Faculty, staff and students recognized for going 'above and beyond' at 2017 RMSA Gala

Recipients were honoured with awards in the areas of teaching, scholarships and excellence.

FRM Communications, with files from Rehab Med faculty, staff and students - 5 April 2017

Every year, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine faculty, staff and students gather together for a night of recognition-a way to say 'thank you' to those who have put time, effort and care into their roles as teachers, mentors and future health-care professionals.

The RMSA Winter Gala, which is hosted by the Rehabilitation Medicine Student Association (RMSA), took place on Saturday, March 25, at the Mirage Banquet Hall. Faculty, students and clinical educators were honoured during an award ceremony that highlighted excellence in rehabilitation medicine.

"I'm glad that we are able to continue to take the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our staff, faculty and students through this event," says Bob Haennel, interim dean, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. "When you have people who are willing to go above and beyond for their students, clients and colleagues, that's something that needs to be showcased."

This year, recipients were honoured with awards in the areas of teaching, scholarships and excellence.

Faculty Teaching Award: Judy Chepeha and Carol Boliek

This year's Faculty Teaching Award was awarded to two recipients: Judy Chepeha and Carol Boliek.

Judy was nominated for this award by her colleagues in the Department of Physical Therapy for her work as an associate professor, primarily teaching responsibilities related to musculoskeletal physical therapy and therapeutic exercise. Her colleagues and students recognize her as an outstanding teacher, clinician and mentor.

The second award went to the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders' Carol Boliek, who was nominated for her consistent and effective role as an instructor. Student comments emphasize her care and concern for her students, her efforts to optimize their engagement, her willingness to answer repeated inquiries and her ability to link abstract theoretical concepts to real-life clinical scenarios.

Sessional Teaching Award: Lisa Jasper

Lisa was nominated for the Sessional Teaching Award by her colleagues in the Department of Physical Therapy for her work as a satellite instructor, teaching associate and lab facilitator at the Camrose Augustana campus.

Lisa, who is also the coordinator for the Augustana satellite program, played a major part in establishing the Augustana satellite campus as a permanent location for physical therapy education in Alberta.

Graduate Student Teaching Award: Joanne Park

Joanne, who can be described as "extremely conscientious, proactive, supportive and innovative," was nominated for the Graduate Student Teaching Award by her colleagues in the Department of Occupational Therapy for her assistance as a co-instructor in several occupational therapy courses.

As a student herself in the Rehabilitation Science PhD program, Joanne knows the ins and outs of student life, and works toward providing students with a respectful and engaging environment.

Clinician Teaching Assistant Award: Suzanne Boucher and William Tung

Suzanne and William were nominated by their colleagues in the Department of Physical Therapy for their team contributions to the Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy course over the last nine years.

Suzanne is always engaged and well-prepared for her class, and her knowledge allows her to jump right in and help students who are struggling with practical skills, and be able to ask them challenging clinical questions that will test their clinical reasoning, making them stronger physical therapists in the end.

William is a staunch advocate for student placements and helping physical therapists find a place in society. This is why he also participates as a teaching assistant in the Internationally Educated Physiotherapists Bridging program here in the Faculty of Rehab Med, helping international students transition to practice in Canada.

RMSA Teaching Awards

The purpose of the RMSA teaching awards is to recognize exemplary teaching of undergraduate and/or graduate students at the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine and to acknowledge individuals for contributions to student learning.

This year's award recipients were:

Joanna Hulzenga, Department of Occupational Therapy
Judy Chepeha, Department of Physical Therapy
Jana Rieger, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Clinical Educator Awards

Gary Rowland (OT)
Kari Kopat (PT)
Julia Giesen (CSD)

RMSA Student Scholarships

Each year, the RMSA also gives out scholarships to students who are active in their community and are in good academic standing.

The 2017 RMSA Student Scholarship recipients were:

Lauren Oscapella, 1st year, Department of Physical Therapy
Jeffery Vela, 2nd year, Department of Physical Therapy
Roseleen John, 1st year, Department of Occupational Therapy
Morgan Marshall, 2nd year, Department of Occupational Therapy
Althea Feil, 1st year, Department of Communication Science and Disorders

RMSA Award of Excellence

This award is to be given annually to a student with satisfactory academic standing continuing in a program of students in Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, or Speech-Language Pathology. The recipient will be selected on the basis of demonstrated leadership through involvement and participation in university and community organizations, with an emphasis on activities directly related to Rehabilitation Medicine.

This year's winner is:

Kaitlyn Hartmann, 2nd year, Department of Occupational Therapy

Congratulations to all of the winners!