Muriel Driver Memorial Lectureship Award

This lectureship was established as a memorial to Muriel Driver in honour of her many significant contributions to the profession of occupational therapy, from the time of her graduation from the University of Toronto in 1941 until her death in 1972. A brief résumé will give some idea of Muriel’s full and varied career, which began in 1941 when she became a home service therapist at the Toronto Curative workshop.

In 1943 Muriel enlisted in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, serving first as sole therapist at the Hamilton Military Hospital. This was followed by an overseas posting to the 22nd Canadian General Hospital in the United Kingdom as charge occupational therapist. Returning to Canada, she served at the Montreal Military Hospital as assistant to the charge therapist.

Following discharge from the Army in 1946, Muriel organized the first occupational therapy department at Runnymede Hospital for the Chronically Ill in Toronto, and in 1948 she became supervisor of the occupational therapy department at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. During her years at this hospital, Muriel attended the Warm Springs Foundation in Georgia and was awarded the post-graduate certificate in neuro-muscular disorders.

In 1954 Muriel returned to Warm Springs as Director of Occupational Therapy and Instructor in the Post-Graduate School. Muriel accepted the challenge of organizing and directing the special Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) course in occupational therapy at Kingston in 1959 and served as Director of the School throughout its existence. When Queen’s University established the occupational therapy educational program in 1967, Muriel was appointed Senior Lecturer, and at the time of her death in 1972 she was Assistant Professor and Senior Teacher in the Occupational Therapy Programme, School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario.

Muriel gave many years of service to the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, as a member of various committees, as chairman of several including the Education Committee, and as an elected member of the Board of Directors. As the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists delegate to the World Federation of Occupational Therapists, she represented Canada on its Council and during part of her term served as Chairman of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists Publications Committee.

In addition to these contributions, she was the author of numerous articles published in the Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy and in the journals of other health-related professions. Her enthusiasm for the advancement of occupational therapy and the stimulation which she provided were sources of inspiration of students, therapists and personal friends.

The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists will honour a member of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession through research, education and the practice of occupational therapy by presenting the individual with the Muriel Driver Memorial Lectureship Award.

Read the Collection of Muriel Driver Memorial Lectures – Sage Website

Submit a nomination

Award nomination deadline is December 1st.

Award Recipients

2019 Award Recipient

Deborah Laliberte Rudman

Deborah is recognized for her extensive contributions to occupational therapy and occupational science, for her support of students and researchers, and for her ongoing contributions to CAOT. Her scholarly work exploring the broader socio-political systems and structures that shape occupational possibilities, particularly for marginalized populations, has brought a fresh perspective to understanding occupation – one that challenges us to apply a critical lens to the use of power and privilege that influences opportunities to engage in occupation.

Deborah has authored 23 book chapters, 88 peer reviewed articles, made 173 presentations at national and international conferences and has shown leadership in embracing innovative methods of disseminating her learnings, including through virtual conferences. She is a trailblazer at Western University, where she was pivotal in the creation of the Occupational Science field in the Health and Rehabilitation Sciences graduate program and is admired by peers and students as an exceptional, inspiring role model.
Deborah has successfully put her work into practice at Western by developing a strategy to support the academic success of Indigenous students, directly enabling their occupation through her support and leadership. CAOT and the profession are the beneficiaries of Deborah’s energy through her dedicated work on CAOT’s Certification Examination Committee, in the development of CAOT Position Statements, providing journal editorships and as an abstract reviewer. Her accomplishments are widely recognized including as a past recipient of the CAOT Award of Merit, a CAOT Certificate of Appreciation, and as the Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation’s Lunch with a Scholar. She is also the only Canadian recipient of the Ruth Zemke Lectureship from the Society for the Study of Occupation in the United States.


Past Recipients

Susan Forwell

Lili Liu

Karen Whalley Hammell

Isabelle Gélinas

Bonnie Kirsh

Claire-Jehanne Dubouloz    

Marcia Finlayson 

Juliette (Archie) Cooper    

Lori Letts 

Annette Majnemer 

Nicol Korner-Bitensky 

Terry Krupa 

Mary Egan 

Jan Miller Polgar 

Johanne Desrosiers 

Catherine Backman 

Judith Friedland 

Rachel Thibeault 

Virginia Fearing

Mary Ann McColl 

Muriel Westmorland 

Marie Gage 

Huguette Picard 

Elizabeth Townsend 

Helene Polatajko 

Mary Law 

Anne Carswell-Opzoomer    

Margaret Tompson 

Sue Baptiste 

Joanne Stan 

Thelma Gill Sumsion 

Sharon Brintnell 

Barbara Saunders 

Andrée Forget 

Mary Judd 

Isobel Robinson 

Elizabeth B. Bell 

Gail Gilewich 

Barbara J. O’Shea

Margaret Hood 

Joy (Huston) Bassett 

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