An Interview With Lun Li — GRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow

December 10, 2019
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Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Lun Li, and I am a doctoral graduate from the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary. I recently joined the GRC as a post-doctoral research fellow in Health and Aging. I gained my bachelor degree in social work and a master degree in sociology from Fudan University, China. 

My research work focuses on gerontology, and currently I am working on several projects, including mental health outcomes of employed family caregivers, family caregiving and social isolation, civic participation among senior immigrants, and so on. Besides, I will develop more studies using the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging soon. 

What led to your interest in aging/older adults?

I realized my interest and passion in working with aging people when I was in my undergraduate program. During the BSW program, I did my practicum in a nursing home supporting new residents and care providers. That experience inspired me to think about the meaning of health, wellness, and happiness among aging people. Then, I was involved in some work related to service delivery and program evaluation in daycare centres for seniors. As a result of working in the nursing home and daycare centres for seniors, I figured out my life long career passion in supporting aging people to have a healthy, active and successful later life. 

What interests do you have outside of your research?

I like sports a lot, and I enjoy every minute watching the Blue Jays game, the EPL soccer games, and some NFL games. I am also a fan of outdoor activities, such as jogging, fishing and hiking. 

Where were you working prior to the GRC?

During my doctoral program, I worked as a sessional instructor for my faculty, and I taught social work courses both in the classroom and online. I am also a Learning Technology Coach for the Virtual Learning program, supporting instructors better deliver the curriculum and facilitating students to navigate the online learning environment. 

Besides my doctoral study and teaching, I also volunteer in different social service agencies, such as Bissell Centre, Edmonton Senior Protection Partnership, Caregiver Alberta, Alzheimer Society of PEI, and so on. I always want to contribute back to the community, and enjoy working with them. 

What are your hopes for the field of gerontology/the world?

Population aging is a global trend, and more work will be done for aging people in academia, in the workplace, in the community, and at home, etc. I am glad and proud of being in the field of gerontology. I believe the whole society is changing and adjusting for the needs of aging people, such as transportation, employment, housing, social activity, caregiving, to name a few. My sincerest hope is that in the future, aging people can enjoy barrier-free later life without worrying about accessibility, discrimination, or other barriers limiting their quality of life.