Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Arts and Science in Religious Studies and Psychology Honours, With Great Distinction

MSc Thesis Research: I will be conducting a study using participatory action research in combination with running a pilot study for the CHOICE+ Knowledge Translation Program, created by Dr. Heather Keller and her team at the University of Waterloo. CHOICE+ aims to make mealtimes better in long term-care. The goal is to create mealtimes that are more homelike, where residents feel respected, have choice and their dignity is honored. In addition, the project aims to educate and mentor staff in supporting relationship-focused mealtimes for people living with dementia. I am currently working as a Research Associate with my thesis supervisor, Dr. Sienna Caspar, collecting data at a local long-term care facility. I will be extending this Alberta Health Services funded project into my thesis research. Utilizing the qualitative and quantitative data collected during this project, I will examine the feasibility and sustainability of CHOICE+. I will also investigate how the quality of family and staff relationships may impact the process of implementing person-centred mealtime activities.

Career Goals: My goal is to continue doing research examining how organizational/systems processes, culture, and human behavior affect the quality of care within the Canadian health care system. Drawing on my experiences as a Licensed Practical Nurse and a researcher, I plan to engage in research that may facilitate change to policies and procedures that affect person-centred care. I have a keen interest in combining my knowledge and skills from my undergraduate education in religious studies/psychology and my work with immigrant and refugee populations. My interests lie in the investigation of how culture, religion, and philosophical views are (or can be) accounted for within health care system(s). By taking such an approach, I hope this research may inform system changes that support a more multicultural, multi-religious, and multi-philosophical approach to the implementation of care.