Alumni Profiles

See what some of our renowned graduates are up to today! 
 

Mika Nonoyama, RRT, PhD
Year of Graduation:  2008 (GDRS)

What was your motivation for selecting GDRS/RSI as your graduate program?
I felt the program was the best match with my respiratory therapy background. My research interests also closely related to faculty member Dina Brooks (my supervisor). 

What is your most memorable experience of grad school?
Other than my successful defense, the routine meetings I had with my fellow students and Chair at the time (Helene Polatajko). I still meet with this group from time to time.

What have you been doing since graduation?
Post doctoral fellowships at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and The Faculty of Nursing University of Toronto. I am currently an assistant professor at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Health Clinician Scientist at SickKids.

How did GDRS/RSI help you to prepare for your career?
GDRS Provided me with the content expertise; training for research and teaching; and key collaborations and networks.

Apart from the academics and getting your degree, what did you discover/learn while you were in grad school?
Seek out what you love and most interests you. Things will fall into place on your journey to get there.

Any fun/funny memories to share?
Having my children at the same time as fellow alum Noemi Cantin!
 

Rosalie Wang, PhD
Year of Graduation: 2011 (GDRS in collaboration with IBBME)

What was your motivation for selecting GDRS/RSI as your graduate program?
I was exploring options for a Masters program and decided that I wanted to do grad school in Canada. OT is very well-established in Canada and a leader in OT theory and practice models. U of T was the only program at the time that allowed me to do a collaborative program with biomedical engineering without an engineering undergrad degree. Also, I found a supervisor (Dr. Geoff Fernie) who was working precisely in my areas of interest (older adults, assistive technology). 

What is your most memorable experience of grad school?
There are so many! I have made lifelong friends in GDRS and during my grad school years.  Many evenings have been spent "discussing research" at pubs, over late night sushi, etc. although...some of my late nights were spent fixing data loggers on wheelchairs and sneaking quietly back into long term care home resident rooms to return the wheelchairs for data collection.  

What have you been doing since graduation?
I completed a Post Doctoral Fellowship at Toronto Rehab and am now an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of OS and OT at U of T.

How did GDRS/RSI help you to prepare for your career?
I have been so fortunate to have found many great mentors and champions - faculty members, other students, staff from the various labs and study participants. I am so grateful for all of the discussions, insights, opportunities and advice. 

Apart from the academics and getting your degree, what did you discover/learn while you were in grad school?
Always keep an open mind and be alert! There are opportunities all around!

Any fun/funny memories to share?
This is only funny in retrospect - physically dropping off a grant application in a banker's box, minutes before the deadline, with a getaway car....

 

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