sSIG Leadership Team

Meet our 2017 sSIG Leadership Team!


15841083_1276664442391079_737311637_nAlan Fredendall is a 3rd year DPT student at the University of Michigan-Flint. He has previously served as the treasurer of the DPT Student Association at his school as well as a class officer on numerous occasions. He has been involved with the creation of a Neurological sSIG at his school that follows that AAOMPT Student Local (ASL) program already established by the University of Michigan-Flint. Alan is a big proponent of interdisciplinary teamwork and has served as a Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA) with the School of Nursing during his 2nd and 3rd year of PT school. Prior to PT school, Alan served in the United States Army for 8 years as an infantryman, intelligence analyst, and unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) operator. He continues to work as a clinical exercise physiologist while in school, working in an outpatient clinic with an emphasis on geriatric strength & conditioning.

Alan’s goals for 2017 are to increase awareness, interest and involvement by DPT students within AAOMPT and the AAOMPT sSIG through increased fundraising efforts to send more students to the annual conference in Salt Lake City than ever before as well as expanding the reach of the AAOMPT Student Local (ASL) program. Alan is interested in meeting YOU at CSM 2017 in San Antonio or AAOMPT 2017 in Salt Lake City. He is also available by e-mail and phone/text to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Contact Alan:

Vice President


Neil Burnett is excited and honored to serve as the Vice President of the AAOMPT sSIG. He is a 2nd year physical therapy student at the University of Utah. He is a Montana native who re-located to Utah during his high school years. He graduated with his Bachelors in Human Performance Management with a minor in Spanish from Weber State University in Ogden, UT.

Neil’s most recent work experience other than physical therapy related has been in university student recruitment. He served as the president of a group of student recruiters called the WSU Student Ambassadors. His favorite hobby is jamming out on his Gibson acoustic guitar. He is passionate about community involvement and living simple now so you can live large later. His career goals are to specialize in sports medicine and fine-tune his manual therapy skills.

Neil’s goals for this position include increasing AAOMPT student membership by increasing student membership benefits. Increased membership benefits would include a discount to Medbridge continuing education, conference discounts and increased professional development opportunities for students.

Contact Neil:

Website Administrator


Melissa Buehler is a 3rd year DPT student at East Tennessee State University (ETSU).  She is currently the Vice President of ETSU’s AAOMPT Student Local Program and loves serving as our Website Administrator.  Melissa recently completed a 2-year Interprofessional Education Program at ETSU and believes that an interdisciplinary model of healthcare is one solution to our healthcare crisis. She aspires to open an Interprofessional Health Clinic in Asheville, NC one day.  In her free time, she loves to run, climb, ski and teach yoga.

Melissa plans to continue the “Featured Fellow Program” and to make this blog one of the most consistent blogs for SPTs with weekly posts. She will provide cutting-edge knowledge with guidance from our fellows in order to improve our clinical reasoning skills and prepare us to be leaders in the field of healthcare.

Contact Melissa:


paigePaige Williams is a 2nd year DPT student at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She grew up in Lakewood, Colorado and graduated from Carroll College in Helena, Montana with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and Biology. She is the founder and President of the AAOMPT sSIG Local Group at the University of Colorado and is excited to join the AAOMPT sSIG leadership team. In her free time Paige enjoys skiing, mountain biking, backpacking and playing soccer.

Paige is excited to reach out to schools around the country to expand AAOMPT Student Local (ASL) and help students form their own school based clubs. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to her with any questions regarding student local groups or how to getting involved!

Contact Paige:

fordstephenheadshotStephen Ford is a 2nd year DPT student at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Spending all his life in the Lone Star State, Stephen played football at Texas A&M University-Commerce where he graduated with a BS in Human Performance. He is the current President of the AAOMPT sSIG Local Chapter at Texas Tech. Additionally, he serves as an ambassador for the TTUHSC President’s Office. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at the rec, playing golf, and relaxing with friends. Stephen is also a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength & Conditioning Association.

Stephen looks forward to expanding the reach of the AAOMPT with his position. His focus will be on establishing new AAOMPT Student Local (ASL) chapters that will further promote orthopaedic manual therapy across the nation. He is looking forward to a great 2017 and serving you! Please feel free to reach out with any questions you have about organizing an ASL at your university.

Contact Stephen:

Conference Chair

jamesJames Wilks is currently a 2nd year DPT student at the University of Utah.  He is a New York native who moved out to Utah for his undergraduate degree and fell in love with the mountains. James graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of Utah.  James currently serves as the Class President for his DPT class and is very active in research.  Currently he is focusing on helping develop senior wellness programs to help improve and maintain physical function in older adults.  Past studies have involved examining the effects of whole body vibration on knee valgus performed in Dr. Charlie Hicks-Little’s Sports Medicine Motion Capture lab.

James is excited to serve as the Conference Chair for the AAOMPT sSIG, especially with the upcoming conference coming here to Salt Lake City!  He looks forward to making it as enjoyable and beneficial as possible for all those who chose to attend.

Contact James:

Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world

Joel A. Barker