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New Specializations = Competitive Edge for Trent University Grad Students

November 9, 2017

Specializations in Aging or Feminist & Gender Studies allow master’s and Ph.D. students to enhance their graduate degrees

In today's competitive job market, it's important for recent graduates to stand out from the crowd when starting their career; a competitive edge can mean all the difference – which is just one reason why Trent University’s School of Graduate Studies has launched two new specializations in Aging Studies and Feminist and Gender Studies.

“The School of Graduate Studies is excited to introduce these two new graduate specializations, which will enhance learning opportunities for graduate students in a variety of programs,” said Dr. Craig Brunetti, dean of Graduate Studies. “These specializations also highlight areas of particular interdisciplinary strength at Trent.”

Providing students with the unique opportunity to enhance their graduate degree, both specializations involve adding 0.5 credit course to students’ Master’s or Ph.D. program, as well as the completion of a thesis or major research paper on aging studies, or feminist and gender studies. Graduate students from numerous disciplines are invited to apply to and undertake either specialization.  

“To meet the demands of our changing world, the workplace, and our students’ expectations, we’ve developed this exciting new specialization and interdisciplinary core course to provide graduate students with a valuable career enhancer,” says Dr. Mark Skinner, director of the Trent Centre for Aging & Society (TCAS). “By adding an aging specialization to their degree through the collaborative specialization in Aging Studies, students will get to expand their program of study, re-imagine their research projects and head off in a variety of directions.”

The Foundations in Interdisciplinary Aging Studies specialization course is taught by Dr. Stephen Katz, professor emeritus and member of TCAS. The course introduces students to the fields of social gerontology, population aging, retirement and lifestyle, intergenerational relations, healthcare and social support, that stem from critical approaches in sociological, professional, humanities, feminist and cultural research.

Speaking of the new specialization in Feminist and Gender Studies, Dr. Suzanne Bailey says: “We are excited by the potential of this new program, which will guide students to explore feminist theory, methodology, and practice, combining this with their own graduate research projects. Trent University has a vibrant community of scholars in feminist, gender studies and social justice fields, and we are grateful for their support for the program.”

The Foundations in Feminist and Gender Studies course is taught by Dr. May Chazan, Canada Research chair in feminist and gender studies. In the course, students will develop their research skills, methodological repertoires, and critical questioning skills. They will be urged to think about such critical questions as: How has research been used as a tool for social control and as a tool for social change? How can research be designed to both reveal and obscure systems of power and inequality? How can research resist the erasure of some knowledges within academia? What does a feminist, decolonial approach to research or analysis entail? 

Learn more about the School of Graduate Studies at Trent University.