The Patty Rigby and John Wedge Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology

Dec 11, 2017
Author: 
Jessica Boafo

The Rehabilitation Sciences Institute in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto is profoundly grateful for the generosity of Dr. Patty Rigby and Dr. John Wedge for their enhancement of the Patty Rigby and John Wedge Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology.

Patty and her husband, John, established this scholarship in 1999 to support the doctoral studies of occupational therapists and surgeons at the University of Toronto. The award alternated annually between the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and the Surgeon Scientist Training Program in the Department of Surgery. This year, they wanted to recognize their respective retirements from the University by enhancing this award and making it available annually to students in both academic units.  Patty retired as Associate Professor Emerita in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, and John retired as Professor Emeritus in the Department of Surgery. John was the Colonel R.S. McLaughlin Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto, Surgeon-in-Chief at The Hospital for Sick Children, and also Associate Dean, Clinical Affairs and Associate Vice Provost in the Faculty of Medicine. 

Patty was an Adjunct Scientist at the Bloorview Research Institute at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, and worked there part-time as a Scientist for 17 years. Dr. Rigby’s passion is children’s rehabilitation. She conducted research to develop and evaluate assistive technologies for children and youth, to examine the influence of environments on children’s play and participation, and to develop outcome measurement to evaluate rehabilitation services for children and their families. She was also a member of a team of occupational therapy academics who developed the Person-Environment-Occupation (PEO) Model to guide OT practice. This model is widely used by OTs around the world and has been cited extensively in international OT literature. The PEO model places greater emphasis on the role of the environment within OT practice. Dr. Rigby published the book, Using Environments to Enable Occupational Performance (Letts, Rigby & Stewart, 2003), and contributed numerous chapters to prominent OT textbooks about OT and the environment.

Patty was a part-time faculty member in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy since 1996, teaching about occupational therapy with children and the application of OT theory to practice.  She was Graduate Coordinator from 2001 to 2008. She also held Professional Associate roles at McMaster University and Laval University for several years. In recent years she joined the executive of the PT-OT Alumni Association at University of Toronto and assumed the role of representative from the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. Patty was cross- appointed to RSI in 2009. She has always been a supportive colleague and outstanding graduate student mentor. We are fortunate that she continues to serve in this role in RSI.

Beginning in 2018, the Patty Rigby and John Wedge Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology will be awarded annually to graduate students in the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute on the basis of academic excellence. Preference will be given to graduate students pursuing a career in occupational therapy. Preference will also be given to students in the early years of their degree. 

For more information, please contact RSI business officer, Diane Wiltshire

On behalf of graduate students in the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to Drs. Rigby and Wedge for their thorough understanding of and support for graduate students in the Faculty of Medicine. Their legacies will be well represented through academic and research excellence in surgery and rehabilitation science for years to come!  
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