In November 2007, our first graduates delivered a joint valedictorian speech which has now become a tradition in the Master of Rehabilitation Science program. At this year’s graduate reception, Nancy Wellwood spoke on behalf of both the Fall 2008 and Spring 2009 graduates. Their speech follows:
I’m privileged to be given this opportunity to say a few words on behalf of the MRSc graduates recognized here this evening. The graduates, Astrid St. Pierre, Alyssa Barrie, Deirdre Thornton, Colette Widmer Leu and myself held a little online collaboration of our own in anticipation of this evening, so what you are about to hear represents all of our heartfelt wishes and thanks to those who have supported us in our studies.
Before proceeding further the graduates have asked that I share with you a few words about our program, and the transformational ‘ah ha’ moments it has afforded us all. An ‘ah ha’ moment is defined as a brilliant jewel of an idea or insight or a moment of clarity so inspiring and mind altering that it makes the individual having this moment say ‘ah ha!’ Our program has transformed each of us with the following ‘ah ha’ moments:
Ah ha moment #1: I can understand this research paper, I can appraise the level of evidence and I can distill relevant messages and apply them to the current context of practice!
Ah ha moment #2: It is vitally important to include peers into a project as a means of enhancing acceptance!
Ah ha moment #3: I can navigate WebCT! I can contribute to and benefit from the virtual learning environment which brings a diversity of learners together from different geographical areas, disciplines, and areas of practice. This adds richness to many online discussions and generates many more ‘ah ha’ moments.
Ah ha moment #4: Research can be a complicated process, fraught with more loose ends than could ever be imagined! It takes perseverance to discern step-by-step each stage of the process and wrap- up these loose ends to achieve a comprehensive result.
Ah ha moment #5: A cautionary note for prospective graduate students, beware; that which you choose to study with the intent to change for the better will end up changing you for the better and in so many ways you never though possible.
On behalf of the MRSc graduates I’d like to thank each of our respective faculty advisors for their tireless dedication to our learning and academic development
You have each served us as valuable examples, mentors, and coaches with wise sage advice that we will take with us where ever we go and apply in all that we do. Thank-you.
We would also like to thank each and every one of our respective employers, agency sponsors, managers, and professional practice leaders who have supported our research projects. Your dedication and commitment to us and to the people we serve is the inspiration for us to strive for better practices that change lives. Thank-you.
Finally, thank you to our families for supporting us and picking up the pieces at home while we endeavored to complete coursework, assignments and projects. Were it not for you all we could not have arrived at this day; in many ways, this is your graduation too. Thank-you.
To read more about our Fall 2008 and 2009 graduates, and the abstracts of their research projects visit our main program website