2017 COTF Scholarship Recipients


Minnie Teng
Barb Worth Emergent Leader Award – $5,000

I am extremely honored and thankful to learn that I am the recipient of the Barb Worth Emergent Leader Award this year. I am a second-year UBC student in the Master of Occupational Therapy program. I am involved on campus through my position...
as co-president of the class, and my employment as a research coordinator. I am also involved in the community. I have volunteered with local health authority since 2010 at a complex care setting. Initially I visited elderly folks one-on-one, but upon realizing that many of these seniors have poor nail hygiene, I decided to spearhead “Neater Nails” – a weekly volunteer program where youth provide manicures for seniors with complex care. More recently, having heard the elderly express interest in learning technology, I sought funding opportunities and initiated “Wise Webbie Workshops”. Having been an ophthalmic patient as a child, I have always been interested in vision research. When I volunteered with adults undergoing vision loss, they expressed that there is a lack of accessible exercise opportunities for them. As an aquatic fitness instructor, I decided to work with local community groups to seek funding to initiate Aqua Vision, adapted aquafit for the blind. Since then, other organizations have inquired about adapted aquafit. Hence, I founded Aquafit for All Association, a non-profit organization envisioned to provide accessible aquafit for the disadvantaged populations. With this Scholarship I can work less, engage in self-care, and spend more time on volunteering and giving back to the community, thanks to your generous help!

Marie-Hélène Levesque
COTF/Invacare Master’s Scholarship – $2,000

Je suis très heureuse, honorée et reconnaissante d’avoir été choisie comme récipiendaire de la bourse de maîtrise de la FCE/Invacare. Cette bourse représente non seulement un soutien financier à la réalisation de mon projet d’études,
mais également une reconnaissance par mes pairs ergothérapeutes et un vecteur de développement professionnel notable, dans le contexte d’une transition prochaine vers le doctorat. Ce projet d’études se veut une suite logique à ma pratique clinique où, pendant plus de dix années, me suis engagée auprès d’aînés en leur offrant des moyens et des opportunités d’améliorer leur autonomie, leur qualité de vie et leur bien-être. Aujourd’hui, j’ai la conviction que la pratique de l’ergothérapie peut se développer davantage à travers l’intégration d’approches préventives comme le Lifestyle Redesign®, une intervention novatrice et efficace qui fait l’objet de mes travaux de recherche. En me permettant de me consacrer optimalement à ce projet de recherche, la bourse de maîtrise FCE/Invacare agira à titre de force vive pour explorer les conditions nécessaires à la mise en œuvre du Lifestyle Redesign® et assurer une diffusion élargie de mes résultats. Je suis grandement animée à l’idée de porter ce projet inspirant pour la profession et je suis privilégiée de pouvoir compter sur l’appui de la Fondation canadienne d’ergothérapie et d’Invacare pour y parvenir. Merci du fond du cœur!

Accompagner et documenter la préimplantation du Lifestyle Redesign® en milieu communautaire québécois : une recherche-action

Jessie Trenholm
COTF Master’s Scholarship – $1,500 each

Thank you to the Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation for granting me one of the 2017 COTF Master's Scholarships. It truly is an honour to have the support of COTF and their donors.
I am excited to be able to apply that support to my post-professional Master’s of Occupational Therapy through Dalhousie University, and my final project. This project will focus on occupational therapy practice in the emergency department (ED). Specifically, I will be examining the reasons that patients return to the ED after receiving occupational therapy consultation, and whether those reasons differ between frail and non-frail individuals. The emergency department is an exciting area of OT practice, but is often a signal of functional decline in frail patients. By marrying occupational therapy focus on holistic assessment and intervention with the complexities of the vulnerable frail population, perhaps this decline can be slowed, halted, or even reversed. I am thrilled to be able to explore this fascinating topic further, with the support of the COTF. I would again like to extend my thanks to the COTF and their awards committee for honouring me in this way.

Cynthia Yamamoto
COTF Master’s Scholarship – $1,500 each

I am thrilled to be a recipient of the 2017 Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation (COTF) Master's Scholarship. I graduated from the Master of Occupational Therapy Program at the University of Manitoba in 2012.
Since graduating, I have divided my time between research and practice roles. In the academic sphere, I have had the honour of working with and learning from researchers at the College of Rehabilitation Sciences through my work as a research assistant and tutor. My research interests include interprofessional collaboration, occupational therapy in primary care, person-centred care and community development. In my practice role, I have been privileged to work with the facilitators and participants of the Gaining Resources Our Way (GROW) Program, a community-based transitional life skills day program for young adults with social, intellectual and developmental disabilities. I was delighted to return to my studies this fall to pursue a Master of Rehabilitation Science, with the aim of continuing on to complete a PhD in Applied Health Sciences. As ever, I am inspired by other researchers in occupational therapy. Access to education and mentorship has nurtured in me a passion for contributing to the robust scholarly academic community of our profession. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the COTF for supporting me as I continue my journey towards becoming an independent researcher in occupational therapy.

Janna MacLachlan
COTF Doctoral Scholarship – $3,000 each

Thank you to COTF and their awards committee for selecting me for a 2017 Doctoral Scholarship. It is truly an honour and I am humbled to receive it.
I am excited to have the opportunity to engage in research work that evolved out of experiences and reflections from my clinical work in Nunavut. This research will respond in part to calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and aim to centre Inuit worldviews in considering rehabilitation services. My preliminary research trip, which sought to gather ideas and research priorities from Iqaluit community members, former colleagues and other stakeholders, has further motivated me to pursue this timely and important work. As a white woman of settler descent, I am on a constant journey of learning my role as an ally and unlearning formerly taken-for-granted assumptions that come from my Western upbringing and education.  In order to do this work in a good way that centres community priorities and values, it is essential for me to spend lots of time in Nunavut. As this is one of the most expensive places in Canada to travel to and live in, the COTF scholarship will be a great help, taking off some financial pressure. Thank you to COTF and their donors for making this scholarship possible!

Susanne Mak
COTF Doctoral Scholarship – $3,000 each

Thank you to COTF and the Review Committee. It is with great humility that I accept this scholarship and am sincerely honoured to have been chosen. The pursuit of doctoral studies has been thus far, a rewarding, enriching and stimulating learning experience.
As other scholarship recipients have noted before, it is not evident to pursue doctoral studies while engaging in other occupational roles, whether that be a parent, a life partner, etc. The occupational balance that we strive to achieve is often challenging to manage despite our best efforts due to the various commitments we engage in. What has given me strength thus far has been the support of my family, my PhD supervisors, my friends and McGill colleagues, as well as my passion for the topic of attrition and retention in our profession. COTF’s financial support will enable me to gather further tools and knowledge to engage in my doctoral work and develop an understanding of how our practice and educational environments influence our decision-making to stay or leave our profession. This COTF Doctoral scholarship will also allow me to share my research findings with others at scientific conferences and scholarly events. Receiving a COTF Doctoral scholarship means a great deal to me. It shows me that my fellow peers are supportive of the issues I aim to explore, with the ultimate objective of advancing our profession. I am grateful to COTF for this opportunity, and it is with great pride that I move forward in my doctoral work with COTF’s support.

Rebecca Van Schyndel
Marita Dyrbye Mental Health Award – $1,000

I am honoured and grateful to be a recipient of the Marita Dyrbe Mental Health Award in 2017. As an Occupational Therapist and a Rehabilitation Sciences Ph.D. candidate at the University of Ottawa,
I feel privileged to be a part of the wonderful community of Occupational Therapists in Canada. I am hopeful that my research may produce relevant knowledge regarding the use of psychoanalytic skills that may benefit the therapeutic relationship in occupational therapy practice. Thank you sincerely for recognizing and supporting my work, so that I may continue to advocate for our valuable and holistic profession in Canadian health care.
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