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Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

Dawn Guthrie, Team Leader


Dawn GuthrieDawn Guthrie is an associate fellow with interRAI, an international research consortium including researchers and clinicians from 35 countries that develops and tests standardized assessments for individuals with disabilities. Dawn received her PhD in Health Studies and Gerontology from the University of Waterloo in 2004 and her MSc in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto in 1993. Dawn's research typically involves analysis of large datasets, otherwise known as "Big Data." Her research areas of interest include aging, health care and service delivery, sensory impairments and palliative care.

Nicole Williams, Project Administrator


Nicole WilliamsNicole Williams completed her Master of Science degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is currently working as a project administrator on a three-year project grant funded by CIHR. In this role she is mainly involved in overseeing the daily operations of the study and coordinating activities with the research team as well as multiple groups of experts, clinicians and families.

Andrea Urqueta Alfaro, Postdoctoral Researcher


Andrea Urqueta AlfaroAndrea Urqueta Alfaro is a University of Montréal School of Optometry postdoctoral fellow. She is co-supervised by Dawn Guthrie and Walter Wittich (University of Montréal). Currently, Andrea is assessing the validity of the interRAI CHA and deafblind supplement using objective measures of vision and hearing as gold standard, in adults with and without cognitive impairment. Andrea has completed the equivalency of a Bachelor and Master in Psychology at Pontificia Universidad Católica, Chile. Afterwards, she worked with Blind Babies Foundation in California as an early interventionist for BVI infants. Andrea continued her education and received a Master in Special Education at San Francisco Statte University; a Doctorate in Psychology at University of California, Berkeley; and a postdoctoral fellowship at Envision, Kansas.

Kirsten Hermans, Postdoctoral Researcher


Kirsten HermansKirsten Hermans received a MSc in Psychology at the University of Leuven (Belgium) in 2011. In 2012, she started working as a doctoral researcher at the University of Leuven, where she received a PhD in Biomedical Sciences in 2017. Her doctoral research focused on the validation of the interRAI Palliative Care instrument in nursing homes. Currently, Kirsten is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Brussels (Belgium). Within the INTEGRATE project, she is responsible for project support and monitoring. Additionally, Kirsten works as a postdoctoral researcher at Wilfrid Laurier University on the CIHR funded project related to development of quality indicators for palliative care.

Tara Stevens, Research Assistant


Tara StevensTara Stevens completed her Master of Science degree in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo. Her research interests include using large data sets to inform health care practices, aging and nutrition. She is currently working as a Research Assistant on a three-year project grant funded by CIHR. In this role she is involved in data analysis, preparing manuscripts for publication, and coordinating activities with the research team as well as multiple groups of experts, clinicians and families.

Nicole Reinders, Qualitative Research Lead


Nicole ReindersNicole Reinder’s primary research interest is exploring the effects of recreational community programming for disabled individuals, including young people with Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Nicole has conducted both qualitative and quantitative research methods and is currently conducting mixed methods research for her PhD thesis. As a member of the Quality Indicators for Palliative Care research team, Nicole will lead the qualitative portion of the research to understand the experiences of individuals in palliative care as well as their caregivers.

Liz Garrison, MSW placement Student


Liz GarrisonLiz Garrison is currently working towards a Masters of Social Work degree at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is completing her social work field placement as a researcher on the CIHR funded project related to the development of quality indicators for palliative care. Liz’s primary research interests focus on improvement and innovation of care systems to support caregivers and people who are living with chronic and life-ending illnesses, and meaningfully integrating their perspectives in the process.

Nicole Boumans, Master of Health Sciences Student


Nicole BoumansNicole has been associated with Dawn Guthrie’s Research Lab since 2008. Prior to joining the research team at Laurier, Nicole worked as a Research Assistant in the Psychology Department at the University of Waterloo, from where she is an alumni with a BA in Psychology with Honours. Nicole’s background involves years of experience working with interRAI data and the management of various research projects. Currently, Nicole is a Master of Health Sciences student at Ontario Tech University, with a specialization in Community, Public and Population Health. She is co-supervised by Dawn Guthrie and Manon Lemonde (Ontario Tech University). Nicole’s master’s thesis is investigating factors that influence the risk of caregivers experiencing burden when caring for seriously ill home care clients across Canada. Her background and interests include vulnerable populations, mental health, health care, sensory impairment, cognition and memory, aging and Big Data.

Student Opportunities

If you are interested in student opportunities for graduate student supervision or your undergraduate honours thesis, visit Dawn Guthrie's faculty profile for more information.

Dawn Guthrie, Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education; Department of Health Sciences; interRAI, Associate Fellow

T: 519.884.0710 x2590
Office Location: BA516 (Bricker Academic)

Faculty Profile

Researcher Profile


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