A year of growth and change

It has been a year of growth here in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine - growth and change. We are indeed getting bigger, with expanded enrollment in all of our professional programs and the (re) establishment of our satellite programs at Augustana Campus in Camrose. We are also growing personally and professionally, so that we can do our very best to meet the shifting needs of the communities we serve.

1 May 2023

Tammy Hopper, PhD, R-SLP, CCC-SLP Professor and Dean, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine

This year, we have focused on building upon our specific commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples as well as broader commitments to equity, diversity, and inclusion in everything we do.

Our Intersections in Rehabilitation speaker series brought together speakers from across Canada and beyond to share both lived experience and academic research with the aim of furthering our understandings of racism, equity and social justice in the context of rehabilitation sciences. We were honoured to participate in an important guiding discussion with Andrea Menard, LL.B, LL.M, she/they/ᐃᐧᔭᐋᐧᐤ wiyawâw, around the importance of Indigenization and decolonization of rehabilitation science as a whole, and starting with our courses, programs and research. It was wonderful to see so many of you, including alumni and working professionals, in attendance for this particular learning opportunity, key to the future of our Faculty and the work we do.

These discussions are central to our ability to cultivate more inclusive, equitable and accessible learning and working spaces within and outside of our university context. We will continue to learn (and unlearn) as we engage in such discussions. Importantly, we must take our learning and move beyond talking to action. We are continuing to ask questions and make changes to all aspects of our work, and I am so proud of the faculty, staff and students who propose ideas that we can pursue together with our community partners. For example, last fall, we embarked on a collaboration with Treaty 8 First Nations, committing to invest in the design and implementation of educational activities related to rehabilitation medicine for Alberta high school students in Treaty 8. I am full of hope that these steps might help us create pathways for Indigenous students into the fields of physical, occupational and speech therapy, where they are so needed.

Meanwhile, we are improving our physical spaces on campus to better reflect the diversity of our Rehab community, including a new gathering space in Corbett Hall, designed to bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous Rehabilitation community members — students, staff and faculty — to reflect on Truth and Reconciliation. Please watch for an announcement for the opening of this space.

As we collaborate on these important initiatives, we are grateful for the ongoing support of our alumni and donors. Without the strong and collaborative relationship we are fortunate to share with you, many of our key goals would go unmet.

To continue to build on the strengths of our partnerships, I know how important it is that we keep the lines of communication open. And please know that I always want to hear from you! Please reach out anytime. If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to chat, email me at thopper@ualberta.ca.


Tammy Hopper, PhD, R-SLP, CCC-SLP
Professor and Dean,
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine