2022 SSA Awardees

Congratulations to all 2022 Summer Student Awardees and their Supervisors. Meet the future of frailty care!

Roshan Ahmad Photo (Cropped)

Roshan Ahmad is currently in her final semester at McMaster University where she is working towards a Bachelor of Health Sciences, majoring in Biology and Pharmacology. As a student researcher, Roshan has interests in learning about the interactions between heart failure, frailty and self-care in older patients. She is interested in using eHealth technology to help patients implement certain key home-based self-care strategies for chronic diseases. Roshan completed her undergraduate thesis project under the supervision of Dr. Catherine Demers working on the usability testing of a mobile health application designed for older patients living with heart failure. Roshan is eager to continue her thesis project work this summer and work with more older patients with heart failure to optimize the technology to their needs.

Supervisor: Dr. Catherine Demers


Lyne Aldilli is a 2nd year undergraduate student in Biological Sciences at the Université de Montréal. Her interest in research related to vulnerable and frail patients developed while volunteering in a long-term care facility. She is currently involved in a project regarding the disparities in care for limb salvage under Dr. Drudi’s supervision.

Supervisor: Dr. Laura Marie Drudi

Carolyn Dawson Headshot

Carolyn Dawson is entering her final year of Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at Dalhousie University and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma from Saint Mary’s University. Through coaching at the University of Kings College Women’s Rugby program and as Vice-Chair for the Aids Coalition of Nova Scotia, Carolyn found her drive for promoting health and wellness within the community. She aspires to be a physiotherapist focusing on rehabilitation within long-term care and hospitals to improve frail adults’ daily living activity ability. When not studying or working, Carolyn can be found playing fetch or hiking with her dog.

Supervisor: Dr. Caitlin McArthur

Matthew Downer

Matthew Downer is a medical student in his home province at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, and a PhD student at the University of Oxford where he is currently studying as a Rhodes Scholar. Matthew’s research focuses on recovery and improving outcomes in older adults living with cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative disease. His PhD examines how multimorbidity influences the risk of various outcomes following stroke in older adults. Matthew is also a Junior Research Fellow at the National Institute on Ageing at Ryerson University. He holds a BSc (Hons) in Neuroscience from Memorial and an MSc in Epidemiology from Oxford.

Supervisor: Dr. Samir Sinha

Frazer, Hannah - Head shot

Hannah Frazer is an undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa studying Human Kinetics with a Minor in History (Extended French Stream). Currently, she works as a clinical research assistant with the Aging Innovation in Perioperative Medicine and Surgery (AIMS) Research Group under Dr. Daniel I. McIsaac at the Ottawa Hospital. Her research this summer is centred around preoperative exercise (prehabilitation) to decrease postoperative complication rates and disability scores among older adults living with frailty.

Supervisor: Dr. Daniel McIsaac


Gabrielle Katz is entering her third year of the BHSc (Honours) Program at McMaster University. Her research involves a systematic review examining the impact of long COVID on older adults living with frailty, with an aim of informing care planning and supportive government policies. This project builds on Gabrielle and Dr. Fahad Razak’s 2021 Ontario COVID-19 Science Table Review on long COVID, with a greater focus on improving clinical outcomes for individuals living with frailty. Gabrielle brings a keen personal interest in frailty and geriatrics through her volunteer work with Dancing with Parkinson’s and Baycrest Hospital.

Supervisor: Dr. Fahad Razak

Katarina Headshot2

Katarina Kovacina is a second-year BScN student, studying Biomedical Sciences at the University of Ottawa. Katarina has spent the last year working in Dr. Robitaille’s lab as a Research Assistant, focussing on understanding the biopsychosocial factors related to the aging process and improving the quality of life of residents. Her research interests include lifespan development, patient and family-centered care, and improving the quality of life of older individuals. She hopes that her research will highlight the impact of reduced levels of caregiver visitation in long-term care and generate knowledge on how to best support residents living with frailty. Katarina is honored to be a recipient of the CFN 2022 Summer Student Award, and is looking forward to learning from participants in the research study as she explores if alternative initiatives can successfully be implemented to improve negative outcomes resulting from the pandemic.

Supervisor: Dr. Annie Robitaille


Sara Plante will gradate from the bachelor’s degree of kinesiology at the University of Moncton in May 2022. From a very young age, she was always practicing at least one sport. However, it was at the age of eleven that she discovered competitive swimming and never stopped swimming since. Being an athlete did bring some injuries and frequent trip to physical therapists. That’s how she discovered the world of manual therapy health professionals. As of this moment, she is hoping to get accepted to a master’s degree in physical therapy. That degree will allow her to promote healthy lifestyles as well as help in the healing process of many injuries.

Supervisor: Dr. Grant Handrigan

Tyler Schneider Head-shot V2 (3)

Tyler Schneider is currently a fourth-year Doctor of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. Through volunteering with TechServeTO, he has built many relationships with older adults and helped improve their digital literacy by hosting workshops and 1-on-1 tech help appointments. His research interests include ethics in healthcare and eHealth, specifically how to improve the accessibility of healthcare technology. Tyler’s current research with Dr. Lisa McCarthy will explore medication-related inquiries for older adults living with frailty submitted to the Ontario eConsult service, a web-based platform through which primary care providers receive timely access to specialist advice.

Supervisor: Dr. Lisa McCarthy

Slubik, Sydney_Photo (Cropped)

Sydney Slubik will be in her fourth year of studies at the University of Alberta in fall 2022. Sydney is working towards a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Honors degree. Her experiences as a nursing student in nursing homes sparked her interest in research that works towards improving the quality of life for older adults in care settings. Sydney plans to undertake graduate studies once completing her nursing degree. Currently she works as a research assistant for Translating Research in Elder care (TREC), participating in a systematic review assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on front-line nursing home staff. Her research this summer will focus on systematically analyzing and synthesizing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nursing home residents.

Supervisor: Dr. Carole Estabrooks

Juan Uribe Isaza (2)

Juan Uribe Isaza is a third-year student at the University of Calgary. He is completing a BSc with a major in Neuroscience alongside a minor in Health and society. Throughout his degree he has found interests in areas such as neurodegenerative diseases, their impact on seniors’ health, and consequently their impact on quality of life. His research will focus on the link between mild behavioural impairment and frailty in a longitudinal context. Juan hopes to use this summer opportunity as a stepping-stone to continue researching topics pertaining to his interests and contribute to seniors’ health outcomes.

Supervisor: Dr. Zahinoor Ismail