Meet the EngAGE Research Team

Carri Hand

Director, EngAGE Research Lab

Carri’s research explores physical, social, policy and cultural contextual factors that impact social connectedness, social inclusion and participation in occupations among older adults. The aim of her research is to develop innovative strategies to promote inclusion of older adults in community life. Carri collaborates with community organizations and community members in her research, using a variety of research methods. Her current work explores the complex ways in which neighbourhoods can support social connectedness and inclusion, examines social isolation and social participation in older adults using survey data, and explores measurement of meaningful outcomes in older adults in primary care settings.

Kristin Prentice

PhD Student, Health and Rehabilitaion Science

Kristin is a PhD student studying Health and Aging within the Faculty of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Western Ontario and is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. She completed her Master of Arts in Community Health at Brock University studying perceived seniors’ care competencies of recreation staff working in Ontario long term care homes.  Kristin currently works as a research assistant for Dr. Carri Hand on the project “Working Together to Build Social Connectedness and Sense of Community: A Project with Seniors”. Her current research interests include transitions into retirement homes, sense of home, and leisure.

Nada Chams

PhD Student, Health and Rehabilitation Science

Nada’s educational background includes a BHSc and MSc in Health Promotion. Her great passion is in finding and gaining knowledge and insight from the stories of people in everyday life. Giving voice to people through narrative is something she believe provides value and understanding to the local culture. During her master’s study, she examined social connectedness and social engagement among immigrant older adults in Canada using narrative. She is currently a first-year PhD student, in the Health and Aging field at Western University with an interest in understanding the role of space and place in shaping, supporting and enabling occupational engagement and identity amo.

Megan Roussel

Former MScOT Student

Kristin is a PhD student studying Health and Aging within the Faculty of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Western Ontario and is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. She completed her Master of Arts in Community Health at Brock University studying perceived seniors’ care competencies of recreation staff working in Ontario long term care homes.  Kristin currently works as a research assistant for Dr. Carri Hand on the project “Working Together to Build Social Connectedness and Sense of Community: A Project with Seniors”. Her current research interests include transitions into retirement homes, sense of home, and leisure.

Josie Siciliano

Former MScOT Student

Josie Siciliano is completing her final year of Occupational Therapy at Western University. Josie and her fellow group members completed a Supervised Research in Occupation project under Dr. Hand’s supervision. This research project was a secondary study that analyzed community mobility of older adults. This project will be presented this summer at the International Federation of Ageing Conference. Josie hopes to pursue a career as a community occupational therapist in Ottawa, Ontario to increase the ability of adults and older adults to live independently.

Brennan DeMelo

Former MScOT Student

Brennan DeMelo is a currently a second year Occupational Therapy student at Western University. Brennan has a keen interest in research that addresses occupational performance issues experienced by older adults, and he believes that maintaining engagement in meaningful occupations is imperative in the ageing processHe hopes to pursue a career working with the geriatric population in the rehabilitative or community context. Brennan and his colleagues will be presenting their Supervised Research in Occupation project at the International Federation on Ageing Conference in August 2018.

Carmen Lam

Former MScOT Student

Carmen Lam is currently in her second year in the Occupational Therapy program at Western University. Under Dr. Hand’s supervision, Carmen and her group members completed their Supervised Research in Occupation project on  community mobility patterns of older adults, which will be presented at the 2018 International Federation on Ageing Conference. Carmen’s interests lie in rehabilitation and mental health.

Alexandra Schuster

MSc Student, Health and Rehabilitation Science

Alexandra Schuster graduated from the University of Cologne (Germany) with a Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences. She is currently an international Master student at the University of Western Ontario in the Health & Rehabilitation Sciences program. In the Health & Aging field of study, her research focuses on Canada’s older immigrants and their contributions to the society.

Shannon Coffey

Former MScOT Student

Shannon Coffey obtained Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at Western University and an Honours Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Adult Development and Aging from the University of Guelph. Shannon has pursued several clinical and research positions at organizations such as Baycrest Health Sciences, that have fostered her passion for improving the quality of life of older adults as they age in different contexts. Shannon’s current research interests lie within the age-friendly communities movement, which sparked her interest in joining The Aging and Engaging in Communities Lab at Western University.

Jami Mcfarland

PhD Candidate, Department of Women's Studies and Feminist Research

Jami is a fourth year PhD candidate and part-time instructor in the Department of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research at the University of Western Ontario. She completed her Master of Arts degree at the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies at the University of Ottawa studying non-normative constructions of sexuality in young adult fiction. Jami currently works as a research assistant for Dr. Carri Hand on the project “Aging and Inclusion.” Her current SSHRC-funded research focuses on the representation of the LGBT elder in film and television.

John MacKenzie

PhD Student, Department of Geography

John is in his third year of Ph.D. studies in the Department of Geography at Western University, exploring how religion helps build everyday geographies through sense of place. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from Queen’s University, a diploma in Environmental Control from Sheridan College, and a Master of Arts degree in Theology from Huron University College. As a research assistant for Dr. Carri Hand on the project ‘Aging and Inclusion’, he hopes to help find ways to reduce barriers to inclusion for older adults in their home communities. 

Collaborators

Debbie Laliberte Rudman

Professor
School of Occupational Therapy
Western University

Suzanne Huot

Assistant Professor
Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science
University of British Columbia

Jason Gilland

Professor
Department of Geography
Western University

Lori Letts

Professor
School of Rehabilitation Science
McMaster University

Colleen McGrath

Assistant Professor
School of Occupational Therapy
Western University

Catherine Donnelly

Associate Professor
School of Rehabilitation Therapy
Queens University

Community Partners

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