Adjunct Professor

T: +1 801-581-8738‬

Sarah L. Canham

Sarah Canham, PhD has an MA degree in Applied Sociology (2008) and a PhD in Gerontology (2011) from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and brings over 10 years of leadership in community-engaged research in the areas of late life homelessness, substance use, and the use of mixed methods. Dr. Canham’s work is rooted in strong, interdisciplinary community-based participatory research partnerships, which encourage engagement and participation of community and lived experience partners in decision-making from study conception to completion. Dr. Canham is passionate about conducting research to inform policy, increase quality of life, and reduce health disparities. Knowledge mobilization is a key component of Dr. Canham’s work, ensuring that research findings are translated to both academic and non-academic audiences. In particular, she has extensive experience in facilitating knowledge exchange opportunities in different forums, and receives regular invitations as a leader in the field to speak to local health and funding agencies looking for guidance on homelessness among older adults. Dr. Canham also has an active role in the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), where she is the convener for the Aging, Alcohol, and Addictions Interest Group.

With over 60 presentations and over 40 peer-reviewed articles published to date, Dr. Canham's interdisciplinary research revolves around social justice topics related to homelessness and housing insecurity in later life, with a specific focus on the built environment, health and social services, substance use, and social connectedness.

Dr. Canham is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Gerontology and an Associate Professor at the University of Utah with a joint appointment in the College Of Social Work and the College of Architecture and Planning.


  • PhD (Gerontology) University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • MA (Applied Sociology) University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • BA (Human Studies) St. Mary's College of Maryland


Social justice; Homelessness; Housing security: Social determinants of health; Health and social services; Environments and aging; Substance use and dependence; Qualitative research methods; Community-based participatory research; Life course perspective; Social construction of knowledge; Culture of medicine; Knowledge mobilization