New Brunswick Social Policy Research Network

Future Leader in Gerontology

STU Student Wins National Award and Has Paper Published – Heather Moffatt Named “Future Leader in Gerontology”

By: Kathleen McCann, BA’13 Published July 30, 2013

Heather Moffatt was selected as one of two recipients of a national award by the Canadian Dementia Resource and Knowledge Exchange (CDRAKE) as a future leader in gerontology.

The award was an initiative to encourage students studying aging to offer new insights on research.  Moffat submitted a paper detailing the prevalence of mental illness among female caregivers, and it has recently been published on the CDRAKE website (

Moffatt said she was honored to receive the award and to have her paper published.

“I am really flattered to have been selected and I was thrilled when they decided to publish one of my papers,” she said. “I will certainly maintain my focus on aging as I move forward, specifically in relation to cancer and chronic disease, to combine my two areas of interest.”

Moffatt first became interested in Gerontology during a graduate cell biology seminar at the University of Calgary.

“I was interested in the broader picture, and wanted to know more about the process from a holistic perspective,” she said.

After graduating from the University of Calgary, she returned home to Fredericton, unsure of whether to continue her studies or pursue full time work.

“I was looking for a program that combined health research and aging, when I came upon the Gerontology Program at St. Thomas,” she said.

“I met with the department chair, learned more about the program, and with his encouragement I enrolled and haven’t looked back.”

MoffattMoffatt said attending university in her home town has been a different experience, but she’s pleased with the benefits a small school has to offer.

“It’s great to be able to really integrate yourself in a program, and get to know the faculty, who make it a much better experience overall.”

Dr. Gary Kenyon, Chair of the Gerontology Department, said Moffatt is a wonderful student and a great addition to the program.

“This is great news,” he said. “Heather very much deserves the award and I look forward to having her as a colleague in the future.”

Moffatt will graduate from STU in December 2013 and plans to continue her research and focus on aging in relation to cancer.

“I hope to give back to older adults from either a medical or research-based standpoint and help, in some small part, shed light on the process of aging and how to better that experience.”

Copyright 2013
A Ginger Design