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Student Profile: Shawna Hopper
Gerontology doctoral student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
My name is Shawna Hopper, and I am a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Gerontology. Currently, I am living in Vancouver but I grew up in Ontario and spent time living in Quebec, Alberta, and Australia throughout university. I have a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from the University of Guelph in adult development, and a Master of Science degree from Brock University in applied health sciences.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?
I chose SFU based on the strength of the gerontology research program, with support from the Gerontology Research Centre and internationally known professors. SFU is also a hub for the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, a national dataset that I use for a lot of my research. Another huge draw for me was the beautiful location of the downtown Campus – I love being close to the ocean and mountains.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?
I research the social side of aging. Currently my research looks at the impact of social isolation on the mental well-being and cognitive health of older adults, specifically throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?
I love the opportunity to collaborate and continually build upon my research skills. During my time at SFU I have been able to work with various academics within the department, in other departments, and at other universities across Canada.
HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.
I was fortunate to have my research funded by a Doctoral SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship. This award has allowed me to focus on my research project, access data for my analyses, and disseminate my research findings at conferences.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PROGRAM/POSTDOC POSITION TO SOMEONE STILL SEARCHING FOR A PROGRAM OR POSTDOC POSITION?
The gerontology program at SFU truly has a place for everyone interested in the aging population. Made up of professors with diverse backgrounds and students with vastly different interest areas, the department allows for creativity, collaboration, and innovate research in the field of aging.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE?
Outside of school and work, I spend a lot of time being active. I try to balance the time I spend doing research with taking my puppy for walks along the seawall, backcountry camping in the mountains, attending CrossFit classes, and practicing yoga.
Contact Shawna: email@example.com