Fall 2013 Graduates - Celebrations and Research Abstracts

November 2013 Graduates Celebrate with Family, Friends and Faculty


From left to right: Elizabeth Makepeace, Jodi Boucher, and Kim Durlacher. Unable to Attend: Abigail Hayes, Kathleen Orsi Riggs, Heather Robertson, Karin Werther and Carolyn Vidal.

Faculty, instructors, staff, colleagues and family gathered at the UBC Medical Alumni and Student Centre in Vancouver on November 28, 2013 to congratulate the Fall 2013 Master of Rehabilitation Science graduates. The 8 graduates represent British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, and the United Kingdom. Three practice as occupational therapists, two as physical therapists and one as an orthotist.

Many benefits of MRSc studies -- applicability to the workplace, flexibility, gains in research skills, expanded connections with peers, confidence to embrace new opportunities or leadership roles, and renewed enthusiasm for their work -- are common themes in graduates’ feedback. As Elizabeth noted, “I also moved several times during my studies and loved that I could continue to complete the courses no matter where I lived. The content of the courses continued to be useful and applicable wherever I worked, including internationally.” This ‘applicability’ was echoed by Caroline. Kim indicated she has a “new understanding of and insights into the world of research” and skills from courses that “…have already been beneficial to my work place.” Being able to“…utilize research and to provide that information to clients so that they may make informed decisions.” was a practice benefit recognized by Kathleen. Jodi “enjoyed connecting with rehabilitation professionals from all over the world and discussing course material (online)”. As the only therapist in her workplace the online connections reduced Heather’s feelings of isolation. New leadership roles were benefits cited by Karin and Abigail.

Jodi Boucher, a physiotherapist from Calgary, Alberta presented the slide show and graduation speech prepared collaboratively by the graduates. The following excerpts illustrate their commitment to achieving their MRSc goals while working:

“For many of us completing this degree has been somewhat of a balancing act. … Most taking the type of program we did, have jobs, family commitments and many competing demands on our time. … A lot of LIFE and living has happened through the course of this program. Within this group there have been weddings, babies, family illness, and no doubt many tears of happiness, sadness, frustration and relief along the way. As Albert Einstein said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” Keep moving we all did!

… Traveling to Vancouver to celebrate this graduation has been an expression of gratitude for me. The ability to maintain our balance, keep moving, and reach the finish line of this journey was not done alone. We would like to extend a sincere thank you to our families for their patience, to Sue Stanton for her foresight and passion for the world of online learning, and to our major project advisors, UBC staff, instructors and fellow learners for their support and encouragement. I would like to conclude with a quote written by a very wise doctor (Dr. Seuss), “So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life's A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you'll move mountains.”

Dr. Darlene Reid, Chair of the Master of Science (MSc) and Doctor of Philosophy programs in Rehabilitation Sciences profiled the research of the two MSc and three PhD graduates.

All November graduates completed the research option of the MRSc. You can read their research abstracts by visiting the Workplace Research Abstracts section.