Category Archives: Grad Receptions

Congratulations November 2012 Grads – MRSc Valedictorian Speech

On November 22, 2012, faculty, instructors, staff, learners, colleagues from the rehabilitation community and families joined together to congratulate the graduates of the rehabilitation science graduate programs.

Doctor of Philosophy graduates include:

  • Shalini Lal
  • Mineko Wada

Master of Science graduates include:

  • Allison Ezzat
  • Stephanie Glegg

Master of Rehabilitation Science graduates include:

  • Kim Mullens
  • Mireille Delorme
  • Tammam El-Khodor

The Vancouver Yacht Club decorated for the holidays added to the celebrations which were enriched through carefully crafted speeches by the graduates, graduate program directors Dr. Lara Boyd and Sue Stanton, and Faculty of Medicine Vice Dean Academic Dr. Frederick Mikelberg. Dr. Mikelberg’s speech is also posted on this blog.

The November 2012 MRSc valedictorian speech humorously and thoughtfully captured what it’s like to study for a master’s while working full-time and balancing life’s other commitments. MRSc Program Director Sue Stanton completed the evening’s celebrations with some simple but very wise advice that she received from her grandpa.

Please listen to these speeches. Unfortunately at the present time the speeches work best using a recent version of Internet Explorer. We are working to correct this.

In the first few minutes Sue recognizes all the 2012 MRSc graduates with special acknowledgement of May 2012 grad Rebecca Shook who won a peer-nominated research award.

The Master of Rehabilitation Science (MRSc) graduates’ research abstracts and those from previous graduation classes are available on the program website.

Please join us in congratulating our November 2012 graduates.

UBC Vice Dean of Academic in Faculty of Medicine Congratulates November 2012 Rehabilitation Science Grads

On November 22, 2012 Dr. Frederick Mikelberg attended the joint graduate reception for the Master of Rehabilitation Science, and Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Science graduates. His speech is reproduced here with his permission.

I’m very pleased to be a part of this celebration of your accomplishment. And I am very much aware that a speech from the Vice Dean is not what makes this day special for you. 

It’s probably fair to say that I was more eager to speak to you today than you were eager to hear me, because I am very new to my role as Vice Dean. And since representing the Faculty of Medicine, at events like this, is now one of my responsibilities, I need all the practice I can get.

But I also have a personal connection to rehabilitation sciences that added to my eagerness. My wife, before stepping out of the workforce, was a physical therapist herself. I can tell you that physical therapy was a profession and calling that she took to heart. So if there is one insight I can bring to you today, it is this: Rehabilitation professionals make for good partners. But then, you probably already knew that.

One thing you also probably know, as rehabilitation professionals: The range of your expertise, and the significance of your role in our health system, is so much greater than the public truly comprehends. This, too, I learned from my wife. And believe me, she does not let me forget it.

  • Helping people cope with chronic illness, such as COPD…
  • Helping others adapt to permanent disabilities such as spinal cord injury…
  • Or to regain basic movement after a stroke…

These are weighty responsibilities.

 By providing care for people in such a wide range of circumstances, and often desperate circumstances at that, each of you serves as ambassadors of the profession, representing the power of occupational therapy and physical therapy to help individuals regain some or all of what they have lost. As you continue your careers, I urge you to embrace that role.

Approach every new patient, and their families, as persons to be enlightened through the quality of your care.

 In the process, I urge you to approach every new patient as someone who can teach you a thing or two.
 Maybe those lessons will be about the human condition – about vulnerability, resilience, stubbornness, or about our responsiveness to simple but heartfelt words of encouragement.
 Or maybe those lessons will be about the limits of your own knowledge.

Yes, it’s true. Even though you have earned advanced degrees, your education is far from over. There are still major gaps in your knowledge of rehabilitation science, and the roles it can play in our health care system. But that should come as a bit of a relief, because none of us – no matter how long we have practiced – can be expected to know all there is to know.

What’s most important is that you know the pathways to access the information you need, and to access the people who might be able to help you with this piece or that. Don’t be afraid to let your patients, as well as collaborating health care professionals, see that dimension of your work.
 It’s better to show them your curiosity, your determination and your commitment, than to get caught up in maintaining a façade of omnipotence. Having pursued advanced knowledge about rehabilitation, I have no doubt that you — more than most people —  realize that there’s always more to learn.

And you should be particularly proud that you are helping to contribute to the corpus of research in rehabilitation science, thus helping the various professions included under that umbrella to come into their own, and most likely, evolve even more dimensions.

So perhaps I’m preaching to the choir here. Maybe that’s just an unavoidable hazard of graduation speeches. Or maybe it’s a rookie’s mistake. But that shouldn’t detract from its importance, and its relevance to the rest of your careers. So before I commit the other rookie’s mistake of going on too long, I would like to extend my congratulations to you, and to let you know how proud I am of your accomplishment, and of your contribution to our scholarship in the health sciences.

Good luck to you.

Valedictorian Speech of May 2012 Master of Rehabilitation Science Grads

Spring 2012 Grads: L-R: Physical Therapist Rebecca Shook, Physical Therapist Sarah Strickey and Occupational Therapist Sabrina Li

On Wednesday, May 23 these three therapists joined the growing number of Master of Rehabilitation Science graduates. Although only Vancouver-based Rebecca Shook was able to cross the stage at convocation, her colleagues Sabrina Li in Hong Kong and Sarah Strickey in Cary, North Carolina in the U.S. were in touch to share the occasion and prepare the traditional joint valedictorian speech. Please join us in congratulating these graduates and enjoy their celebratory words.

It is both thrilling and surreal to be submitting these remarks as we complete our MRSc journey! This program has followed us all through a multitude of life changes from new jobs to new babies to new countries. This program has remained the constant through all these events. It goes without saying that the nature of this program has allowed us to balance the other aspects of our lives while providing us with an invaluable way to stay current, grow as professionals, and develop practical skills to apply to our clinical practices.

Collectively, we have learned some valuable lessons throughout the course of our studies that are worth sharing.

  • Organization pays off
    Without good organization of notes, journal articles, to-do lists and references lists from the beginning, we’re not sure we would be completing this now- at least not with our sanity relatively intact!
  • No man (or woman) is an island
    Completing research in isolation without input from others may seem attractive at first (I get to do it my way, all the time!), but it makes for an inferior product in the end.
  • Research’s spill-over effect
    Through the process of completing this degree we have also internalized knowledge on evidence-based practice, literature searching, writing and referencing and have gleaned a much greater appreciation of what is required to support new ideas and initiatives in practice.
  • Research is fun
    There is an inherent thrill in discovering new information (or confirming your own hypotheses) and then writing about it in a manner that makes it accessible for other clinicians. And the fun doesn’t stop there; research findings lead to more questions which drives us all to keep studying!
  • Research is challenging
    As novice researchers it is easy to underestimate the complexity of conducting research. The amount of discipline and planning that is required to ensure that the integrity of the research is maintained cannot be under-valued.
  • Research takes time
    It is not a process that can be rushed. Allow more time than seems reasonable for every step and attempt to plan for every foreseeable obstacle
  • Buy-in is essential
    When developing or improving rehabilitation services, research is important, but ‘buy-in’ from stakeholders is also important! We need to ‘think outside the box’, then try to understand the stakeholders’ needs and use ‘their’ language.
  • It’s a small world after all
    The greatest advantage of this program is that it can be literally completed from anywhere in the world. The three of us are a testament to that as we cover three countries and two continents. The value of learning from colleagues around the globe has been paramount to our experience.

From our first (admittedly tentative) posts to our final assignments the faculty and staff associated with the MRSc program have encouraged and motivated us to succeed. Without their unwavering support, it would not be possible to complete a program of this magnitude from afar. We would specifically like to thank our major project supervisors, Dr. Lesley Bainbridge, Alison Gerlach, and Sue Stanton, whose guidance and encouragement were instrumental to the success of our major projects. Finally, we wish to thank our families, our friends and our colleagues who supported us in countless ways throughout this experience!

While we have looked forward to completing this degree for quite some time, we also know that we will greatly miss the stimulating discussions we have shared over the years with our fellow learners. Their enthusiasm has continually pushed us to think beyond the boundaries. To all our colleagues who are considering embarking on this journey – go for it; it is a challenging, yet rewarding experience.

Best of luck to all current and future MRSc learners; may you continue to set goals that inspire you!

Sabrina Li, Hong Kong

Rebecca Shook, Vancouver, BC, Canada,

Sarah Strickey, Cary, NC, USA

Reception Honours the Fall 2011 Graduates from the UBC Rehabilitation Science Graduate Programs

Heather Burrett (left) and Anne Leclerc, Master of Rehabilitation Science Fall 2011 grads

The tradition of holding a reception honouring the most recent graduates from the UBC Rehabilitation Science Graduate programs is well established now and serves as an opportunity for the graduates, the faculty, family, and the ever expanding rehabilitation community to celebrate their accomplishments.  On November 24, Sue Stanton, Director of the Master in Rehabilitation Science program and Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (OS&OT) was the MC for the evening and began the formal speeches with the following:
“People with disabilities have it… Marathon runners have it… and graduates also have it — in spades. What is it? Persistence and determination to get a fix on a goal and work as hard as they know to reach that target. Tonight we are here to honour all of the graduates and to recognize the result of these important attributes.”

The Fall 2011 graduates include:  Rick Celebrini receiving his Doctor of Philosophy, Sandra Hale, Sarah Neil and Jeanie Zabukovec , their Master of Science, and Marjorie Berry, Heather Burrett, Delicia Jackson, Anne Leclerc and Elaine Widgett, their Master of Rehabilitation Science.

Also present at the reception were honoured guests from the UBC Faculty of Medicine: Dr. Peter Leung, Associate Dean for Graduate and Post Doctorate Education, Dr. Brenda Loveridge, Associate Dean of Health Professions, and Dr. Jayne Garland, Head of Department of Physical Therapy.

Dr. Leung offered a few words on behalf of the Dean of Medicine, who was unable to attend. He began by expressing how deeply honoured he was to be present and proud of the accomplishments of the graduates and the growing reputation of the programs as the best in North America and in the world. Dr. Leung described the grads as the best ambassadors for the programs, given they were leaders in rehabilitation science whether their studies advanced science, theory or found solutions to workplace problems. He suggested that their studies may be some of their most treasured memories of their professional lives, and that the relationships established will continue in the future helping to support and celebrate future accomplishments. Dr. Leung concluded with commendations of the graduates’ hard earned achievements and looked forward to their further contributions to the advancement of the science of rehabilitation and promotion of physical, mental and social well being among people of all levels of ability.

Dr. Lyn Jongbloed, who is also a member of the OS&OT Department and oversees the Phd and MSc programs, introduced Sandra Hale, who spoke on behalf of the MSc graduates. In addition to expressing the shared happiness of completing their degrees, Sandra paid special tribute to the research participants because, in Sandra’s words, “without them, we would not be able to do what we do.”

Rick Celebrini, who was the sole recipient of the Doctor of Philosophy degree, admitted that he had no idea of what he was getting into 7 years ago but can probably be described as not only a marathon runner but a tri-athlete. While completing his PhD, Rick recounted other dear and important mileposts. He became a husband, father of three kids, chief therapist for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic games, and dealt with the emotional impact of the death of his father. Rick notes that although these don’t act as credits in accomplishing a Phd., he credited and named many people who were part of his support team and who helped him balance family and career goals.

The final words were given by MRSc graduate Heather Burrett with Anne Leclerc at her side. She shared that all the graduates took on the MRSc seeking an academically challenging program with very practical workplace applications. Although the other graduates were unable to attend, they had sent their thoughts about ‘connecting dots’ to Heather who relayed them to those present. Please listen to her full speech.

MC Sue Stanton concluded the formal speeches of the evening with four principles Rick Hansen offered in this book Going the Distance: Seven steps to personal change.
1.    Recognize that goals are both objective and subjective; objective in that you accomplished them and subjective in terms of how you feel about them;
2.    Take responsibility for your success – recognize that your actions actually created this end project;
3.    Celebrate your success [as we are doing this evening]; and
4.    Identify the ingredients of your success so can you apply the recipe to your next goal.

Many thanks to Andrea Walus and Sally Clark for a successful reception that was memorable for the graduates and all the members of their support teams.

Congratulations to the 30th MRSc Graduate Lori Marsh

Although Lori was not able to attend this Spring’s convocation, she takes a special place in the history of the program as our 30th graduate. Lori is a physical therapist on acute orthopaedics at the Ottawa Hospital – Civic Campus. Her reasons for taking a master’s were to be ready for new opportunities created by the expanding scope of physical therapy practice.

At the grad reception held on Tuesday, May 24, Lori’ s research supervisor Dr. Lesley Bainbridge read the following message sent by Lori who is currently on holidays in Ireland.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to say a few words while I’m out of the country.

From my very first post in my first course, Evaluating Sources of Evidence, to sending off my final revision of my major project, this has been an amazing journey. As with any journey, there have been challenges, both academically and personally. Since the fall of 2007 when I started, deadlines have come and gone, and courses were completed, one by one. I have watched two children graduate from high school and one from college. I have said goodbye to my grandmother, a nephew and my father-in-law, and celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary. In addition to my very patient husband, the one constant throughout the four years has been my laptop. While not occupying half of our dining room table, it has traveled to England, France, and New York City. Now on its last legs, it has been replaced by a much lighter, cooler iPad.

In addition to all that I learned through the course of my degree, I learned a few truths.
1.    Don’t leave submissions until the last minute: the server may be down!
2.    Having tech support in the guise of teenagers is invaluable.
3.    Back everything up-twice! USB sticks do die!
And finally,

4.    What an amazing world we live in, where I can sit in my pajamas in my dining room in Ottawa and discuss common issues with a classmate in Hong Kong!

I would like to thank Lesley Bainbridge for her invaluable support and guidance over the past year while I completed my final project.

Thanks must also go to Sue Stanton who regularly checked in during the final course even when she was south of the equator and to Andrea Walus who answered questions no matter how silly they seemed. Finally, I would like to recognize all the learners and instructors I met, worked with and learned from during this degree.

It has been an amazing four years and I have highly recommended this program to my colleagues. One actually listened to me and began her own journey in the fall of 2010!

Lori’s research entitled Isolation and the Older Adult: Best Practices for Physiotherapy Interventions suggests that physiotherapy intervention should be frequent, aimed at preventing loss of function, and started early within a patient stay to prevent de-conditioning in older adults on isolation in acute care. For the full abstract, visit the program website.

Congratulations Lori – may you seize, as a master of rehabilitation science, the new opportunities that await you.

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.

November 2010 Graduates and Topics of Research

Please join us in congratulating our latest graduates. A reception honouring them will be held on November 25, 2010, the evening before their convocation in Vancouver. For further information please contact us at Their full abstracts will be posted on the MRSc website by mid-November, under Research For You – Major Project Research.

Maureen Duggan from Burnaby, BC. Outcome Measurement in the Total Joint Arthroplasty Patient: Identifying Barriers and Facilitators of its Use.

Clare Faulkner from Sidney, BC. Comparison of the Norwich Regime to the Static Splinting Protocol for Extensor Tendon Injuries.

Claudia Hernandez from Toronto, ON. Pilot Project to Explore Clinicians’ Experiences and Lessons Learned Related to a Patient Safety Initiative: The SAFE Initiative at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.

Caroline Jones from Aurora, ON. Usefulness of the WOMAC and the MDHAQ Questionnaires in an Outpatient Osteoarthritis Clinic.

Meg O’Brien from Kanata, ON. Understanding Physiotherapists’ Experiences with Job Rotations

Peter Rowe from Ottawa, ON. The Recent Experiences and Challenges of Military Physiotherapists Deployed in Afghanistan.

Jennifer Stephenson, Kelowna, BC. Characteristics of Successful Intraprofessional Relationships between Occupational Therapists/Physical Therapists and Therapist Assistants.

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.

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 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