Category Archives: Events

November 2010 Grad Reception and Speech

MRSc Grads: Clare Faulkner, Claudia Hernandez Riano, Jennifer Stephenson and Maureen Duggan. Unable to attend: Caroline Jones, Meg O’Brien and Peter Rowe

There was great debate at this year’s reception: which is harder to overcome — the horizontal sheets of rain that characterize November in Vancouver, or the 6 inches of snow and slush that covered Vancouver during Convocation week? For the graduates who had planned to attend the reception, and had slogged their way through master’s and doctoral programs, the weather was nothing in comparison. For the online Master of Rehabilitation Science graduates, the desire to meet their fellow learners face-to-face overcame any worry about the weather.

Instructors, faculty, family, friends, fellow students and alumni joined the graduates to celebrate their accomplishments. Sue Stanton welcomed everyone and began the formal presentations by suggesting to the graduates that their convocation become another anniversary, “to reflect on, to celebrate, and to recall upon in the future.” Dr. Ross MacGillivray the Vice-Dean, Academic Affairs, Faculty of Medicine brought greetings from the Dean of Medicine Dr. Gavin Stuart, and recalled his various graduations of the past while congratulating those who would cross the stage on Friday. Dr. Lyn Jongbloed recognized both the Doctors of Philosophy Allan Kozlowski and Marc Roig, and presented flowers to Master of Science graduate Rochelle Stokes who was able to attend. The Urban Poling Activator Award was presented by Mandy Shintani and Graham Watts to Sarah Neil. This new award recognizes students who are researching rehabilitation and cancer research.

MRSc Grads’ Speech
Four graduates Maureen Duggan, Clare Faulkner, Claudia Hernandez Riano and Jennifer Stephenson spoke about the online master’s and were also the voices for the graduates who were unable to attend, but of course, sent their messages online. They concluded their speech with:

On the logo of the Online Master of Rehabilitation Science learner’s guide three key concepts are highlighted: Connect – Learn – Succeed. The Fall MRSc 2010 Graduates have all travelled slightly different paths to get to this day but it can be honestly said “we’ve connected, learned and succeeded!”

Click here to listen to the entire speech.

More information on the MRSc Winter 2010 graduates can be found on the MRSc program website.

Okanagan MRSc Grads & Learners Meet

Darlene Russell, Kathy Davidson, Jennifer Stephenson and Kathy Hatchard

We four MRSc students (current and recent) converged in Penticton  a few weeks ago.  We discussed issues in common within the Okanagan,  resifted  events since graduation (Kathy, Kathy and Darlene) and offered  encouragement to  Jennifer as she nears the finish line.

Clearly,  evidence of social interactions among online students!

MRSc Spring 2010 Graduates Share Early Online Experiences

Denise Sylvest, John Campbell, Nancy Littke, Janice Duivestein and Sue Stanton

This Spring’s Master of Rehabilitation Science graduating class chose to share some of their more humorous experiences of online learning as part of their joint valedictorian speech at the Spring 2010 Rehabilitation Science Graduate Programs Reception. Present learners, alumni and instructors will relate warmly to these anecdotes. For a ‘feel good’ break, listen to the speech.

The graduates: Janice Duivestein from Vancouver, BC; Nancy Littke from Olds, Alberta; Denise Sylvest from Castlegar, BC and John Campbell from Chilliwack BC now join our growing alumni of 22. To read more about their research visit Graduate News on our program website.

New Doctors of Philosophy
Graduates from the doctorate and Master of Science program were also recognized. In her speech on behalf of the PhD grads, Jill Zwicker described their journey as similar to training for the Olympics or Paralympics, although rather than going downhill at great speed it was more of an uphill, slow and steady journey with a fair share of moguls to negotiate. Other PhD graduates include Michael Bodner and Marie Westby.

Master of Science Graduates
Alison McLean
represented the Master of Science graduates with a special thank you to their supporters. She spoke of the many instructors, and family members who not only supported them, but according to Alison “downright put up with us” as their notes and laptops took over dining room tables, and family vacations became attending international conferences. Graduating with Alison were Joy Teo and Jeanne Yiu.

The reception was held on May 25 at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. These receptions are becoming a tradition in the Rehabilitation Science Graduate Programs at UBC. Family and friends, together with colleagues, instructors, and supervisors come together twice a year, in May and November to congratulate the most recent graduates and celebrate the growth of rehabilitation science and theory.

Lesley Bainbridge and Sue Stanton

Lesley Bainbridge and Sue Stanton

MRSc Celebrates 5th Anniversary
Following the congratulatory portion of the evening’s events, Lesley Bainbridge was asked to say a few words about Sue Stanton, who was described by this Spring’s graduating class as the ‘glue’ that holds the program together. Lesley described the various hurdles that had to be overcome and Sue’s capital T for tenacity that made it all possible. Listen to her kind words for more about the early challenges.

Lois Nightingale, Mary Clark and Dr. Tony Bates

The evening ended with Sue’s recognition of the many people who make the program a success with special recognition to Dr. Tony Bates who was a special guest at this year’s anniversary celebrations. When the online programs first started Dr. Bates was the Director of Distance Education and Technology at UBC. Sue credits his vision of online learning at UBC for the program’s initial start and much appreciated his support in those early days and ever since.

To learn more visit the program website and or recently launched history Wiki .

Many thanks to Randy Singer for the great photos.

Vancouver Island Bridges Session

Sue Stanton and Tracey Thompson-Franson

On April 30, 2010 Program Director Sue Stanton and Graduate Certificate Learner Tracey Thompson-Franson presented a poster on the program and the impact it is having on practice. After four presentations in one hour, Sue and Tracey had become a good tag team. Participants enjoyed hearing from Tracy, the ‘real story’ about the hours needed to study, and having a variety of questions answered regarding online learning and the major project research requirement.

Bringing Solutions to the Workplace

On January 31 Sue Stanton and myself participated in the UBC elearning Open House which is held each year and a great opportunity for those involved in eLearning to showcase their work. Our poster: Bringing Solutions to the Workplace presented the analysis of the 18 research projects completed as of November 30, 2009 which begins to support our claim that the research conducted by our learners develops processes for transferring new knowledge to practice and/or enhances rehabilitation practice. It’s part of the program evaluation research being conducted in 2010, the program’s 5th Anniversary. A copy of the poster can be downloaded as a PDF elearningOpenHouse2010_BringingSolutions.

Tony Bates dropped by to see Sue. He had helped her to develop the program. See what he has to say about our progress in the past 5 years on his great blog which we can only aspire to.

Rehabilitation Science Graduates Poised for Challenges Ahead

On November 26, 2009 over 65 people gathered at the Medical Student Alumni Centre in Vancouver to congratulate recent graduates in the Rehabilitation Science Graduate Programs. Ben Mortensen and Sharon Smith received their Doctor of Philosophy; Jenny Garden, Marylyn Horsman and Helia Sillem received their Master in Science; and Kathy Davidson, Karen Hurtubise, Kathy Hatchard, Twila Mills, Darlene Russell, and Ellie Wray received their Master of Rehabilitation Science.

From left to right: Marylyn Horsman, Ben Mortensen, Sharon Smith, Jenny Garden and Lyn Jongbloed. Missing: Helia Sillem

From left to right: Marylyn Horsman, Ben Mortensen, Sharon Smith, Jenny Garden and Lyn Jongbloed. Missing: Helia Sillem

Susan Stanton, Coordinator of the Rehabilitation Science Online Programs was the master of ceremonies for the evening and introduced Dr. Tal Jarus who congratulated the graduates on behalf of the Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (OS&OT) Department. She warmly reminded them that they weren’t to just hang their degree on the wall and rest. Rather, with their new knowledge and skills, they now had more responsibility. “With a new lense to see the world, you must think critically — ask lots of questions and encourage others to do so as well.”

Dr. Susan Harris congratulated the graduates on behalf of Dr. Jane Garland of the Department of Physical Therapy and highlighted the history of the graduate programs. Since 1993 when the Master of Science program started, the two departments have grown from 120 undergraduate students to 335 graduate students, with the PhD program starting in 2003 and the online Master of Rehabilitation Science program in 2005. Susan has watched the Rehabilitation Science Graduate Programs become enriched due to their interprofessional focus. She explained that learners come from a variety of backgrounds including people living with disability and their supervisors as well.

The present chair of the Rehabilitation Science Research Graduate Programs Dr. Lyn Jongbloed described the event as one which celebrates change and the arrival of new times for the graduates, as they celebrate their achievements and the culmination of academic journeys. She introduced the graduates who had an opportunity to thank their supervisors, many of who were able to attend the event, their families and colleagues. They also chose to say a few words about their journeys. There were common themes of personal growth and a desire to make significant changes to their practice community.

Online Graduates Complete the Evening
Karen Hurtubise delivered the joint valedictorian speech prepared collaboratively and of course, online. Listen to the speech.

She described the gift of comradeship that emerged between the learners, the professors and the advisors, despite the online nature of their communication. “Unique challenges of building a relationship which relies solely on the written word. Despite initially longing to hear voices and see faces, we did establish wonderful relationships with our classmates and instructors. In fact, today, although many of us had not met face-to-face, we greeted each other as long lost friends.”

From left to right: Kathy Davidson, Karen Hurtubise, Ellie Wray, Kathy Hatchard, Sue Stanton and Twila Mills. Missing: Darlene Russell

From left to right: Kathy Davidson, Karen Hurtubise, Ellie Wray, Kathy Hatchard, Sue Stanton and Twila Mills. Missing: Darlene Russell

The graduates were explicit in describing the ways in which they had grown while in the program. “We have become analysts and consumers of, and contributors to, the evidence that supports our practice… We have evolved into knowledge translators, skillful advocators, effective educators and evaluators, innovators, visionaries and leaders.”

Recognition and warm thanks were extended to their research supervisors, employers, agency sponsors, instructors and program staff who supported their research projects and academic journeys. “Thank you for believing in us and our ideas and commitment to bettering the services we deliver.”

Read the MRSc graduates’ research abstract on our program website.

MRSc Night Out July 2009

A warm breeze, beautiful sunset, good food and stimulating company – who could ask for anything more? Colette Widmer Leu (from Switzerland) was coming to Vancouver and because she was not able to make her graduation a few of us arranged to have dinner at the Watermark Restaurant on Kits Beach in Vancouver on July 16. There was a little chat about the master’s program – Astrid St. Pierre is waiting to hear about which issue her paper will be published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing – Sue Stanton believes with approximately 25 new learners starting this Fall, the combined programs will grow to 120 active learners — Since graduating Nancy Wellwood had a fantastic trip to the Ukraine which she strongly recommends. Everyone agreed that we should make these dinners more regular so watch this blog for future dates. And… feel free to post!

Colette, Sue and Nancy

Colette, Sue and Nancy


MRSc May 2009 Valedictorian Speech

Nancy Wellwood delivers message from November 2008 and May 2009 MRSc Grads

Nancy Wellwood delivers message from November 2008 and May 2009 MRSc Grads

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

Christine Carpenter
Liisa Holsti
Patricia Mortenson
Cheryl Beach
Sue Stanton

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

Spring 2009 Joint Grad Reception

This year’s graduate celebration was held on May 19, 2009 at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and recognized Master of Rehabilitation Science graduates as well as those graduating from the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy programs. Program heads, thesis and project supervisors, and faculty, joined colleagues, friends and family to honour the Fall 2008 and Spring 2009 graduates.

Jocelyn Harris and Dana Anaby are the first Doctors of Philosophy from the graduate program. Amelia Payne, Amira Tawashy, Christina Ekegren graduated from the Master of Science program.

Master of Rehabilitation Graduates included Nancy Wellwood and Colette Widmer Leu from the Spring 2009 class, and Aylssa Barrie, Deirdre Thornton and Astrid St. Pierre from the Winter 2008 class.

From l-r: Astrid St. Pierre, MRSc Grad November 2008, Nancy Wellwood, MRSc Grad May 2009 and Sue Stanton, UBC Rehabilitation Science Online Programs Coordinator

From l-r: Astrid St. Pierre, MRSc Grad November 2008, Nancy Wellwood, MRSc Grad May 2009 and Sue Stanton, UBC Rehabilitation Science Online Programs Coordinator

L-r: MSc Grad Amelia Payne, PhD Grad Jocelyn Taylor, MSc Grad Amira Tawashy, and Dr. Lyn Jongbloed, Coordinator of the UBC Research Graduate Programs in Rehabilitation Science

L-r: MSc Grad Amelia Payne, PhD Grad Jocelyn Harris, MSc Grad Amira Tawashy, and Dr. Lyn Jongbloed, Coordinator of the UBC Research Graduate Programs in Rehabilitation Science