Lifetime Contribution to Clinical Education Award

The UBC Department of Physical Therapy awards a clinician annually in recognition of their exceptional and consistent support of clinical education over the whole of their career.

Selection Criteria

  • Candidates must have a minimum of 25 years of providing physical therapy services in BC. 
  • Candidates must have had a province-wide impact on the field of clinical education through the supervision of students on placement, participation in clinical education committees, etc
  • Candidates must receive a minimum of 3 nominations from Master of Physical Therapy students. 


Current and former students, colleagues, UBC staff and faculty can nominate a clinical educator by submitting a letter of support to Include details relevant to the nominee’s teaching, mentorship, professional development, service to the Department of Physical Therapy, and overall career. Nominations should be submitted before the end of February and will be reviewed by the end of March on an annual basis. All candidates and nominators will be notified of the outcome by email. 

Award Winners 

2021 Gabriele Yoneda 

This award recognizes a Clinical Faculty member for significant contributions made throughout their career to Clinical Education through the teaching of Master of Physical Therapy Students on clinical placements, in the classroom, and/or in the community.

Gabriele is indeed one of those rarities and an outstanding example of a physical therapist who is highly valued by her colleagues in the clinical, academic and professional communities for her lengthy and excellent service to our profession. We thank her for her remarkable influence and support throughout her career.




2020 Judit Spence  

Judit’s passion for all aspects of pediatric physical therapy is evident to the children and families served, colleagues and peers lucky to have worked with her, and learners and students mentored by her. She has modelled life-long learning, growth, and advancement of the profession relentlessly. Judit graduated from the Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy program at UBC in 1975 and began her career at GF Strong. She served as Director of Physical Therapy at the Centre for Child Development between 1989 ad 2006, and Director of Physical Therapy at the BC Centre for Ability between 2006 and 2020. 

Judit demonstrated unwavering support of and contribution to student learning, to clinical education, and to the Department of Physical Therapy at UBC. Her service to the Department spans teaching engagements (tutoring, lab instructing) in several courses and membership on the Admissions Committee and Department Clinical Faculty Appointment and Promotions Committee. Judit also brings a thoughtful, reasoned approach while identifying innovative opportunities for collaborations –‐ such as potential opportunities with the student-led UBC Physical Therapy & Research Clinic.



2019 Klari Varallyai 

Klari Varallyai is the inaugural winner of this award.

If you have ever spent more than a few minutes talking with Klari you will know that she is passionate not only about physiotherapy but also about education. She has been a Clinical Educator to many students, and a mentor to many clinicians. Klari supports education initiatives in any way she can (for example she has personally guided a handful of high school students from Campbell River through university and into Physiotherapy school).

The Department is grateful for Klari’s many contributions to Clinical Education at UBC and for her commitment to the profession. She epitomizes what it means to be a life-long learner and teacher!