Category Archives: Program News

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.

September Starts with few Glitches

Another hectic September is drawing to a close and despite some glitches everyone seems to have survived and is settling into the term. We experienced the fewest Vista difficulties so kudos to everyone at UBC IT Services for both pro-active strategies and quick fixes. They work long hours and many weekends to help deliver a trouble-free learning environment.

Thanks to everyone for accepting the Permanent ULRS (PURLS) into your studies. Respecting UBC copyright we no longer post PDFs of e-readings in the courses but if logged into the UBC library with our CWL ID the readings are just a click away with the PURLS. More kudos to Administrative Manager Andrea Walus, work study students Michael Haack and Judy Cu, and librarian Charlotte Beck for the countless hours spent finding and testing the PURLS, especially for off-campus access.

This Fall we admitted 26 new learners to the online programs: 8 Master of Rehab Science Learners; 6 Graduate Certificate learners (many we hope will transfer into the MRSc or MSc program) and 12 McMaster learners. We also welcome McMaster instructor Aileen Costigan who brings her enthusiasm and a keen interest in augmentative communication into her teaching in RHSC 501/ RS 705 Evaluating Sources of Evidence – all the way from Ithaca College in New York State. She joins returning instructors: Sandra Bressler, Dale Graham, Wilma Jelley, Ben Mortenson, Karen Pontello, Sue Stanton and Darene Toal-Sullivan.

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.

We are in the news!

What is so great about learning online? I think that is a question a lot of our prospective learners ask themselves when looking into our program. Quite a few of the inquiries that I get this time of year relate to this very issue.  Most of the learners are interested to hear that they are not required to be in Vancouver for any of their courses and can still maintain their full-time work status. The learner’s experience is just as rich if not richer for some than in the traditional face-to-face lectures. Job Postings magazine recently featured our program in an article, the cyber campus, and discussed whether one can still obtain the social and networking experiences with studying at a cyber campus.

See what our learners say about the program.

For more information on admissions see the Master of Rehabilitation Science program website.

Check Out the Latest CATS

Learners who completed the course Evaluating Sources of Evidence last Fall, are starting to post their Critically Appraised Topics (CATS). CATS begin to provide direction for practice by asking a clinical question, reviewing the literature and summarizing the best available research evidence on the subject. Download any of the following or previously posted CATS on the Master of Rehabilitation Science program website.

Brown, J. (2010). The Effectiveness of Removable Walking Casts and Total Contact Casting in Decreasing Healing Time of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Evans, A. (2010). Support for aerobic exercise training in heart failure (HF) patients.

Holuboff, B. (2010). Does mobilization of the acutely ill elder on day of admission decrease their risk for developing delirium?

Richter, A. (2010). Is BAT or mCIMT more effective in producing improvement in affected UE ADL performance post stroke/CVA?

Shah, M. (2010). There is evidence to suggest that inpatient rehabilitation helps improve functional outcomes for elderly patients with hip fractures

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 Comp Exam Discontinued

Although good news for some and not so good for others, we appreciate the understanding of those who have, or are about to write the examination.

In early July emails were sent to all current learners advising them that the Comprehensive Examination will no longer be a requirement for the UBC Master of Rehabilitation Science (MRSc) degree. Although effective immediately, Master of Rehabilitation Science learners who have completed all five, core courses prior to August 30, 2010 and started the MRSc program prior to September 1, 2009 are still required to write the examination.

When the degree was reviewed prior to approval in 2004 an examination was believed to be necessary to test learners’ ability to synthesize knowledge and skills from the five core courses before carrying out their major project research. While core course synthesis is still necessary, synthesis will be promoted and further tested throughout the five courses instead of the comprehensive examination.

It was with careful thought that we chose the cut-off as described above, feel free to contact me if you have any questions. []

Staff Changes in the Online Programs

Change happens to us all…

Lois Nightingale has accepted a position as coordinator of the portfolios for the Associate Dean Students and Assistant Dean Student Services in the Faculty of Arts at UBC. We congratulate Lois on her new role and wish her every success. Lois has been with the Rehabilitation Science Online Programs since August, 2007. During this time she has implemented many improvements to our learner supports and accounting systems. Like the 2010 Spring Graduates, we too are not sure what we will do without her helpful and timely reminders.

Replacing Lois is Andrea Walus who returns from her maternity leave, and joins us September 1. Prior to her leave, Andrea was the Administrative Manager for the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (OS&OT) and provided valuable support to the online programs. Andrea is keen to contribute more to our growing programs. She holds baccalaureate degrees in Mathematics and Education, and taught high school and elementary school before moving to BC when her husband accepted a position in UBC engineering. We are extremely fortunate to have Andrea join us.

Although Lois leaves officially on August 6, 2010 she will return occasionally in August/early September to orient Andrea to the online programs.

Please join us in congratulating Lois and welcoming Andrea.

Help Recall and Record our History

Dale Graham, May 2008 graduate created a timeline and history Wiki for us. We encourage you to join Dale in capturing more of our history at the Wiki. Dale is presently an instructor in RHSC 581: Writing to Enhance Practice and an active participant in our growing online learning community. Many thanks to Dale for getting us started.