Whittaker co-founded and served as president of the Pre-Physical Therapy Club and took the lead in writing a constitution and building a website and online interest video for students to learn about the organization. She also created a mentorship program to foster connections within the larger pre-physical therapy community. Whittaker provided professional development opportunities for members by establishing a network of more than 12 clinics in the Charlotte area willing to provide internship opportunities.
“This award is an honor,” Whittaker said. “To me it means that my voice was heard and made a positive difference. My passion for learning and helping others led me to embrace challenges, find creative solutions and build connections within the university and among the community.”
Whittaker served as a research assistant at the UNC Charlotte Biodynamics Research Laboratory, where she assisted with data collection and processing. She also worked at Compleat Rehab and Sports Therapy in Charlotte, where she finished 125 shadowing hours observing patient evaluations and assisting patients with rehabilitative exercises.