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New Specializations = Competitive Edge for Trent University Grad Students


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

Thursday, November 9, 2017

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.

About Trent University

One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Areaq delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.



For more information, contact:

Kate Weersink, media relations & strategic communications officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6180 or

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