Co-Chairs

Tara KuhnTara Kuhn

Tara is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences. Her research looks at how lifestyle factors promote health in aging population. Her doctoral thesis will look at promoting sleep in persons living with dementia. When she isn't doing research, Tara is reaching new heights while rock-climbing. Tara is one of the co-chairs for the SoAR planning committee.

Karen Khalil El HajjKaren El Hajj

Karen El Hajj is a PhD student at the School of Public Health Sciences - Aging, Health and Well-Being Program. Karen’s research interests are labour in long-term care, quality of care in long-term care homes, and cost analysis of health policies. Karen’s hobbies include baking and collecting Legos. Karen is a co-chair alongside Tara for the SoAR planning committee.

Event Lead

Navjot GillNavjot Gill

Navjot (/nuvh-joe-t/) is a PhD student in the School of Public Health Sciences - Aging, Health and Well-Being program. She is a physiotherapist by training. Her research focuses on home care for people living with dementia and ageing-in-place. Aside from her research, she enjoys baking and petting any dog in sight. Navjot is excited to be the event lead for the SoAR planning committee.

Treasurer

Cindy WeiCindy Wei

Cindy has been a member of Dr. Heather Keller's Nutrition & Aging Laboratory since 2015, shifting from volunteer roles to co-op positions and completing an undergraduate thesis and research apprenticeship. In summer 2021, Cindy interned with Dr. Jenna Gibbs at McGill University under a Cansbridge Fellowship, and has held both CIHR and OGS funding during her Master’s degree. Cindy's Master's thesis investigates changes in nutrition risk for community-dwelling older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic, which will be complete by summer 2022. She is excited to look after the financial administration of SoAR as Treasurer in 2021-2022.

Abstracts and Programming

Emma ConwayEmma Conway

Emma is a PhD Candidate in the School of Public Health Sciences - Aging, Health and Well-Being program. Emma works to identify inclusive research methods that can improve research engagement for persons living with dementia. Outside of her research, Emma volunteers with St. John Ambulance with her therapy dog, Avery. Together they provide support to older adults living in residential care settings in the Waterloo-Wellington region. Emma is part of the programming team for the SoAR planning committee.

Courtney HicksCourtney Hicks

Courtney is a first year PhD student in the School of Public Health Sciences – Aging, Health and Well-being program. Courtney’s research focuses on palliative approaches to care for persons living with dementia in long-term care. She completed her MSc also in the School of Public Health Sciences with the same research focus. Outside of academia and research, Courtney works in long-term care as part of the recreation team. Courtney works with Emma as a part of the programming team for the SoAR planning committee.

Social Media and Promotions

Safura SyedSafura Syed

Safura is a working towards a PhD in the department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences (Aging, Health and Well-being). She is a Registered Dietitian by training. Her doctoral research will look at culturally inclusive menu planning in long term care homes to promote quality meals and food intake in culturally diverse older adults. Safura’s interest in dietetics/nutrition, gerontology and diversity are the focus of her projects and advocacy work. Safura looks forward to being part of the promotions team for the SoAR planning committee.

Karin BrowneKarin Browne

Karin is a MA student in the department of Recreation & Leisure Studies course work program. Although Karin doesn't have a research topic, she is interested in how water activities can improve the lives of the aging population. Karin is a Swim Coach and Learn-to-Swim instructor teaching adults to be safe in and around the water. Karin is excited to be a part of the promotions team for this year’s SoAR planning committee.

Partnership Liaison

Nithusa NithiyananthamNithusa Nithiyanantham

 Nithusa is a first-year student in the Master of Public Health program. Throughout her undergraduate degree and professional experiences, she has had the opportunity to learn more about the aging population and became interested in this area of health research. She is excited to be a part of the SoAR planning committee as a partnership liason this year and looks forward to the event.

External Communications

Hana DakkakHana Dakkak

Hana is a Ph.D. student in the Aging, Health and Wellbeing stream through the Department of Health.  She is a Registered Dietitian working in Long-term Care (LTC) and has experience working as a Food Service Manager in LTC facilities. Hana’s research interest is related to meal accessibility for older adults, specifically examining eating assistance in long term care. In her free time, Hana enjoys cooking and spending time with her family and friends. Hana is part of the external communications team for the SoAR planning committee.

Olivia AlamboOlivia Alambo

Olivia is currently studying towards the completion of her Master of Social Work specializing in Gerontology at the University of Toronto. She is an alumnus of the University of Waterloo where she completed both her BA in Social Development Studies with an Option in Aging as well as her Bachelor of Social Work. Her current interests within the field of aging surround aging in place, life narratives and advancements in supports and resources for those living with dementia. Olivia is part of the external communications team for the SoAR planning committee.