Deirdre R. Dawson, PhD, OT Reg (Ont)

Deirdre R. DawsonContinued Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentorship

Affiliation(s):     Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Rehabilitation Science Institute, Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Hospital

Context(s) for Award:     In recognition of continued excellence in gradiate teaching and mentorship.

Dr. Dawson is a registered occupational therapist, Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto, Senior Scientist with the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest, Adjunct Scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and a member of the Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery. In April 2014, she was inducted into the American Occupational Therapy Foundation, Academy of Research.

Dr. Dawson received her Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation from the University of British Columbia, her MSc in Epidemiology and her PhD in Neuropsychology from the University of Toronto.

To date, she has been privileged to supervise 50 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows and her trainees have given more than 115 presentations worldwide in the last 5 years. The focus of the work in her research lab is to achieve optimal participation in everyday life for adults and older adults with executive function (EF) (or high-level cognitive) impairments.

Early in my academic career, my father gave me the best advice for teaching:“You have to want your students to do well.” Such a simple statement, yet it embodies so much – not just wanting my students to do well on a specific test or paper but wanting them to do well in their learning and, most importantly, wanting them to do well in their lives. As that means something different for every student, I have the privilege of getting to know them and I feel that it is a great gift to be able to accompany them on part of their journey.