Street Credit: Department of Occupational Therapy

With the University of Alberta's Department of Occupational Therapy (OT) going through accreditation interviews last week, we thought it would be interesting for us to do some of our own interviews here "on the streets" of the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Laurie Wang - 02 December 2015

So why did you choose OT at the University of Alberta?

"I chose the UAlberta OT program because of its proximity to home (Calgary) and I had a presentation in my undergraduate degree from UAlberta describing the quality and features of the program. I also am a strong believer of the OT core value of having client-centred care and approaching challenges with a holistic lens."
Jasmine Maser, 2nd year MSc OT student, Calgary Satellite

"As a vegetarian it was not the famous Alberta beef that attracted me to UAlberta! The OT department was full of people I respected professionally and personally; they made me feel welcome and I remember being struck by the warmth and care everyone had for one another and for the students. I felt that a place where people laugh so much while doing great work was somewhere I really wanted to be."
Cary Brown, OT professor, originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba

"The Department of OT at UAlberta has help me be more open and willing to help others learn. Having the first-year OT students listen to my story and practice on me what they have learned in class, has helped the students improve the lives of other people with disabilities."
Michelle Bissell, client educator with cerebral palsy, born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta

What makes you proud to be part of OT at UAlberta?

"I think it's one of the best OT programs OT in the country."
Morgan Gronhovd, 1st year MSc OT student, originally from Shaunovon, Saskatchewan

"I am proud to be starting a career in such a dynamic and diversified profession. I am excited to see where the occupational therapy profession goes in the future and feel my education at the U of A has laid a solid foundation for me as I move forward."
Paige Reeves, 2nd year MSc OT student, originally from Tofield, Alberta

"I am proud of our vision and mission to be and develop global leaders in occupational therapy and practice through excellence in research, education and citizenship. I am also proud to work with an innovative and supportive team who encourage one another to be the best at what we do."
Shanon Phelan, OT assistant professor, originally from Burlington, Ontario

What do you love the best about UAlberta OT?

"I love that there is room in this program for me to be the occupational therapist I want to be. The program does a great job of creating space for students to explore their passions and interests within the profession."
Paige Reeves, 2nd year MSc OT student

"I love my classmates that I've met here and how supportive the community of OT is here in Alberta."
Morgan Gronhovd, 1st year MSc OT student

"People remember to order me a non-carnivore sandwich when we have lunch meetings! Seriously though, I love that diversity of opinion is actively sought out and not censored. In the first year I was here I remember that the President invited people to have breakfast with her. I thought we would be a group of 150 with stale coffee, but no, 12 people sat down with her and we dialogued with the President of the university for 90 minutes - what a gift! It was a very inspiring experience, and especially so given that I have worked at other universities where the dean of my faculty, never mind the President, would not have known me from a stranger at the bus stop."
Cary Brown, OT professor

"One of my best memories was not in the classroom, but it was while I was waiting to speak in the classroom. I was in the hall waiting to go in the class and I overheard a couple of students discussing their homework. I heard the words, 'cerebral palsy.' I kept quiet because I wasn't sure. Then I heard it again. So, I piped up and said, 'Are you guys talking about cerebral palsy? I have cerebral palsy, can I help?' The students said, 'Yes! Come here and help us,' and I did."
Michelle Bissell, client educator

"What I love most about the U of A OT program is that the instructors are very knowledgeable, approachable and love what they do. They instil the passion that they have for their profession in each of us as students. The class I am in is the Calgary satellite campus and we have a small class that allows for more interaction with professors, class facilitators and other students."
Jasmine Maser, 2nd year MSc OT student

"I love the passion and commitment demonstrated not only by my colleagues, but by the students we get the pleasure to teach and learn with. It motivates me to teach and conduct research from a place of passion as well."
Shanon Phelan, OT assistant professor


The Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta

As the only free-standing faculty of rehabilitation medicine in North America, the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine's vision is to be at the forefront of knowledge generation and scholarship in rehabilitation. Through excellent teaching, research and service to the community, the Faculty is committed to enhancing quality of life, promoting participation and autonomy, and improving function for citizens in Alberta and beyond.

A research leader in musculoskeletal health, spinal cord injuries, common spinal disorders (back pain), seniors and dementia and speech-language disorders, the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine aims to inspire the realization of the full potential of individuals, families and communities. The three departments, Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy (PT) and Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) offer professional entry programs. The Faculty offers thesis-based MSc and PhD programs in Rehabilitation Science, attracting students from a variety of disciplines including OT, PT, SLP, psychology, physical education, medicine and engineering.