Research in action

Message from the Dean

As a young occupational therapist working in mental health and aging, I quickly became disillusioned with clinical practice, most of which was not evidence-based. I returned to McGill to seek mentorship from Louise Gauthier, who was also director of the occupational therapy program. She encouraged me to learn the skills to contribute to the evidence for our profession. While Louise Gauthier mentored me on methodology, co-supervisor Dr. Lynette Jones mentored me on analysis and writing. Dr. Serge Gauthier also took me under his wing and provided valuable research assistant opportunities in dementia research.

Lili Liu and mentors circa 1993.Many of us have mentors to thank for where we end up working. If it weren’t for the Gauthiers and Dr. Jones (pictured with me in the earlier days), I would likely not have found my way to Waterloo and the Faculty of Health and the rewarding research I have accomplished throughout my career.

In this issue of Health Hub, we check in with three alumni who have impressive careers and touch base with their research mentors. Dr. Katelyn (Godin) Colonnier, now a senior policy analyst in Ottawa, knew she had to work with Dr. Scott Leatherdale in the School of Public Health Sciences when she first heard him lecture. Lindsay Kalbfleisch, who helps put academic research into practice in her current role, had several mentors in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, including Dr. Steven Mock, with whom she still keeps in touch. And Dr. William Weijia Lu, who worked closely with Dr. Robert Norman, former dean and Kinesiology professor, is now retired himself but had an impactful career as a researcher and professor.

We also hope you enjoy reading about our three new Alumni Award recipients and seeing what other former classmates are up to in Class Notes – we had a lot submissions for this issue! We encourage you to share as well for the next issue in spring. And finally, in the Connect and Learn section, I’d like you to meet Katelyn Gordner (BA '15), our new Alumni Engagement Officer. We are thrilled to have her back in the Faculty; she and the rest of the Health Advancement team are working hard to get Upcoming Events off the ground so that alumni like you can reconnect with faculty, staff – and perhaps even help mentor current students.

Dean Lili Liu.

Happy reading!

Lili Liu
Dean, Faculty of Health