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Semi-Farewell to Zuri

Zuri last lab group photo

We begin this year navigating another transition phase in our lab, as some members join our team and other members move on to exciting ventures along their chosen research-engaged career paths. You could call it 'the circle of life' in academic research labs.

We begin this transition by honoring Zuri, who joined us for her last lab meeting this week. Zuri recalls joining our team the same week that we went into COVID-19 lockdown. Then an honors undergraduate, Mary invited the two remaining members of our lab at that time, Vivian and Vera, to co-mentor her through an honors capstone project while we managed the complexities of our pivot to a hybrid model to sustain our science. Zuri's honors capstone project yielded two published knowledge translation products (clinician tip sheet and a video on its development), preliminary data about activity-specific patterns in caregiver strategies generated by YC-PEM, and earned admission to graduate study in OT.

In choosing an MS/OTD degree path, Zuri got to apply and strengthen her skills in working with existing data to earn acknowledgement or co-authorship for 5 studies, including 3 scoping reviews. She also took the opportunity to experiment with strategies to retain and engage families in 2 studies that collect new data from families to further upgrade and implement YC-PEM into practice. Science aside, Zuri got to apply her artistic talent to beautifying our research space with a logo, and to diversifying images that entry-level OT students see when learning about participation for a forthcoming chapter in our esteemed Willard & Spackman OT textbook.

We are grateful for our works of art, whether they be research products, knowledge translation products, or artistic products, to remind us of the memories we share. We will keep cheering her on, albeit from a distance, as she transitions from lab to focus on finishing her MS degree. We'll see her at the finish line!