The Dr. Katherine Harris Professional Development Fund and Keynote Address

Quinnipiac University Department of Physical Therapy Sponsored

Dr. Katherine Harris Professional Development Fund and Keynote Address


A message from Steve Tepper, PT, PhD, FAPTA

In November, Steve Tepper, PT, PhD, FAPTA gave the Katherine Harris Keynote Address at the 2021 Northeast Physical Therapy Conference. As a good friend of Dr. Harris', Steve shares our goal of endowing the Dr. Katherine Harris Professional Development Fund at Quinnipiac University. 

Please read what Steve has to say about his friendship with Dr. Harris below and consider joining him in making a gift to Kathy's fund. 

"I met Kathy Harris in 1999, when she and I were searching out evidence for the test and measures that we utilize in physical therapy today. Right away I took a shining to her: her wonderful personality, her laughter, her smile, and her big heart. Over the next few years, I started to bring her out to Shenandoah University, where she was a fantastic teacher and the students loved her. 

At the 2019 CSM, sitting in my room, Kathy and I had our last heart to heart. We laughed, we teared, we spoke honestly with one another. I shot this selfie of us. When I sent it to her, she wrote back “this picture puts a smile on my face.”  That is the way I will always remember Kathy, with a loving smile on her face. 

When I heard about the Dr. Katherine Harris Professional Development Fund at QU and its mission to perpetuate Kathy’s commitment to leadership and professionalism in the field of physical therapy, I wanted to help. When I found out QU was only $10,000 away from their goal of endowing Kathy’s fund, I knew we would get there with a little push. 

Therefore, I pledge $5,000 to match any gifts 1:1 until November 2022! There is no better way to celebrate Kathy’s legacy than by continuing to touch the lives of those in her professional network. As you are planning your year-end philanthropy, I hope you will consider making a gift of any amount to the Dr. Katherine Harris Professional Development Fund at the Quinnipiac University School of Health Sciences." 

Many thanks and Happy Holidays, 


Steve Tepper, PT, PhD, FAPTA


The Katherine Harris Keynote Address was established to ensure that clinicians, educators, and advocates of the Physical Therapy profession carry on the values that Kathy instilled in all who she encountered. She demonstrated compassion and strived for excellence in her commitment to lifelong learning and leadership. Kathy’s passion for the Physical therapy profession, professional advocacy, and patients were unmatched. The APTA CT conference keynote address will ensure that Kathy’s vision, compassion, and leadership live on for generations to come.

  • Vision – as life-long learners, how do we as clinicians, educators, and individuals move the profession forward while continuing to meet the needs of our clients and society. 
  • Demonstrating compassion – as educators and clinicians, how do we instill a communal sense of caring and empathy that builds person–centered relationships within and across health professions.
  • Leadership – as stewards of the profession, how do can prepare the next generation of physical therapists to advocate and shape the essential role of PTs in health care to meet the needs of society.


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