Working with the Rural Dementia Action Research team many practicum students, and graduate student trainees, have completed or are currently conducting related training and research. Students contribute to and participate in research while receiving first-hand experience working within a multi-disciplinary team.

Papers authored by trainees are highlighted with an asterisk * on our publications page.

Current Trainees

Julie Beitel is a M.Sc. in Nutrition student supervised by Dr. Allison Cammer. Julie was awarded a CIHR MSc scholarship Sept 1, 2022 to Aug 31, 2023 for her work examining the role of participant socialization with The Cognitive Kitchen: Virtual Culinary Intervention for Dementia Prevention.

Meghan Flath is a clinical psychology student supervised by Dr. Megan O'Connell. Her research is focused on the impact of pet-ownership on cognition and depression within older adults. She is working on a pet augmented social inclusion intervention for persons with cognitive impairment and dementia.

​​Ben Gould is a PhD student in Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology and he is being supervised by Megan O'Connell. He held a University of Saskatchewan Dean's Fellowship and doctoral support from AGE-WELL (a NCE). He is working with Abegweit and Lennox Island First Nation communities in exploring mental wellness needs and services for the Mi'kmaq communities of Prince Edward Island. He is currently working with communities in PEI exploring mental wellness needs and how technology might address unmet mental wellness needs in a culturally-safe manner. In addition he is working on a project detailing community-engagement for Indigenous research from the perspective of a community member with one First Nations community but as an outsider with another First Nations community.
Karl Grewal is a Clinical Psychology PhD student in the Department of Psychology supervised by Megan O'Connell. Karl is working on integrating sensor technology to measure daily function as an outcome measure for cognitive rehabilitation for persons living with dementia. In 2022 Karl was the recipient of a Vascular Training (VAST) Health Research Training Program Doctoral Award.

August Kortzman is a PhD in Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology supervised by Megan O'Connell. Past research has been on the quality of life of young-adults in long-term care. August is working on developing a social network intervention that can be remotely delivered to rural caregivers of persons living with dementia, and began a residency placement at the University of Manitoba in September of 2022.

photo of Seshni

Seshni Naidoo is a Masters of Nutrition student supervised by Dr. Allison Cammer. Her research is focused on optimizing nutrition care and examining the nutrition related support needs in urban and rural house-model long term care homes. House-model long term care homes are an emerging style of home that moves towards individualized person directed care in a more intimate environment.

Jake Ursenbach is a PhD student in Clinical Psychology supervised by Megan O'Connell. His research involves developing and implementing programs that support primary health care providers to improve the timely diagnosis of dementia in rural and remote areas (REmote Specialist-to-Primary care support Enriched Care through Technology; RESPECT). For this work, he holds a fellowship from the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA). Jake has also held a University of Saskatchewan Dean’s fellowship, and a CIHR MA award.

Trainee Alumni

Mary Ellen Andrews, MN, PhD, College of Nursing, Thesis title: "Dementia Care in Northern Nursing Practice", Supervisors: Debra Morgan and Norma Stewart.
Mary Ellen Andrews explored dementia care from the perspective of registered nurses who work in northern Saskatchewan. 

photo of Juanita Bacsu

Juanita Bacsu undertook a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Megan O’Connell and the RaDAR team. Her research examined two areas: 1) the impact and experiences of COVID-19 on people living with dementia and their care partners; and 2) improving physician education, knowledge, and awareness of dementia in rural communities. Juanita has a PhD in Community Health and Epidemiology from the University of Saskatchewan. She is also a board member with the Canadian Rural Health Research Society (CRHRS) and a research associate with the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU). Her research interests include dementia, cognitive health promotion, rural and remote health, age-friendly environments, and health policy.

Mel Bayly held a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Debra Morgan. Her work focused primarily on needs and supports for individuals with dementia and their caregivers living in rural areas.  Mel is a PhD graduate from the Psychology Department (Culture, Health, and Human Development) at the University of Saskatchewan. Her two areas of research are: 1) caregiving within the context of dementia and chronic health conditions, and 2) reproductive psychology, with a focus on childbirth, reproductive decision making, and models of care. Mel employs both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, and has some training and experience in program evaluation. She contributed to the evaluation of RaDAR's rural memory clinics by examining patient and family experiences of their clinic assessment.

Anita Bergen, MSc. Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Thesis Title: "Dementia Care for Residents in Rural Nursing Homes: A Process Evaluation of the Enhancing Care Program," Supervisors: Debra Morgan, Kathryn Green.
Although there have been studies in the past about this care program, Anita Bergen is focusing on the rural experience in small facilities.  The Enhancing Care Program was effective in increasing communication, empowering staff to initiate change, and in sensitizing staff to the unique needs of residents with dementia. 

Camille Branger, PhD in Psychology, Department of Psychology, 2019.
Thesis title: "Understanding Positive Aspects of the Caregiver Experience in Dementia: A Meta-Integration and Qualitative Investigation".
Supervisor: Megan O'Connell.
For her work, Camille held an Alzheimer Society of Canada Doctoral Award worth $66,000 (2015-2018).

Rachel Burton, PhD in Psychology, Department of Psychology, 2017. Thesis title: "Cognitive rehabilitation and telehealth videoconferencing: Developing an accessible intervention for subjective cognitive impairment, mild cognitive impairment, and dementia".
Supervisor: Megan O'Connell.

Allison Cammer, PhD in Nutrition, College of Pharmacy and Nutrtion, 2018. Thesis title: "Nutritional care best practices for urban and rural long-term care residents with dementia."  Co-supervisors: Susan Whiting and Debra Morgan. 

Allison completed a MSc in Community Health and Epidemiology in 2007, co-supervised by Dr. Debra Morgan and Dr. Bonnie Janzen. The title of her MSc thesis was “Negotiating Culturally Incongruent Healthcare Systems: The Process of Accessing Dementia Care in Northern Saskatchewan.”

Patrick Corney, PhD in Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology, 2008 Thesis Title: "Attention in Normal Aging and Alzheimer's Disease".
Supervisor: Margaret Crossley.

Tracy Danylyshen-Laycock, PhD, Health Sciences, 2019. Thesis title: "Examining the relationship between leadership, facilitation, and short term sustainability of a dementia-specific training program in rural long-term care homes".
Supervisor: Debra Morgan.

image of Virginia
Virginia Deobald, Masters of Nursing, College of Nursing, 2024. Thesis title: "The nurses’ experience using non-pharmacological interventions for persons living with dementia in rural long-term care facilities in Saskatchewan".
Supervisor: Shelley Peacock.

Joe Enright, PhD, Department of Psychology, 2016. Thesis title: "Identity and caregiver burden in dementia: An evaluation of telehealth reminiscence for informal caregivers".
Supervisor: Megan O'Connnell.
For his work, Joe held a PHARE fellowship worth $44,000 (2013-2015) and a TVN (a NCE) Fellowship worth $100,000 (2014-2016). Joe completed his pre-doctoral residency in the adult neuropsychology stream at London Health Sciences Consortium (2015-2016). He has experience integrating his clinical experience and research.

Dr. Amanda Froehlich Chow held a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Debra Morgan where she worked with the RaDAR team on interprofessional team care for individuals with dementia and their caregivers.
Her research focus is on implementing and evaluating interventions designed to increase physical activity, physical literacy and healthy eating among children, families and educators in rural and remote communities.

Nichole Haugrud, PhD, Department of Psychology, 2013. Thesis title: "Describing cognitive change in normal aging and early-stage dementia using measures of verbal fluency". 
Supervisor: Margaret Crossley.

Sharleen Jahner, PhD, College of Nursing, 2020.
Thesis title: "Impact of secondary (vicarious) trauma on nurses in small rural hospitals". 
Supervisors: Norma Stewart, Kelly Penz

Julie Kosteniuk, PhD, Psychiatry
Postdoctoral Fellow, Debra Morgan Supervisor
Project: "Dementia Diagnosis and Management: Advancing Strategies to Support Rural and Remote Primary Healthcare Professionals
Kathleen Kulyk, Masters of Nursing, College of Nursing, 2017. Thesis title: "Evaluating a questionnaire assessing healthcare provider perceptions of rural dementia care".
Co-supervisors: Norma Stewart and Shelley Peacock.

Shawnda Lanting, PhD, Department of Psychology, 2011. Thesis title: "Developing an assessment to detect cognitive impairment and dementia in Aboriginal seniors and to investigate cultural differences in cognitive aging". 
Supervisor: Margaret Crossley.

image of Erin Leeder

Erin Leeder, Master of Science, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, 2022.
Thesis title: "The Relationship Between Hand Grip Strength, Malnutrition Risk, and Cognitive Decline in Persons Referred to a Specialist Memory Clinic".
Supervisor: Allison Cammer

Lisa Lejbak, PhD, Department of Psychology, 2000.
Thesis title: "The effects of sex-related differences and estrogen suppression on neuropsychological test performance". 
Supervisor: Margaret Crossley.

Leslie Malloy-Weir, PhD, Health Policy
Postdoctoral Fellow, Debra Morgan Supervisor
Project: "Development and pilot testing of a decision aid for dementia patients in long-term care in Saskatchewan and their surrogate decision makers"
Lesley McBain, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Debra Morgan Supervisor
Project: "Telehealth and Geographic Information System Technology in Rural Dementia Care Delivery and Evaluation"

Xiangfei Meng, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Carl D'Arcy and Debra Morgan Co-supervisors
Project: "Connections: Exploring the Link Between Depression and Dementia"

Thamarai Moorthy, PhD, Department of Psychology, 2006.
Thesis title: "Predicting Alzheimer Disease". 
Supervisor: Margaret Crossley.

Elham has a PhD in Nutrition and held a postdoctoral fellowship with the RaDAR team under the supervision of Dr. Morgan. She has a background and interest in aging diseases, and engaged in projects evaluating associations between dementia and nutrition.

Dr. Ivan Panyavin held a postdoctoral fellowship with Drs. Megan O’Connell and Debra Morgan. Dr. Panyavin's interests are in diagnostic and interventional aspects of aging and dementia in the context of rural and remote service delivery, as well as in caregiver and family well-being. He does research in clinical neuropsychology and rehabilitation medicine.

Jocelyn Poock, PhD, Department of Psychology, 2012.
Thesis title: "The effect of simple and complex dual-tasks on ambulation in individuals with Alzheimer's Disease and healthy older adults: The role of divided attention and other higher brain functions in gait dual-task performance". 
Supervisor: Margaret Crossley.

photo of Andrea Scerbe

Andrea Scerbe, PhD in Psychology, Department of Psychology, 2022.
Thesis title: "Digital tools for delivery of dementia education: Increasing rural accessibility for dementia care". 
Supervisor: Megan E. O'Connell.


Students who have trained with the RaDAR Team include:

Medical Students

Maggie Sutherland (2020), Devin Edwards (2019), Izn Shahab (2018), Jennifer Wong (2018), David Petrishen (2018), Michelle Kushneriuk (2018), Sydney Lee (2017), Nadine Abu-Ghazaleh (2017), Landon Perlett (2017), Jaylynn Arcand (2016), Olivia Philippon (2016), Ryan Verity (2017, 2016, 2015), Alex Jahangrivand (Neurology resident, 2014), Drew Hager (2013), Solin Saleh (2012), Catherine Lacny (2011, 2010), Jackie Nneji (2009), Patrick Wong (2008), Marcie Heggie (2008), Andrew Wassef (2007), Wendaline McEarchern (2007), Trevor Steve (2005), Melanie Funk (Physiotherapy student, 2004).

Clinical Psychology Pre-Doctoral Residents

Lisa Bolshin, Chris LePage, Shannon Gelb.

Psychology Practicum Students

Students who have completed a practicum at the Rural and Remote Memory Clinic:
Karl Grewal, Jeremy Cheng, August Kortzman, Carissa Toop, Kelsey Morrison, Jake Ursenbach, Jessica Campoli, Ben Gould, Andrea Scerbe, Trista Friedrich, Camille Branger, Kristen Calverley, Jeffrey Letourneau, Devon Anderson, Meagan Sharp, Ava Agar, Nicole Haugrud, Paulette Hunter, Kristjan Sigurdson, Lindsay Sewell, Larissa Cornelius, Rachel Burton, Joe Enright, Darryl Quinlan, Shannon Gelb, Katerina Tostikova, Tara Gokavi, Agitha Kalialayil, Joceyln Poock, Matt Burnett, Michelle Preniak, Shawnda Lanting, Lisa Lejbak, Patrick Corney, Maxine Holmqvist, Keira Stockdale.

Psychology Undergraduate (Honours) Students

Gillian Fleury, Kara Selby, Laura Sayer, Samantha McKinnon, Nicole Germaine, Nicole Haugrud, Diane Robertson, Leann Wright, Jocelyn Poock.

Nutrition Undergraduate Students

Nutrition undergraduate students are all supervised by Dr. Allison Cammer.

2023-2024 - Nadia Anvari; Nadia Rybalka & Sarah Klassen (group project). 
2021-2022 - Taryn Bulat, Chelsea Lussier, and Ayesha Khan (group project).
2021 - Melissa Brausse.
2020 - Julie Beitel.
2020 - Julie Beitel, Jess Martino, and Madison Rennie (group project).
2019 - Ali Stobbe.
2018 - Hira Ghani, Brooke Motowylo, and Mandy Olsen (group project).