Author Archives: alalani

100th Anniversary Breakfast


On 21 February 2018, the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy will kick off celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of Occupational Therapy education at the University of Toronto. The purpose of that first program was for ward aides to learn how to use occupational therapy to help injured soldiers of World War I return to a satisfying and productive life. One hundred years later, we are proud to mark the growth of our program as we prepare students to work across populations and settings to meet much the same goal of enabling people to lead satisfying and productive lives.

We invite you to join us for a celebratory breakfast. This event will be an occasion to join fellow alumni, current students, professors, teaching partners in the community, and members of our wider health care community as we celebrate the continued success of the Department.

What: 100th Anniversary Celebratory Breakfast, light refreshments provided
When: Wednesday, February 21st, 8:00 am – 10:00 am. Faculty of Medicine Dean Trevor Young and Chair of the Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy Susan Rappolt will address the gathering beginning at 8:30 a.m. 
Where: Alumni Café, 1st floor, 500 University Avenue, Toronto

RSVP by February 13 through the Faculty of Medicine Alumni Office here.  

MScOT Program and Curriculum materials now available on our website

The MScOT Program at the University of Toronto is guided by the Department’s Vision, Mission and Values, relevant evidence-based theories and practices,and national and international standards for education and competencies of occupational therapists. The complete 2017 MScOT Program and Curriculum Document, a video presenting an overview of our program and curriculum, and e-learning modules on the educational conceptual framework are now available on our website at MScOT Program & Curriculum Materials

U of T’s “gOT Spirit Challenge” on YouTube

Every year, U of T’s student occupational therapists participate in a national OT Month challenge for students across the country to demonstrate their enthusiasm for occupational therapy – the “gOT Spirit Challenge”. Our video for the 2017 “gOT Spirit Challenge” is now posted on YouTube, and it is terrific! Please watch it directly from YouTube and give the “thumbs up”. When you go the video on this page, simply click YouTube to watch. Or, click here.

The students from the OT school with the most YouTube views will win $500 to donate to a charity of their choice!

Peter Rappolt Family Scholarships Announced

The Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto are pleased to jointly announce the Peter Rappolt Family Scholarships for Research in Occupational Performance and Wellbeing.

Beginning in 2018, the Peter Rappolt Family Scholarship for Research in Occupational Performance and Wellbeing will be awarded to a second year MScOT student in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy who is undertaking a MScOT Graduate Research Project to improve the occupational performance and wellbeing of individuals with serious mental illness and developmental or chronic health conditions, and who has achieved the highest overall standing in Year I research courses.

At the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, the endowed Peter Rappolt Family Scholarship for Research in Occupational Performance and Wellbeing will be awarded based on academic merit to a graduate of a World Federation of Occupational Therapists-approved entry-level occupational therapy program who is enrolled in the first year doctoral program to undertake research to improve the occupational performance and wellbeing of individuals with serious mental health concerns and complex developmental and chronic health conditions.

The Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy are incredibly grateful to Dr. Susan Rappolt and the entire Rappolt family for their thoughtful consideration of students and research in establishing these awards in honour of their brother, Peter.  Their generosity and understanding of the need for occupational science and occupational therapy graduate research funding is greatly appreciated and truly valued.

Tsering Wangmo

Tsering Wangmo Receives Dalai Lama Trust 2017 Graduate Scholarship

Tsering is in her second year of the Master’s program in Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. As a Tibetan Canadian who was born and raised in Nepal, occupation only had one meaning for Tsering: the occupation of her homeland Tibet in 1959. When Tsering immigrated to Canada in 2004, she was fortunate to have settled in Toronto’s Parkdale community, located in the heart of one of the largest Tibetan diaspora in North America. During her first few years in Toronto, she found herself participating in meaningful activities at her school and local community centres, which played a vital role in helping to develop her Tibetan-Canadian identity. Adapting to the Canadian culture while preserving her Tibetan roots was challenging for Tsering; however, by holding core human values of compassion, tolerance, and self-discipline as promoted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, she was able to embrace challenges and view them as opportunities.

As a student training to become an occupational therapist, Tsering seeks to improve health, well-being, and quality of life through occupation; that is, anything meaningful to a person and occupies their time. Tsering has pursued opportunities in both clinical and community settings. She has worked with hospitalized elders to support them in their activities of daily living and help them to return to their homes and communities. She has also worked with children and youth as a special needs support staff and program director. Further, she continues to work in the Parkdale community to support children and youth recreational programs. Tsering aspires to support the transition of young Tibetan immigrants to Canada by offering activities with cultural and personal relevance and giving the term “occupation” a hopeful meaning for Tibetan-Canadians.

About the Dalai Lama Trust Graduate Scholarship: Each year, the Dalai Lama Trust selects ten to fifteen exceptional candidates of Tibetan descent to receive a scholarship award: “The purpose of the scholarship program is to further the human capital development of the Tibetan people by supporting the pursuit of excellence among Tibetan students in a field of graduate studies of their choice.”

Jill Cameron

Depression a Risk for Post-ICU Caregivers

Dr. Jill Cameron, a core faculty member with the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, recently had results of a study she led published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. The paper, “One-Year Outcomes in Caregivers of Critically Ill Patients,” highlights the mental health struggles caregivers of those in post-ICU care experience.

For more information, there is an article in U of T News (May  2016), “Depression a Risk for Post-ICU Caregivers,” which provides a detailed report on the study, as well as a video interview with Dr. Cameron in a UHN media release.