Retiring OT professor applauded for her energy, humour and passion for the profession

Department of Occupational Therapy's Liz Taylor was celebrated on June 7 for her near 50-year career

Amanda McCarthy, with notes from Sharon Brintnell, Joyce Magill-Evans and Lili Liu - 12 June 2019

For the last 49 years, Elizabeth (Liz) Taylor has dedicated her career to the art and science of occupational therapy.

On Friday, June 7, more than 70 colleagues, former students, friends and family members gathered at the University of Alberta's Faculty Club to celebrate Taylor's accomplishments.

Hosted by the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine's Department of Occupational Therapy Chair Lili Liu, the night was filled with great company, delicious food and a lineup of speeches that truly made the event special.

Acclaimed occupational therapy professor Sharon Brintnell welcomed her to the 'ranks of the retired.'

"[Liz] is the quintessential compassionate enabler. She is and always has been the first person to step up to serve or offer assistance. Her interdisciplinary work within the university and across professional organizations is exemplary."

Although Taylor's near 50-year career saw her make strides in the occupational therapy world, it also allowed her to give back to the profession, guiding future therapists in the Department of Occupational Therapy as an associate clinical professor.

"She leaves a very impressive record of accomplishments and representation of the effectiveness of an occupational therapist's holistic perspective and approach," said Brintnell.

Joyce Magill-Evans, professor emerita in the Department of Occupational Therapy, was not able to attend the retirement in person, but left a heartfelt note read by Liu, which spoke to Taylor's generosity and kindness.

"I am sure that others have talked about your professional contributions, your energy, your humour, your passion for OT, your persistence in getting your PhD and your hard work. To me, the most important thing has been your kind and generous heart. Others will have their own memories, but for me, you were the person who crammed her car full of the faculty's donations of coats and other winter gear and delivered them to those in need."

Liu also added her own accolades for Taylor.

"To me, Liz is defined by her commitments to: providing her expertise in mental health to her students, her family, feeling forever young, spending her winters in Hawaii, maintaining relationships, spreading optimism and giving generously of her time to the less fortunate."

During her 31 years in the Department of Occupational Therapy, Taylor also served as associate dean, professional programs & teaching in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine for six years. She is the president of The House Next Door Society and has been a consultant in education for the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing, the Canadian Physical Therapy Association and the Ontario Government Graduate School Council, as well as the past-president of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.

Taylor is also chair of the board of directors for the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR).

Congratulations to Liz Taylor on her long and successful career. We wish her all the best as she moves forward to a new chapter in her life.