Have You Met...Suzette Brémault-Phillips?

Meet Suzette, associate professor of occupational therapy in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine and director of Heroes in Mind, Advocacy and Research Consortium (HiMARC).


In honour of Remembrance Day, we’re introducing you to Suzette Brémault-Phillips, director of the Heroes in Mind, Advocacy and Research Consortium (HiMARC), a research initiative that works to improve the lives of Canadian military, veterans, public safety personnel and their families through research, education and service. HiMARC helped bring the Veteran-Friendly Campus (VFC), a two-year pilot project that supports veterans as they pursue education and skills to transition back to civilian life, to the U of A in February. Read on to learn a bit more about the program, and Suzette, who helped put it into motion.

What is your first U of A memory?

It was spring or summer of 2008 and I had come to campus to discuss working in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. The flowers were blooming and as I walked down the front sidewalk toward beautiful Corbett Hall, I thought about its rich history and pride. I felt a real connection with that history and saw all the potential of the future.

What is something your coworkers do not know about you?

I have a profound love of pruning trees. I like gardening because you get to make something take shape and maximize its potential for beauty, growth and longevity.

What is your favorite distraction?

Making soup!

If you were enrolling in one course, program or degree right now, what would it be?

Medicine — probably psychiatry.

What is a weird pet peeve you have?

Too much noise when my brain is very busy or tired.

You can invite anyone — alive or dead, real or fictional — to dinner. Who would it be?

Andriy Chirovsky. He was my PhD thesis supervisor at Saint Paul University in Ottawa and is founding director of the Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies.

If you could see any live performance tomorrow, what would it be?

The Nutcracker, which for some reason I’ve never seen before.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Follow your heart, be true to yourself and live wisely.

What is one thing you cannot live without?

Connection with that which is beyond myself.

What three words describe your U of A experience?

Exciting. Innovative. Engaging.

What is one thing you want people to know about the Veteran-Friendly Campus program?

Veterans have an incredible capacity to contribute to our civilian world, so we need to have a place and space for them to continue to contribute. The support and opportunity we have with the VFC to enable veterans to transition effectively and successfully into the civilian world is a privilege and an immense opportunity. The VFC offers us a way to hear what veterans need in order for them and their families to be successful in their transition and for post-secondary institutions to become responsive to their needs. 

About Suzette

Suzette Brémault-Phillips is an occupational therapist and associate professor in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine and director of the Heroes in Mind Advocacy and Research Consortium (HiMARC), a provincial hub for research, teaching and service for military, veteran, public safety personnel and their families. An experienced clinician-scientist who holds a PhD in spirituality, she has been sought out for her subject matter expertise in resilience, moral injury and PTSD by the Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada.