Building a research base
Rebecca Genoe’s passion for working with and for older adults started long before her time as one of the first doctoral students in the Aging, Health and Well-Being Program. Her experiences in volunteering in high school and then later working as a University of Waterloo undergraduate co-op student in a long-term care facility ignited her passion for aging-focused research - a source that continues to drive her in her current role as an Associate Professor at the University of Regina.
Working towards a PhD is an opportunity to learn about the research process more fully and immerse yourself in a wide variety of content, theories, and methodologies.
Rebecca took those critical lessons with her and applies them to her on-going research agenda. She is currently examining the transitions of the baby boomer generation into retirement and is working to understand the sustainment of friendships among those living with dementia. Building on the relationships forged in the program, Rebecca is collaborating with other UW graduates at Brock University and Concordia University to further advance this area of research.
Applying the lessons learned
Rebecca recalls that the mentorship she received from her supervisor, Professor Sherry Dupuis, and her role as a graduate research assistant was critical for preparing her to be an independent researcher;
“Sherry made certain that I did the work that I needed to do in order to have a successful experience at the University of Waterloo and beyond that… she worked very hard to make sure I was well prepared for academic life”.
For Rebecca, these lessons also included challenging status quo and stigma surrounding dementia and aging, “Moving away from doom and gloom approaches to later life”, she states,“to focus on the opportunities that aging presents… I really try and carry that through my own work - through both my research and teaching”.