Our Instructors

The instructors in the Certificate in Aging and Gerontology at The Chang School are drawn from a diverse group, representing the interdisciplinary approach to the curriculum delivery. Current faculty expertise is drawn from a variety of disciplines including Social Work, Health Sciences, Adult Education, Law, Nursing, and Psychology. In addition to Master’s and Doctoral level training, these instructors have extensive community experience within the field of Gerontology, which supports their teaching and promotes the delivery of current and relevant curriculum. Selected instructor biographies are included.

Christian Fisker

Christian Fisker has a bachelor’s degree from Ryerson University’s School of Urban and Regional Planning (1988), a Certificate in Gerontology from Ryerson University (1993), a Master of Geography from the University of Guelph (2003), and a Doctorate of Planning and Development from Aalborg University in Denmark (2011). Christian’s PhD dissertation examined what happens to suburban seniors in Mississauga and Aarhus, Denmark, in terms of reconfiguring connections to needs when they can no longer drive a car. In the late 1990s, Christian was a senior policy advisor to Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. During this time he was involved with the plan to develop 20,000 new long-term care beds across the province and the creation of community care access centres. Since 2005, Christian has been Vice President of Planning and Development at Chartwell Retirement Residences, where he works to create new seniors’ apartments, retirement residences, and long-term care homes across Canada. Over the years, Christian has been on the board of the Ontario Retirement Communities Association and the Ontario Gerontology Association. At Ryerson University, Christian has been an instructor in the Gerontology program, the LIFE Institute, and the School of Urban and Regional Planning.

Christine Houston

Christine Houston is a professor in the Center for Health Sciences, Collaborative Baccalaureate Nursing Program, George Brown College, Ryerson University, and Centennial College. Christine’s research is focused on ethical decision-making in the long term care setting from an inter-professional perspective. She is extensively involved in curriculum design that focuses on the older adult population from an inter-professional perspective. Christine’s clinical background in gerontology includes the role of Clinical Nurse Educator and Nurse Fellow in a large Geriatric facility. Christine is a registered nurse and holds an MN (bioethics) (Toronto) and GCC(C).

Elizabeth Kelson

Elizabeth Kelson is a social gerontologist with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology/Sociology from Trent University (1989), post-baccalaureate diplomas in Social Policy (1992) and Gerontology (1999), and a Master of Arts in Gerontology (2006), all from Simon Fraser University. In 2013, Elizabeth completed an interdisciplinary PhD in Gerontology from the University of British Columbia where she examined culture change in long-term care through a critical ethnography. Her primary research interests include health and aging, social policy, dementia care, person-centred care, ethics, biography/personal narrative, critical gerontology, and qualitative methodologies. Elizabeth has spent many years working with and learning from older adults across a range of sites – in the community and in hospitals, in both residential and day settings.

Anthony Lombardo, PhD

Anthony Lombardo obtained his doctorate from the Social and Behavioural Health Sciences program of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. He holds bachelor’s (honours) and master’s degrees in sociology from McMaster University. Dr. Lombardo is the executive director of the Canadian Association on Gerontology, a national association of practitioners, researchers, and students in the field of aging. He is the former manager of an international knowledge transfer network in the field of aging. Since 2006, Dr. Lombardo has been providing consulting services in socio-behavioural health research, project evaluation, health promotion, and research grant development. His work has been published in Critical Public Health, Journal of Health Communication, and Symbolic Interaction, among others. He has presented at numerous national and international conferences in sociology, public health, and aging. Dr. Lombardo teaches undergraduate courses in population health, research methods, qualitative analysis, and program planning and evaluation.

Graham Webb

Graham Webb is a practicing lawyer called to the bar of Ontario in 1985. He has, since 1995, been a Staff Litigation Lawyer employed by the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly, which is a community legal-aid clinic serving low-income seniors. He gives legal advice and representation to older adults on elder-law issues. He is a published author, an educator and a frequent public speaker in the area of elder law. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Canadian Centre for Elder Law Studies.

Kathryn Wise

Kathryn Wise is an instructor at Ryerson University and an assistant clinical professor at McMaster University. She is an occupational therapist by background, with both clinical and management experience working with the senior and pediatric populations. She is currently completing her doctorate at Boston University, where she is focusing on the use of technology, occupational therapy, and health system design to support older adults transition out of hospital. Her areas of interest include home care, health system design, health leadership, management, technology, care coordination, online curriculum design, international models of healthcare for the aging population, and aging at home. Kathryn has a Master of Health Administration degree from the University of Toronto, BHSc (Occupational Therapy) from McMaster University, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo.