Student Ambassadors

The Ambassador Program is an RSI initiative aimed to assist prospective and incoming students with any questions they may have around applications, student life, and grad school in general. The goal of the initiative is to enable prospective students to have access to current students situated at a variety of research institutes with an assortment of expertise and past experiences. If you are a current student interested in being an ambassador, please send an email to: rsgsumentorship@gmail.com.

 

Masters program:

 

Analyssa Cardenas 

1st Year MSc
analyssa.cardenas@mail.utoronto.ca

Research Location: Bloorview Research Institute/Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Field of Study: Rehabilitation Technology Sciences

Summary of Research: My research is focused on examining the use of cycling-based exercise video games, or exergames, for inpatient children with cerebral palsy (CP) following lower extremity orthopedic surgery.

Why I Chose RSI: I chose RSI because of the opportunities to work alongside the leading health care researchers in an abundance of teaching hospitals that the University of Toronto has to offer. Additionally, the RSI’s tight-knit community always provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere. R-S-I loves rehab!!

You Can Ask Me About: Collaborative Specialization in Neuroscience, RSI Mentorship Committee, RSI Research Day Committee, UTGSU Intramurals, UofT Intramurals, and rehabINK!

Zara Szigeti  

1st Year MSc
zara.szigeti@utoronto.ca

Research Location: Bloorview Research Institute/Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, and RSI (500 University Ave)

Field of Study: Social & Cognition Rehabilitation Sciences

Summary of Research: My research is looking at the experiences of primary caregivers of children with traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Specifically, we will be exploring resiliency-related processes that have influenced life for caregivers since the injury.

Why I Chose RSI: It is fascinating that we can understand cognitive function by studying dysfunction, making the area of neurotrauma an excellent area of research for me. Plus, I have always been concerned with providing social care for these individuals and their loved ones. When I became exposed to this program that offers such specialized areas of study, I knew it was the right fit as it combined both of these interests!

You Can Ask Me About: Collaborative Program in Neuroscience (CPIN), Social and Service Committee, Awards Committee

Erica Dove  

1st Year MSc
erica.dove@mail.utoronto.ca

Research Location: Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Sep 2018 – Mar 2019); Toronto Rehab (Apr 2019+)

Field of Study: Rehabilitation Technology Science, Social & Cognitive Rehabilitation

Summary of Research: My research interests focus on the ways in which technology can be applied to mitigate the impacts of cognitive and age-related impairments on health, occupation, and engagement. My thesis aims to explore the impacts of active gaming on balance, movement confidence, and cognitive function in people with cognitive impairment.

Why I Chose RSI: Firstly, I was impressed by the breadth and depth of impactful research produced by the department. Secondly, I was drawn to RSI given its prestigious reputation compared to other rehabilitation-related graduate programs. Lastly, I really liked the ‘community feel’ of RSI.

You Can Ask Me About: RSI! (e.g. courses, research)

 

 

doctoral program:

 

Kenneth Wu  

3rd Year PhD
(re-classified from MSc), PT
k.wu@mail.utoronto.ca

Research Location: St. Michael’s Hospital

Field of Study: Movement Science

Summary of Research: My PhD thesis is on peripheral skeletal muscle structure and function in adults with cystic fibrosis. Specifically, my interest is in the role of genetic mutation and the cellular aspects of peripheral skeletal muscles in cystic fibrosis.

Why I Chose RSI: Faculty and students in RSI are conducting a wide variety of rehabilitation related research; through which I wish and have gained a lot of knowledge and research skills that help my own research projects.

You Can Ask Me About: Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Physiotherapy Advisory Group; Advancement & Community Engagement (ACE) Committee in the Department of Physical Therapy. The Canadian Physiotherapy Association Cardiorespiratory Division.

Hope Jervis Rademeyer  

1st Year PhD, PT
hope.jervisrademeyer@mail.utoronto.ca

Research Location: Toronto Rehab – Lyndhurst Centre

Field of Study: Movement Science & Rehabilitation Technology Science

Summary of Research: The purpose of my research is to investigate the physical rehabilitation of people with spinal cord injury using neurotechnology (ie. brain-computer interface, functional electrical stimulation, robot helper).

Why I Chose RSI: The RSI program at the University of Toronto is one of the top programs in the world. My supervisor, Dr. Kristin Musselman, and the faculty and staff at RSI provide me with the support that I need to succeed. I have the opportunity to work with a non-traditional interprofessional research team and access to unique, innovative resources.

You Can Ask Me About: Collaborative Program in Neuroscience, Canadian Physiotherapy Association, Neuroscience Division of Canadian Physiotherapy Association

Azadeh Barzideh  

1st Year PhD
azadeh.barzideh@mail.utoronto.ca

Research Location: Toronto Rehab  

Field of Study: Movement Science

Summary of Research: I am working on the effect of reactive balance training in chronic stroke patients.

Why I Chose RSI: Because it is one of the best departments in the world offering a PhD in rehabilitation sciences. I was looking for an environment that helps me grow as a researcher and provides me with more opportunities and resources at the same time. I believe RSI has both.

You Can Ask Me About: rehabINK, International Students

Tyler Saumur  

2nd Year PhD
(also completed MSc in RSI)
tyler.saumur@mail.utoronto.ca

Research Location: Toronto Rehab, Sunnybrook, and RSI (500 University Ave)

Field of Study: Movement Science

Summary of Research: Understanding the relationship between muscle function and postural control. I am using posturographic measures taken from forceplates and using EMG and force dynamometry for my data collection.

Why I Chose RSI: RSI is a collaborative department with a wide range of research expertise in their faculty members. Ultimately, my decision was based on the fit of faculty members’ research and the different opportunities offered to me. I have completed my MSc in RSI and have stuck around for my PhD.

You Can Ask Me About: Research Day Committee, Mentorship Committee, Admissions Committee, Handbook Committee, CPIN, UTGSU, RSGSU

Sana Smaoui  

2nd Year PhD
sana.smaoui@mail.utoronto.ca

Research Location: Toronto Rehab

Field of Study: Speech-Language Pathology

Summary of Research: My research is focused on the application and validation of an intensive tongue strength training protocol and its impact on the physiological factors that contribute to dysphagia following stroke.

Why I Chose RSI: The collaborative and interdisciplinary culture of the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute along with the excellence and expertise of its faculty members are the main reasons I chose RSI.

You Can Ask Me About: Collaborative Program in Neuroscience, RSI Student Awards Committee, Speech-Language Pathology Alumni