Category Archives: news

Current news in OS & OT

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 Alex Mihailidis

Prof. Alex Mihailidis appointed Associate VP, International Partnerships

Alex Mihailidis, a leading researcher in intelligent health systems and the use of technology to help older adults, has been appointed associate vice-president, international partnerships at the University of Toronto.

In his new role, Mihailidis will be tasked with nurturing alliances with academic and industry partners across the globe, as well as securing sponsored reserach, support for entrepreneurs and philanthropic support for the university’s academic and translation mandates from international sources. He will also promote Toronto’s thriving innovation ecosystem.

“Partnerships really strengthen the research that we’re doing here at U of T,” said Mihailidis, a professor in the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering who is also cross-appointed to the department of computer science.

Read the full story from U of T News (May 9, 2019).

I.V. League of Occupational Therapists Leadership Workshop

On April 24, the Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy hosted the inaugural I.V. League of Occupational Therapists Leadership Workshop for 2nd Year students in the MScOT program.
This full-day event was attended by 90 students. Using the LEADS Framework (Lead Self, Engage Others, Achieve Results, Develop Coalitions, Systems Transformation), 12 occupational therapists affiliated with the MScOT program facilitated a series of intensive group sessions aimed at guiding students in the development of skills and plans for their own leadership journey as practicing occupational therapists. The final event of the day featured an inspiring panel of new graduates who shared their leadership experiences in their nascent professional practice. All in all, the day was exciting, empowering and inspiring.
The Workshop was supported through a generous donation from Irene Vrckovnik (BScOT ’83, MScOT ‘17).

Click on a photo to view the full album

Photo of students in classroom
Photo of small group discussion
Photo of Irene Vrckovnik and Heidi Resnick with banner



Students get hands-on learning at Bridgepoint

Second year MScOT students received out-of-the-classroom hands-on training as Bridgepoint’s Occupational Therapy team and Seating Clinic – in collaboration with Bridgepoint’s Academic Office – hosted a hands-on learning session about mobility devices for older adults. This opportunity was part of the OCT1272 (Older Adults) lab.  Read more

Job Opportunities in the Dept. of OS&OT

We are pleased to announce postings for two faculty positions in the Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, one tenure stream and one teaching stream.  Both positions have a start date of July 1, 2019 or shortly thereafter.  Application deadline is April 4, 2019, 11:59pm.

The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous / Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

Visit our Job Opportunities page for details, including links to apply.

2019 OT2 Awards

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2019 OT2 awards, recognizing outstanding merit in the MScOT program. The awards were given on January 31.

Toronto Cathay Lions Club Scholarship in OT

This award recognizes the student who obtained the highest standing in the first year of the program. This year’s recipient is Martina Sykula.  

Image of Prof. Susan Rappolt, Martina Sykula, and Prof. Jill Stier

Isobel Robinson Award

This award recognizes Ms. Robinson’s (Director of OT Program, 1967-1981) contribution to U of T, and is presented to the student who obtains high academic standing in the first year of the program with strong fieldwork evaluations. This year’s recipient is Laura van DaeleImage of Prof. Susan Rappolt, Laura van Daele, and Prof. Jill Stier

Eleanor B. Krangle Award in Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy

This award will be given to a student in the Department who demonstrates socially conscious contributions to the University community. This year’s recipient is Janany Jeyasundaram.
Image of Prof. Susan Rappolt, Jenany Jeyasundaram, and Prof. Jill Stier

Peter Rappolt Family Scholarship in Occupational Performance and Wellbeing

This award supports new research in occupational science and occupational therapy, focused on mental health, developmental delay, caregiving, community integration, cognitive assessments and interventions, environmental adaptations, translating research evidence into practice, or examining how the health and social systems can meet complex needs. This year’s recipients are Amy Yang and Martina Sykula.

Image of Prof. Susan Rappolt, Amy Yang, Martina Sykula, and Prof. Jill Cameron


PT & OT Alumni Achievement Award Nominations: February 28 Deadline

The year 2019 marks the 23rd 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 2019 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.

Research Highlight: Females with Concussion

Research led by Dr. Angela Colantonio on females with concussion has been highlighted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  The research team found that ‘girls with a concussion are more likely than males to have a neck injury’.  The NIH-funded study has recently been published in the Journal Women’s Health: Neck injury comorbidity in concussion-related emergency department visits: a population-based study of sex differences across the life span.

2019 Fieldwork Education Awards

Registration is now open for the 2019 Fieldwork Education Awards Breakfast and Clinical Education Workshops.  The event takes place February 20 this year, with an appreciation breakfast and awards ceremony, followed by your choice of two excellent workshops. Registration closes February 11Click here for details of the workshop and registration.