OT Professor Dr. Natalie Michaels Receives National Award for Aquatics Research

Occupational Therapy Department professor Dr. Natalie Michaels was awarded the 2021 Richard Ruoti Research Award for Excellence last week by the Academy of Aquatic Physical Therapy, a section of the American Physical Therapy Association.

One of the association’s most prestigious awards, the Richard Ruoti Research Award for Excellence was established in 2002 and is named after Dr. Ruoti, whose achievements have helped to set the standards of volunteer leadership for the academy. He spent years combining bench research with the application with a focus on aquatic physiology and rehabilitation.

Dr. Michaels has been actively involved in aquatic physical therapy for many years and has published numerous articles in the field ranging from the use of aquatic exercise for weight loss in older adults to the efficacy of activity monitors on land and in the water.

She is also the recipient of the Hydroworx Research Grant and serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Aquatic Physical Therapy. She holds an Aquatic Clinical Competency Certificate through the Aquatic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association and an Aquatic Certification through the Aquatic Therapy and Rehabilitation Institute (ATRI).