Jennifer Tucker, a clinical associate professor in the Division of Physical Therapy, has been awarded the 2023 Innovation Award by the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT). The prestigious award is given annually to a physical therapist who has shown innovation in the delivery of education content that has made a significant impact in learning opportunities for students. The recognition was announced at the ACAPT Educational Leadership Conference in Philadelphia on Oct. 12.
Tucker was recognized for her dedication and commitment to physical therapy education through her teaching, leadership, collaboration and creativity. She has developed new ways to expose students to a variety of patient-care environments, integrated emerging technology into her coursework and designed unique, interdisciplinary opportunities that help prepare students for careers as healthcare professionals.
Tucker led the integration of the College of Health Professions and Sciences’ hologram technology into the instruction of pediatric physical therapy, enabling students to identify developmental milestones, medical complexities and treatment needs and planning.
She has been instrumental in the operations of the Knights on the Go Café. The first-of-its-kind in Florida and second in the nation, the café utilizes harness technology to offer dynamic and immersive rehabilitation opportunities for individuals with motor impairments. She also leads Go Baby Go! workshops with students from a variety of majors and fields, facilitating learning while offering innovative solutions for children and adults with mobility impairments.
Tucker has been closely involved with the physical therapy student organization on campus, which holds UCF Field Day, a service learning activity. The event encourages physical activity in children with developmental disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy and down syndrome. Last year’s event hosted over 100 attendees and provided families with strategies for improving physical activities in their homes.
Tucker also collaborated with faculty in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders to secure a $25,000 grant to create new interprofessional education courses for physical therapy and speech-language pathology students and develop course resources that allow for increased accessibility for students with learning differences.
Tucker is a Board-certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy and has served with the University of Central Florida since 2008.