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Trent Centre for Aging & Society

Mark Skinner and May Chazan stading beside each other in a parke setting in the summer

Trent Centre for Aging & Society

Canada Research Chairs


Dr. May Chazan joined Trent University in 2013 as the Canada Research Chair in Gender and Feminist Studies; a SSHRC funded $500,000, five year renewable appointment that Dr. Chazan has structured into an ambitious study examining the activist activities of older women across North America. 

Intrigued by the role older women play in activist coalitions, Dr. Chazan is documenting multiple life histories, conducting focus groups, and participating in various social actions to better understand the impact these women are making as well as why and how they find themselves on the front lines of social change.

A major part of that process is providing opportunities for her students to develop their scholarly talents.  Correspondingly, Dr. Chazan says, “I mentor, train, and employ a number of grad students and newly graduated Trent students in my project on older women's mobilizations and alliances. Since starting as a fellow of TCAS in 2013, I have worked with nine RA's in various capacities.”


The founding director of TCAS, Dr. Mark Skinner was named the Canada Research Chair in Rural Aging, Health and Social Care in early 2016. Trent’s first Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funded, $500,000, five year renewable appointment, puts increased emphasis on Dr. Skinner’s work looking at the evolving role voluntarism is playing in aging rural communities.

According to Dr. Skinner, "Rural communities have higher proportions of older people, they are considered underserviced in formal services, and they rely more on volunteers and informal types of care." As such, much of his recent work looks at the burden’s placed on volunteers, and the disparity in services available to various rural areas as a result of differences in volunteer participation.

Dr. Skinner also takes great interest in nurturing the talents of emerging scholars in the field of rural aging studies, and keenly builds alliances with like-minded academics from around the world.