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By John Hobbs

Resnik Delivers 2021 Noland Address

Cheryl Resnik portrait

Resnik joins a pantheon of USC greats to have earned one of the highest distinctions given by the California Physical Therapy Association.

Professor of Clinical Physical Therapy Cheryl Resnik DPT ’97 delivered the 2021 Royce P. Noland Address earlier this month at the California Physical Therapy Association’s annual conference, held virtually October 9-10. 

The Royce P. Noland Award of Merit was established to acknowledge exceptional service and achievement by an individual to the profession of physical therapy and the American Physical Therapy Association and its components.

“It’s always lovely to be recognized by one’s peers. Receiving the award called on me to spend a whole year thinking about the impact of the profession on my life,” said Resnik who won the award in 2020 and was tasked with delivering the lecture at the 2021 conference. “It really made me think about my 46 years as a physical therapist. I had never really given thought to my legacy as a PT, and now, I was given the opportunity to share how important the profession has been to me and many of those individuals I consider to be mentors and role models.”

Becoming a Champion

In the address, titled “The Power of One,” Resnik spoke of the power of advocacy and how just one person, driven by passion, can make a significant difference in our world. Citing the contributions of fellow colleagues (>Christopher Powers, Kornelia Kulig, Nancy Byl, Kelly Kubota, Lorraine Macnaughton, Oscar Gallardo, Natalia Barajas and Kari Ayoob) as well as other inspirational figures (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Malala Yousafzai, Temple Grandin and Greta Thunberg), Resnik urged her professional counterparts to advocate for causes they were passionate about.

“While it is incumbent upon all physical therapists to advocate for their patients, the profession and the health of society, I think life is enriched by advocating for other causes,” Resnik said. “I have always had a deep love for the natural world and now that it is truly threatened, I feel the need to be a champion for finding solutions and educating others about their role in saving the planet.”

Outside of the professional advocacy that Resnik has taken part in — and helped to engender in her students — she also raises butterflies, part of a group of endangered “pollinators” that are essential for food production.

“My main take home was that you don’t need to be in a position of power to influence the world,” Resnik said of her address. “All you need to do is act! Don’t wait for an invitation. It’s amazing how much can be accomplished by just one person.

Resnik joins a group of Division faculty members to have earned this prestigious award. Past USC awardeees include Helen Hislop (1992), Joe Godges (2007), Christopher Powers (2008), Rob Landel (2012) and Kornelia Kulig (2015).

Rounding out the Awards

Other Division faculty members earned awards at this year’s annual conference. 

Clinical Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Julie Hershberg earned the Henry O. and Florence P. Kendall Practice Award, which recognizes a physical therapy professional who has engaged in extensive clinical practice for a minimum of 15 years. Recipients of this award embody and demonstrate a commitment to developing physical therapy as a caring profession. 

Professor Clinical Scholar-Physical Therapy Lori Michener earned the Marian Williams Award for Research in Physical Therapy, which honors an individual who has sustained outstanding clinical and educational research pertaining to the physical therapy profession for at least 10 years through published scientific studies and a demonstrated continuity of professional commitment to physical therapy