Category Archives: alumni

All news posts relevant to the Clinical Community & Alumni section of the website.

MScOT Alumni in the News

Two grads from the Class of 2019 made news in recent months, highlighting the role occupational therapists play across diverse practice settings.

Adaptive dance classes at Steffen Dance Studio in Mount Pearl, NL are spearheaded by Hilary Walsh. Walsh brings her experience as both an OT and a longtime dance teacher to create an inclusive environment for students across age groups and  ability. Walsh explains:

Mainly the difference is that I structure it so that dancers can feel success with kind of everything that they do. So it might mean, for some groups, making things very step by step. For some it might be using a visual schedule, for others it might be doing the dance seated.

“The best place to be is here, dancing, and it’s so much fun, dancing with all my friends and having a really good time. And of course Miss Hilary is the most awesomest teacher ever, and we love her to the moon and back,” says dance student Michael Robson.

Read the full story from CBC News (December 18, 2019)

Faith Gallant is a member of the ED One Team at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. This  multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals – including a social worker, geriatric emergency medicine nurse, physiotherapist, and community care coordinator among others – are tackling “hallway medicine” by reducing emergency department admission rates among seniors.

“The team helps patients who come to the emergency room avoid being admitted to the hospital by ensuring adequate supports are available for them at home or in the community.  Its target group is those aged 70 and older who don’t need to be admitted, but who can’t otherwise go home safely straight from the emergency room,” reports CBC News’ Mike Crawley.

States Gallant:

We’re able to see patients in the evening and facilitate a safe discharge home instead of having these patients stay overnight.

Read the full story from CBC News (February 13, 2020)

Robin Mazumder (MScOT ’11) was featured on CBC’s Sunday Edition with Michael Enright on February 14: It’s a fundamental human right to be able to access your city, says researcher.

Photo of Robin Mazumder

City life can be hard on the nerves — the noise, the lights, the bustle, the endless miles of glass and concrete. And the traffic — just crossing the street can be a terrifying experience with hulking vehicles hurtling down thoroughfares. Robin Mazumder is a PhD student in cognitive neuroscience, and he researches the toll that bad urban design takes on human psychology — and how urban spaces could be made into sources of delight and solace instead of stress.

Mazumber is currently a doctoral candidate in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Waterloo, where he is studying the connection between urban design and mental well-being.

PT & OT Alumni Achievement Award Nominations: February 28 Deadline

The year 2020 marks the 24th anniversary of the Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Alumni Achievement Awards. The PT and OT Alumni Achievement Awards, first awarded in June 1996, acknowledge graduates who have made exceptional contributions as members of the Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy professions. Alumni or members of the public may nominate a University of Toronto graduate in Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy for this award. Each year, one alumnus from Physical Therapy and one alumnus from Occupational Therapy receive the award at the Alumni Reunion held in June.

The February 28 deadline for the 2020 PT & OS&OT Alumni Achievement Award Nominations is approaching fast!

To submit a nomination, download and complete a Nomination Package from the PT-OT Alumni Association website.  Nominations will be accepted until 12:00 noon on February 28.

Contact for more information.

Occupational Therapy Alumna Gives Back, Supporting Research in Workplace Mental Health

For Emily Geldsaler Grant (Dip OT ’47), using her occupational therapy training from the University of Toronto to help soldiers returning from World War II to adjust to life was a privilege she recalls to this day.

“I met people who could no longer be in the army, active and doing their job. But as an occupational therapist, I was able to make them feel that they could still do their part for their country, for themselves and their families, to be ready to face their future,” says Grant.

Since her days as a student, she has continued to give back to the place where her own helping journey started. Her most recent gift provides $1.5 million for the Emily Geldsaler Grant Early Career Professorship, an endowed professorship in workplace mental health in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy.

Read the full story by the Faculty of Medicine’s Suzanne Bowness

photo: Emily Geldsaler Grant and her late husband, Eugene Grant, courtesy of the Grant Family

Photo of students from Physical and Occupational Therapy Program, graduating 1967

POT Class of ’67 Funds a Landmark Bench

Leading up to the 50th anniversary of their graduation from U of T’s physical and occupational therapy program, several members of the class of 1967 proposed coming together in support of a Landmark Project bench. The Landmark Project, the most significant landscape project of the past century, will revitalize the University’s historic core by creating dynamic, open spaces for the university and wider communities to come together. Read the full story at

Class Of '97 Reunion

Class of ’97 Reunion

On November 4, 2017, a reunion was held for the Class of 1997. The first class to graduate in the fall, the students were in what was called the “2+2+ program” (two years undergrad plus 2 years plus in OT). It was a way of restructuring the program in preparation for the MScOT which was phased in a few years later.

Nominations for Alumni Achievement Awards

Nominations are now open for the University of Toronto PT & OT 2018 Alumni Achievement Awards.

The Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Alumni Achievement Awards recognize and celebrate outstanding alumni who have made exceptional contributions in their professions. The awards will be presented by the PT & OT Alumni Association at Alumni Reunion in June.

Nominations are due by 12:00 pm on March 15, 2018.

Download the nomination package to learn more about the awards, process and documentation required for submissions.

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful contributions.
Additional information >>

Linda Petty and Sarah Ko

Alumnus Receives Funding to Review AT Interventions

Congratulations to Linda Petty (BScOT ’80, MScOT candidate) and co-investigator Sarah Ko, recipients of the 2017 OSOT Research Fund Occupational Therapy Research Grant for their study “Assistive technology accommodations for post-secondary students with mental health disabilities: A scoping review.” This review will map the literature regarding AT interventions to support young adults with mental health disabilities in post-secondary institutions such as universities and colleges. The investigators anticipate that results will identify gaps for future research, demonstrate the value and feasibility of undertaking a full systematic review and encourage more occupational therapists to assume innovative and leadership roles as subject matter expert professionals in prescribing and recommending AT accommodations to young adults with mental health disabilities.
Petty, the Assistive Technology Consultant at UTSC’s Accessibility Services, is from the first cohort set to graduate from our MScOT Advanced Standing Program this November. Sarah Ko (MScOT, Queens University) is the Practicum and Professional Development Officer in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at University of Toronto.