academia and clinical practice. She empowers women across the globe through education and coaching in women’s health and fitness and is in business with her daughter,a professional bodybuilder and trainer, ( Together, their passion is helping busy, stressed, unhealthy nurse practitioners become healthy and fit, so they can feel better, have more confidence, and be more successful.

Dr. Secor has written and published extensively. Her academic publishing includes co-authoring two textbooks with new editions in 2018: Advanced Health Assessment of Women; Skills and Procedures, and Fast Facts About the Gynecologic Exam for Nurse Practitioners, PAs and Midwives–both by Springer Publishing. In addition, she has years of media experience including her time as a national radio host on ReachMD. She has been a guest on Good Morning America and has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe and many others. She is a frequent guest on various podcasts nationally and internationally and is quoted in numerous articles.

Over the course of Dr. Secor’s professional career, she has received several awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners (MCNP) and the Student Service Award from Rocky Mountain University, both for her contributions to the Nurse Practitioner profession.

Dr. Rebecca Durham Reder, OTD, OTR/L, began her career as an occupational therapist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital 40 years ago, spending the last 32 years as the Senior Clinical Director of the Division of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. Currently Dr. Reder provides strategic direction and leadership for a staff of over 260, representing one of the largest providers of pediatric OT and PT services in the country. She also provides lectures on a national and international level.

Her most recent work includes transforming the culture of her division into an evidence-based practice culture that is focused on improving outcomes for all children served. Through her direction and mentorship, her division has written over 40 clinical practice guidelines and best evidence statements, many of which were ultimately disseminated on the Agency for Healthcare Research Quality (AHRQ) National Guideline Clearinghouse website. The impact of this work has transformed the delivery of pediatric OT and PT interventions for countless patients nationally and internationally. Using objective outcome data and the application of improvement science techniques, she is now working on creating changes that will result in improvements in patient outcomes, patient and family experience, innovation and value not just for individual patients but for diagnosis-specific patient populations.

Dr. Reder has participated in decades of leadership and consultative work at international, regional, and state levels. An overview of this professional service includes advisory board participation for three universities (The Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, and Xavier University). She has served as an expert advisor nationally for the American Occupational Therapy Association and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. On a local level, she has served in several board leadership positions for the Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship organization.

In addition to receiving the 2019 Outstanding Alumni Award at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, Dr. Reder has received the Occupational Therapy Division Outstanding Alumnus Award from The Ohio State, the What Works Award from Health Management Technology, and both the 2018 Patient Services Managing Success Award and the E. W. Edwards Award from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Ronald De Vera Barredo, PT, DPT, EdD, GCS, CCRP is Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee. In his current role, he also serves as Interim Dean in the College of Health Sciences. He has been a physical therapist since 1990 and is a board certified specialist in geriatrics since 1991. Dr. Barredo has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Foreign Credentialing Commission in Physical Therapy (FCCPT) since 2002, to the Tennessee Board of Physical Therapy since 2017, and to the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) since 2015.

Dr. Barredo received the Lucy Blair Service Award in 2018, which honors members whose contributions to the APTA or its components are of exceptional and impactful quality, the Carol Likens Service Award in 2018, which is a state level award presented to a TPTA member who has provided exceptional service to the profession of physical therapy at the state and/or national levels, and the Richard McDougall Long Term Service Award in 2015, which is a national level award that recognizes individuals who have made significant and distinguished contributions to the FSBPT for at least ten years. In addition, the University of the Philippines College of Allied Medical Professions awarded him the CAMP Big 50 Award in 2012, which is an award bestowed to UP CAMP’s top 50 alumni and past or present employees who are pioneers and leaders in the allied health professions, who have impacted the institution and its stakeholders, resulting in positive and lasting changes in the College, University, profession, and the Filipino community. Finally, Dr. Barredo will receive the Mackey Leadership Award from Trevecca Nazarene University this November. The Mackey Leadership Award recognizes an alumnus with a distinguished record of leadership in one’s chosen career.

The recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Alumnus/Alumna Award was Dr. Rhigel Jay Alforque-Tan. A 2011 graduate of our Doctor of Nursing Practice. An Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Dr. Tan was nominated by Robert Granieri and Amelia M. Abello, RN. Some highlights of Dr. Tan’s career and why he was selected include the following-

A public servant, Dr. Tan –

– Founded a mental health non-profit called The Goal Foundation, which raises awareness in decreasing social stigma attached to mental illness, and provides outreach to communities about the biological and genetic component of mental health issues;
– Established a program accredited by the Nevada State Board of Nursing to help jobless Nevadans get back in the work force as Certified Nursing Assistants, whereby, over 200 individuals have been able to rejoin the work force;
– Developed the Nurse Apprentice Program of Nathan Adelson Hospice through a grant from MGM-Mirage Foundation; and,
– Appointed as a member of the Nevada State Board of Nursing by Governor Sandoval in 2011, he currently serves as the board president.

A few of his professional achievements have included –

– Serves as the CEO of iCare Psychiatry in Las Vegas;
– Publications in Peer-Reviewed International journals;
– Regional and National podium presenter of various nursing related topics;
– Successfully lobbied for a state bill which became active in 2013 allowing for autonomous practice for Advanced Practice Nurses; and,
– Opened the first Filipino-American owned psychiatric clinic in Las Vegas.

Dr. Tan has received numerous awards and recognition for his many contributions and service including-

– Achievement Award for Regulatory Excellence presented by the Nevada State Board of Nursing;
– Southern Nevada Health Care Hero Academics award presented by the Nevada Business Magazine and Anthem Blue Cross;
– The Governor’s Award for citizen’s achievement in Cebu City, Philippines;
– 2016 Outstanding Alumni of Cebu Normal University;
– Senatorial Commendation for Cultural Promotion presented by Senator Harry Reed;
– University of Nevada Las Vegas, School of Nursing, Excellence in Faculty Service Award;
– Golden Pearl Award for Professional Achievement as a Registered Nurse, given by the Filipino Heritage Foundation; and,
– Who’s Who in America’s Teacher for Higher Education.

Dr. Myer, a 2010 graduate of the PhD program in Athletic Training, was nominated by Dr. Malissa Martin, Professor and Associate Vice Provost at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions Some highlights of Dr. Myer’s career and why he was selected include the following:

A skilled scientist and accomplished investigator Dr. Myer –

– Raised over 4 million dollars of research grant funding including grants from the National Institute of Health, National Basketball Association and National Football League,
– Authored and co-authored over 200 peer reviewed medical journal articles, books and book chapters focused on the biomechanics of the knee, pediatric sports injuries, injury prevention in sports and concussions; and, his publications have been cited over 8,000 times by other authors,
– Collaborated in a multicenter partnership with three major Children’s Hospitals to study pediatric athletes,
– Served as the ACL Scientific Group International Traveling Scientist and led the authorship team for a 2014 International Consensus Position Statement on youth resistance training, and
– Served as a scientific consultant for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions Institutional Review Board.

A sought after international speaker, teacher and mentor Dr. Myer-

– Served as the Senior Research Advisor for the Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention Center in Waltham, Massachusetts,
– Served as an Advisory Board Member to the Ireland Sports Surgery Clinic Research Foundation,
– Served as a research mentor for over 140 undergraduate, masters and doctoral students from over 40 different universities,
– Provided numerous invited presentations to national and international audiences, and
– Served as a mentor and consultant to coaches across the globe that sought to update their own injury prevention strategies.

Dr. Myer has been the recipient of numerous awards recognizing his research skills and contributions to the scientific literature. A few of his awards include the-

– 2015 American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine O’Donoghue Sports Injury Research Award,
– 2014 Journal of Sports Physical Therapy George J. Davies and James A. Gould Excellence in Clinical Inquiry Award,
– 2013 American Journal of Sports Medicine Systematic Review Award, and
– 2012 Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons Nicolas Andry Award

Dr. Massery, a 2011 graduate of the Doctor of Science in Advanced Neurology, was nominated by Dr. Jane Sweeney, Professor and Graduate Program Director at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions and Dr. Ann Hoffman, Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of Clinical Education at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.

Some highlights of Dr. Massery’s career and why she was selected include the following master clinician and public servant Dr. Massery –

– Owns Massery Physical Therapy in Glenview, Illinois.
– Provides pro-bono clinical care at her “respiratory clinics” in Chicago for pediatric patients with complex medical conditions. Most of these children and families would not otherwise have access to specialized respiratory physical therapy services, and
– Regularly provides free medical advice to colleagues nationwide.

A sought after speaker, teacher and mentor she-

– Has been extremely effective in providing educational contributions and pediatric clinical consultation across a range of highly diverse national and international settings.
– Serves as a Rocky Mountain University faculty member in multiple programs including the Pediatrics Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program, the Pediatrics Doctor of Science Program and the entry level Doctor of Physical Therapy program, and
– Provided 800 invited presentations to audiences in 49 states, 9 Canadian provinces, and 15 countries. The varied topics included –
1. Breathing and postural dysfunction
2. Pediatric medical screening
3. Cystic fibrosis
4. Pectus excavatum
5. Spinal cord injury
6. Pediatric musculoskeletal management, and
7. Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation.

Mary’s clinical skills have been recognized by the American Physical Therapy Association, whereby, she was awarded–

– The 2002 Florence & Henry Kendall Outstanding Clinician award, and
– The 2009 Linda Crane Memorial Lecturer Award recognizing her excellence in clinical practice.

An avid researcher and contributor to the professional literature her scholarly contributions include 17 chapters (in 8 textbooks), 18 peer-reviewed articles, and 8 peer-reviewed abstracts.

2014: Dr. Sonia Paquette

2013: Dr. Phillip J. Plisky

2012: Dr. Caroline Raskiewicz

Outstanding Alumni Award Recipients

2024: Nominations Closed

Nominations Closed

Tim Hughes, PT, DPT, is the owner and CEO of Elevate Physical Therapy clinics in southern Utah. Dr. Hughes graduated from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMU) in 2019 with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. He earned dry-needling certification through the American Academy of Manipulative Therapy.

Dr. Hughes’ post-graduate clinical experience began as a staff physical therapist at the Uintah Basin Medical Center in Roosevelt, Utah, for two years. Following that, he opened and grew his Cedar City, Utah, clinic to three therapists and expanded to a second location in St. George. In his clinics, Dr. Hughes emphasizes providing high-quality, one-on-one work with patients along with providing an improved quality of life for clinicians.

In addition to improving lives through his physical therapy practice, Dr. Hughes is a devoted family man. He and his wife, Stephanie, are proud parents of five young daughters. They live in Parowan, Utah.

While earning a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science at Southern Utah University, Dr. Hughes was Magna Cum Laude and qualified for the Dean’s List in 2015-16. He was a three-sport athlete at Escalante High and played collegiate basketball at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah.

Lisa Dannemiller has been a licensed physical therapist for over 42 years. She graduated in 1980 from the Medical College of Virginia and received a Doctor of Science degree from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in 2005. She was in the first Doctor of Science cohort at RMUoHP, which began in 2000, under the direction of Dr. Jane Sweeney. Dr Dannemiller was certified as a pediatric clinical specialist in 2001, recertified in 2011 and received Emeritus designation in 2021.

She began her career in Virginia, working at a state institution for children and adults with significant disabilities followed by many years of working as an Early Intervention provider in family’s homes. Dr. Dannemiller also worked in school systems in New Mexico and provided out-patient physical therapy in pediatric clinics in Ohio and CO. Her most recent clinical work, for the past 12 years, has been as a member of an infant team with Children’s Hospital CO, evaluating young children suspected of neurodevelopmental disabilities. After 25 years of full-time clinical work, her career as an educator began in 2005 at the University of Findlay, as an adjunct professor. She then joined the University of Colorado Physical Therapy Program in Aurora, CO in 2008 and is now an Associate Professor.

Dr. Dannemiller has participated in several professional service activities, including local, University, Academy of Pediatric PT and APTA work groups and committees. She was a volunteer with the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy for over 10 years as an item writer and exam development team coordinator for the National Physical Therapy Exam. Dr. Dannemiller was the Chair of the Admissions and Recruitment Committee with the University of CO Physical Therapy Program for over 8 years and has been credited with increasing the diversity of physical therapy graduates serving our patients. Her scholarship interests have most recently focused on both holistic admissions processes and improving patient care as the first author on a Clinical Practice Guideline for Children with developmental coordination disorder. Dr. Dannemiller has presented educational sessions in CO, nationally and internationally. In Denver, she has been an organizer for a respite care program for families of children with special needs and she is active with Special Olympics Fun Fitness events.

Dr. Dannemiller will be retiring from the University of CO PT Program in early 2023 but intends to stay active with volunteer and professional activities. She and her amazingly supportive partner will retire in Buena Vista, CO, a small mountain town about 2 hours from Denver, to enjoy the outdoors with their family, friends and chocolate lab.
Dr. Dannemiller credits this award to her mentors, Dr. Ann VanSant, her first pediatrics instructor at the Medical College of Virginia, Dr. Mary Jane Rapport, her friend and mentor at the University of CO Physical Therapy Program, and especially Dr. Jane Sweeney who selflessly guided her to be more than she thought she could be.

Dr. Crystal Miskin, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT received her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from Brigham Young University. After graduating from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in 2017 with her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, Dr. Miskin moved to Southern California and simultaneously entered private practice and began a residency. In 2018, Dr. Miskin completed an orthopedic and manual therapy residency with Kaiser Permanente South Bay (Harbor City, CA). She went on to complete a sports and orthopedic physical therapy fellowship with Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center in 2019. She began RMUoHP’s Ph.D. program with a concentration in sport and human performance in May 2020.

Most of Dr. Miskin’s career has been focused on outpatient and private practice settings. While working in Southern California, she provided pro bono care at the Venice Family Clinic. Dr. Miskin is board certified as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) through the APTA and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy (FAAOMPT). Now, she is working at RMUoHP’s Community Rehabilitation Clinic as the Clinic Director and as an Assistant Professor for the university.

When not at work, Dr. Miskin enjoys playing sports, exploring the outdoors, riding horses, and cooking with her husband.