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January 31, 2012
Here at the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine we boast impressive alumni, every graduate an ambassador for rehabilitation and improving quality of life for Albertans and beyond.
International alumnus Ai Choo Lee is focusing on the beyond.
After graduating from the University of Alberta with a PhD in Rehabilitation Science in 2007, Lee returned to Malaysia and founded the country’s first and only Bachelor of Sports Rehabilitation program.
“Due to the rich culture and high level of education at the U of A, I gained invaluable experience studying in Canada and returned home an independent self-learner,” she says.
Now she’s being honoured with a Malaysia National Academia Award, the nation’s highest recognition for scholars.
“I did not know that I was going to win this honour until I received a personal congratulatory phone call from the Minister of Higher Education,” she says. “I am excited and thrilled. This is the 25th year of my teaching career, and this award recognizes my dedication and sincere effort to improve the quality of teaching in Malaysia.”
Lee should be proud. A senior lecturer at Sultan Idris Education University, she is the first woman in Malaysia with expertise in rehabilitation science and the first Malaysian-Chinese to win the academia award.
Lee says her wealth of experiences at the University of Alberta made her the creative and innovative educator she is today.
“I am thankful for the U of A, my home of four years that I have come to love,” she says. “I am grateful that I received excellent training, especially from my supervisor Dr. David Magee and co-supervisors Dr. Sharon Warren and Dr. Mark Haykowsky. They had tremendous influence on my studies, my research and my success.”
Since winning the award, Lee says she has been invited to seminars and conferences on improving teaching skills and being innovative. For students aspiring to succeed in rehabilitation professions, Lee has some advice.
“Be creative and innovative,” she says. “Dare to make changes and do not be stereotypical. Always update yourself, be a dynamic person and make sure you obtain and monitor 21st century skills.”
Info : Dr Lee Ai Choo, University Of Alberta