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Rebecca Lascue (MPT’2018) was the top graduate in the Class of 2018 (Photo: Kristin MacPherson)

Top of the class

Rebecca Lascue (MPT’2018) is a student leader, accomplished theatre performer and gifted musician. She’s also the top graduate in the Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) Class of 2018.

Lascue received the Sadownick Family Award for Most Distinguished MPT Graduate during the School of Rehabilitation’s graduation banquet on Oct. 27. The award is given to the graduate with the highest academic average. In addition to a demanding academic schedule, Lascue was involved in a variety of leadership roles and volunteer activities, including serving as the co-president of the Physical Therapy Students Society and as the student representative for the associate dean search committee.

“The program is very intense and I learned a lot about managing stress and striving for work-life balance,” Lascue said of the two-year program. “It’s not always something that I succeeded at. But I feel like I’ve gotten more practice in finding strategies. I think the leadership opportunities taught me valuable skills, like how committees work and how to be an effective leader. It was hectic at times, but well worth it.”

Lascue’s creativity started when she was young. Growing up in a musical family, she participated in Regina’s Globe Theatre acting conservatory training program, performed with Saskatchewan Express and has released an album on iTunes. Within her studies, Lascue has been able to engage her artistic side, including writing physiotherapy-themed songs for several special occasions throughout the program. This type of creative expression is something Lascue views as an advantage for her future occupation.

“I’m excited for physio because there is so many ways you can do it. Going forward, I think there is a lot of opportunity for creativity and to bring in those music or drama skills and use those in physio too.”

Prior to enrolling in the MPT program, Lascue completed an honours psychology degree at the University of Regina. She took some well-deserved time off and volunteered part-time at Wascana Rehabilitation Centre’s pool program. A young client with a brain injury left a lasting impression on Lascue that helped lead her to the MPT program.

“This person’s mother was speaking about the importance of continuing his rehabilitation program, as even small gains made a huge difference to them. She really needed health care workers to keep working with them over the long haul. It really impacted me,” said Lascue. “I was curious about which health care profession was able to fulfill this role, working with people over long periods of time and developing strong therapeutic relationships. I researched it and found out it was physiotherapists, which surprised me, because back then I thought physio had more to do with sports.”

What lies ahead for the new graduate? Lascue says she is focused on writing and passing her national physiotherapy exam, followed by her wedding and honeymoon later this year. She’ll start a new job at a hospital in January, and feels confident that the support she received as a student will aid in her future success in the workforce.

“I think the biggest thing for me going forward is having these relationships, these mentorships,” said Lascue. “In physio, there is still so much to learn. Having strong mentors that you can rely on, I think, is an important part to guide your development as you get out and working on your own. The faculty have been there for us, which I think is great, and I feel like they be will be going forward if you have a question. There is a strong sense of mentorship and support in the physical therapy community.”

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