May 31, 2022

RSI Research Day – 2022 Recap


Download the complete 2022 RSI Abstract Booklet

Thursday, May 26, 2022 marked this year’s Rehabilitation Sciences Institute (RSI) Research Day event which took place virtually for the third time ever!

Due to last minute construction on the in-person venue, the Research Day Committee made the tough decision to host the event virtually for a third year in a row – however this did not waver the will of Co-Chairs Wade Michaelchuk and Beatrice Manduchi, along with the rest of the committee, who were determined to keep the annual research showcase alive.

Every year, RSI Research Day highlights and celebrates the research being conducted by the bright and talented graduate students of RSI via poster and oral presentations and this year was no exception! With over 100 attendees, the event drew the masses despite its online format. The central theme to this year’s event was The Future of Rehabilitation.

The day began with some inspiring opening remarks given by RSI’s Director, Dr. Angela Colantonio along with a written address by Antony Duttine from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), World Health Organization (WHO) who gave a warm welcome to all.

Next, we heard from this year's keynote speaker, Dr. Sarah Blanton (Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, Division of Physical Therapy) who gave a timely talk on #Environmental #Sustainability in Rehab Science through her insights as a physical therapist and her use of poetry!

With the online platform came a new format to the program which focused on 3+2-minute student oral presentations, as well as online poster sessions whereby RSI graduate students presented their work through breakout rooms on Zoom. Notably, this year the organizing committee worked to incorporate a focus on mental health and principles of movement and meaningful engagement by including stretching and networking breaks.

During the midday program, guests were able to participate in the panel discussion on the Future of Rehab with experts speaking on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Technology and Sustainability. Special thanks go out to Lisa Richardson (MD), Jed Meltzer (PhD), and Fiona Miller (PhD) for their shared wisdom in their fields respectively and insight resulting in such engaging discussions.

The day came to a fitting close by celebrating the achievements of the RSI community by means of the RSI Recognition Awards Ceremony.

Congratulations to this year’s winners:




Research Recognition Award

Vjura Senthilnathan, MSc Student
Amy Nesbitt, PhD Student

Leadership and Inspiration Award

Nirusa Nadesar, MSc Student
Michelle Legasto-Mulvale, PhD Candidate

Community Service Award

Chelsea Tanchip, MSc Student
Lovisa Cheung, PhD Candidate 




Dr. Patty Rigby Award for Early Career
Excellence in Supervision and Mentorship

Yani Hamdami

Dr. Dina Brooks Award for Continuing/Sustained
Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision and Mentorship

Anne Agur

Teaching Award

Sarah Munce

Janet Parsons & Julia Gray

Faculty/Staff Service Award

Nick Reed
Rob Page




Outstanding Leadership Award

Marika Warner                                        

Outstanding Mentorship Award

Kristina Kokorelias

Service Award

Lauren Bechard




3 Minute Presentation 

Alexandra Thompson, PhD Candidate
Beatrice Manduchi, PhD Candidate
Vanessa Tomas, PhD Candidate
Samantha Seaton, PhD Candidate
Hope Jervis-Rademeyer, PhD Candidate
Sara Hanafy, PhD Candidate




Best Poster                                       

Olivia Du, MSc Student
Jacquelin Forsey, PhD Candidate
Daniela Chan Viquez, PhD Candidate

People's Choice

Francis Routledge, MSc Student
Brynna Kerr, PhD Student
Azadeh Barzideh, PhD Candidate

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Francis Routledge, MSc Student
Daniela Chan ViquezPhD PhD Candidate




KT Competition

Chelsea Tanchip, MSc Student
Brynna Kerr, PhD Student

All told, more than 50 posters and oral presentations were made and several faculty, staff, students and family members attended the event online to celebrate the excellent scholarship taking place at RSI. Thank you to all those who attended, to the RSI Research Day Committee and staff for making this year’s event an even greater success!

As always, thank you to our valued sponsors:

For those of you who were unable to join us, we look forward to seeing you in 2023 at our next innovative, informative and inspiring day of research at RSI!