Graduate Students

Award winning students!

Jon Lai participated in the Canadian Research Data Centre Network’s (CRDCN) 20th-anniversary conference in October 2020, organized in partnership with Statistics Canada. The conference theme was Public Policy and the Data Revolution. Jon placed second in the CRDCN 3-minute thesis competition! Check out his winning video. Jon also completed the AGE-WELL APPTA Policy Challenge program. This is a unique educational opportunity for AGE-WELL Trainees to work closely with policy experts and learn firsthand how research is translated into policy options. Government stakeholders from across Canada identified several challenging questions. Jon’s report focused on Responding to the COVID-19 Emergency, Returning to Growth: Older Workers, and the Pandemic Recovery. Jon successfully defended his master’s thesis in September 2023; he is working as a research and data analyst with the Edmonton Arts Council.

Andrew Magnaye in Copenhagen

Andrew Magnaye received awards from Mitacs Globalink, the World Universities Network (WUN) Research Mobility fund, and AGE-WELL NCE ACCESS to support his international doctoral exchange at Sheffield University in the UK to enhance his understanding of migration and care. While there, he attended theĀ  2019 Transforming Care Conference in Copenhagen, building his network of young scholars worldwide.

Jamie MacDonald

Jamie MacDonald received a Roger S. Smith Undergraduate Award in 2019 to work with RAPP team members on a summer research project. Jamie examined young caregivers in Canada aged 15-19 years old who care for grandparents, parents, siblings, and close friends with chronic health conditions, physical or mental disabilities, or aging-related needs. She continued to work with RAPP as a research assistant during her graduate studies in aging.

As an undergraduate research assistant with RAPP, Mackenzie Martin was part of an interdisciplinary project with undergraduate students in computing science. She wrote an academic article about her experience as a case study published in 2020 in the Journal of Student Research: The value of collaborating with undergraduate students on an interdisciplinary project. Mackenzie won a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford in the UK, where she obtained master’s and doctoral degrees in Social Policy and Intervention.

Current graduate students

RAPP graduate students

RAPP attracts talented graduate students interested in aging. Where possible, our graduate students work as research assistants to augment their learning with practical skill development. Our current cohort of students and their areas of interest include:

  • Victoria Bleeks (PhD student) is focusing on the arts and aging
  • Choong Kim (PhD candidate) is focusing on different ways of valuing care work
  • Andrew Magnaye (PhD candidate) is focusing on caring beyond borders: transnational family caregiving in Canada
  • Jamie MacDonald (Masters student) is focusing on the impact of technology on reducing older adults’ feelings of isolation and loneliness
  • Lara Pinchbeck (PhD student) is focusing on material culture environments for people with invisible disAbilities

Students say…
“I feel very privileged to be part of this team. This is a great learning experience and one that cannot be achieved through sitting in any course. Getting to know all the team members, getting familiar with their work, and being exposed to the dynamics of a multidisciplinary project is certainly an extraordinary opportunity that helps me get better prepared for a future career as a researcher and an academic.”

Dr. Shanika Donalds

RAPP Alumni
RAPP Alumni are employed in aging-related policy units, not-for-profit community programs, and academia across the globe. The following graduate students completed their degree programs with RAPP in the last ten years:

  • Jon Lai (MSc 2023), The impact of ageism on job satisfaction among Canadian workers. Supervisor: Janet Fast
  • Shanika Donalds (PhD 2023), Family life courses of older Caribbean migrants living in Canada. Co-supervisors: Norah Keating and Janet Fast
  • Tori Ren (PhD 2019), Design for dementia. Supervisor Megan Strickfaden
  • Matthea Libman (MSc 2019), Course-based master’s degree on the guardianship of older adults. Co-supervisors: Janet Fast and Sherry Ann Chapman
  • Jasneet Parmar (MSc 2019), Supports for caregivers of older adults with complex needs receiving home care services. Supervisor: Norah Keating
  • Anna Chudyk (MSc 2018), Social participation of older persons in rural communities. Supervisor: Norah Keating
  • Sharon Anderson (PhD 2017), How marriages change after a stroke. Supervisor: Norah Keating. Sharon’s research showed that mutual appreciation is key to saving a marriage after a stroke.
  • Nicole Gaudet (MSc 2015), Dementia care by design: De Hogeweyk as a case study. Documentary films and written report. Supervisors: Megan Strickfaden and Janet Fast.
  • Teresa Lawrence (MSc 2015), Social return on investment: The current Alberta Seniors context. Report to Alberta Seniors. Supervisor: Janet Fast
  • Drew Turner (MSc 2015), Making senior center activities more men-friendly: An environmental scan of Canadian senior center programming. Report to the Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton (SAGE). Supervisor: Janet Fast