mobile navigation Sheridan confirms that the provincial government has passed legislation to end the college strike. Academic employees will return to Sheridan on November 20, to prepare for classes to resume on November 21. More information will be shared via Sheridan email.

Research Team

Pat Spadafora, MSW

Pat Spadafora is the founder and Director of the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research. Ms. Spadafora's research interests include, among others, global population aging, aging in place, accessible technology, civic engagement in retirement, and the impact of the creative and performing arts on health. Her expertise includes program evaluation, knowledge translation, and helping to prepare organizations to meet the demands of a growing aging population. Ms. Spadafora is a member of a number of organizations.

Lia E. Tsotsos, Ph.D.
Principal Researcher and Project Manager

Lia Tsotsos joined the Centre for Elder Research in early 2011 and is currently the Principal Researcher and Project Manager. She completed her Honours undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and Health Science at York University with a research focus on how the brain takes in information and uses it to move the eyes. Her doctoral work in Neuroscience from McMaster University investigated the effects of healthy aging on motion perception. Having first connected with the Centre as a graduate student in 2007, she is happy to bring her background in health, aging and neuroscience, as well as her interests in athletics, technology and the arts, to bear on the Centre's innovative applied research mandate.

Marta Owsik, BSc., SSW
Project Coordinator 

Marta is part of the Centre for Elder Research's ‘graduating class’ of Research Assistants, being one of the original students hired to work with the Centre under our NSERC grant during the summer of 2011. Having completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Toronto, and her Social Service Worker – Gerontology diploma from Sheridan College, Marta brings her applied research experience and practical gerontology training to the various projects she coordinates and is involved in at the Centre.

Kathryn Warren-Norton, SSW
Communications and Project Coordinator 

Kathryn graduated from Sheridan College in 1981 with a diploma in Graphic Design. More recently, she obtained her Social Service Work – Gerontology Diploma from Sheridan College. Kathryn initially came to work at the Centre as a SSW - Gerontology practicum student. Working at the Centre for Elder Research has given her the opportunity to be actively involved in research and to implement creative ways to improve older adults' quality of life.

Kate Dupuis, Ph.D., C.Psych.
Schlegel Innovation Leader

Kate Dupuis joined Sheridan in 2017 as the Schlegel Innovation Leader and a faculty member in the Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies, after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Baycrest Health Sciences. In her role as Schlegel Innovation Leader, Kate studies how participation in the creative and performing arts can serve to enhance the wellbeing of older adults. In particular, she is interested in discovering the personal characteristics of individuals who are drawn to participate in the arts, and identifying the physical, psychological, social, and systemic barriers to participation.

Associate Researchers

Alan Batt, M.Sc. CCP

Alan joined the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research as a Research Associate in May 2016. He holds an MSc in Critical Care from Cardiff University, and a Graduate Certificate in Intensive Care Paramedicine from Charles Sturt University. Originally from Ireland, Alan has worked as a paramedic around the world, and currently teaches in the Paramedic programs at Fanshawe College. Alan’s PhD studies are focused on the interactions between paramedics and older persons, with an aim to improve the focus on older persons and aging within paramedic education.

The Centre for Elder Research Advisory Board

Peter Broadhurst

Peter was born in Bangalore, India in 1933. He trained at de Havilland Aircraft in the UK and then held a five year apprenticeship with H.N.C. Aero. He came to Canada to work on the Avro Arrow for two years and when that contract was cancelled, he designed vending machines and then worked for Litton Systems Canada as assistant to V.P. Operations and then became V.P. Human Resources. He was Chairman of the Board at Humber and then began working with Sheridan Centre for Elder Research.

Nancy Fazzalari
Nancy received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Graduate Diploma in Gerontology from the University of Toronto. She has worked over 20 years in a variety of community settings providing services to seniors. Nancy has a great understanding of the need for quality, sustainable community programs especially as the population ages and the demands for community services rise.



Candace Fochuk-Barey

Candace is a retired marketing and research executive from the Ford Motor Company who joined the Advisory Board initially to support their early branding and marketing initiatives. She had previously assisted The Centre by designing a survey and conducting 1:1 interviews across Southern Ontario assessing how older adults learn. At home, she has spent more than 10 years as the sole caregiver for her mother with Alzheimer’s and uses this personal experience to help promote diversity of thought and inclusion within the area of the promotion of healthy aging. Over the next year, Candace will be providing her assessment of the competitive climate for on-line programs that guide successful aging practices.



Maureen Garbutt 

Maureen is a Professor in the Advertising and Marketing Communications program at Sheridan College, coming from the Broadcast and Advertising business. The Sheridan Centre for Elder Research is pivotal in several of her courses given the importance of the senior market, relative to business today. She feels strongly that there is a need to educate students, not just about what businesses must do to reach this demographic, but also about the needs of this demographic, in order to ensure that they are well-prepared as graduates to serve all Canadians.



Sue Hesjedahl

Sue Hesjedahl has a B.A. in both Psychology and Gerontology from McMaster University in Hamilton. She became the Executive Director of the OACAO in October, 2011, having previously served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee since 1996 (as President from 2001-2002).  She has a long history of working with older adult centres over the last 25 years having worked in Hamilton, Cambridge, Kitchener and Mississauga. During her long tenure as the Executive Director of the Square One Older Adult Centre from 1994 - 2011, she developed and implemented a charity called the Square One Seniors Wellness Services in 2009. In 2010 she received the Person of Distinction Award from the OACAO in recognition of her dedication to services for older adults. 

Brian Jervis 

Brian Jervis is the Associate Vice President, Scholarship, Research and Creative Activities at Sheridan College. With a M.Sc. in Computer Science, he has over 20 years of research and development experience in computing and communications technology. Brian was Group Vice President, Switching Networks, at Bell Northern Research, managing a group of over 4600 people in North America, Europe, and Asia. Brian was also President and CEO of two optical networking startups. Brian has over eight years of experience in postsecondary education. Brian taught at Algonquin College, and was Sheridan’s Associate Dean in the School of Applied Computing, and Director, Academic Computing Integration Strategy. Brian is currently on the Board of Directors of the RIC Centre, and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation in Ottawa. 

Marianne Klein

Marianne Klein was a Social Service Worker - Gerontology Student at Sheridan College and was the first student to complete her practicum at the Sheridan Center for Elder Research. Marianne is an accreditation surveyor with CARF International and is a full time Executive Director for a long term care community in the GTA.  As the current Board Chair for the Center Marianne continues to be passionate about seniors and opportunities to enhance their lives through the lab to life experience.

Gurpreet S. Malhotra

Gurpreet is currently the Chief Executive Officer at Indus Community Services, which is a leading provider of culturally appropriate community, and health services in the local region. The agency has six locations and a dedicated staff complement of over one hundred with programs that support newcomer settlement, adults with cognitive impairments and families seeking counseling.

Adele Robertson

Adele Robertson is the founder and CEO of THE V GENERATION, a personalized workshop which assists individuals during career transition, with a special focus on pre-retirees.  Adele was the Director of Corporate Sponsorship and Fundraising for Toronto's Harbourfront Centre and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.  Much of her career has been focused on working with and volunteering for not for profit organizations.  

Kay Wylie

Kay had a long career in nursing and was employed for many years at the Oakville Trafalgar Hospital. After mandatory retirement at age 65, Kay, who was a volunteer at Ian Anderson House (Ontario’s first palliative care hospice), became a staff member there for 12 years. Kay first became involved with Sheridan through the Centre’s computer program. Since then, she has continued to participate in research projects, become an advocate for older adults, and a regular member of the Centre’s Aging Matters drop-in.