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Student Supervision

**PLEASE NOTE: As of September 2023, I cannot supervise additional incoming students at this time. Please message me for suggestions of alternate supervisors, or if you need an update on when I might be able to take on additional students.***

I supervise highly motivated honours and graduate students with interests in the sociological study of aging, health, and formal and informal (family) care.  I am committed to promoting integrity within a supportive and encouraging graduate student-supervisor partnership, and look forward to helping guide students in their academic and career goals. Students are expected to demonstrate integrity, sensitivity and considerable diligence and effort in their pursuit of academic success.

I frequently supervise graduate students who are examining a range of sociological issues related to personal care homes; home-based care for older adults; and palliative and end of life care.


Cornelia Kauenhowen, MA Student (Sociology)

Cornelia is researching the experiences of older students in university and the effects of internalized and systemic ageism. She uses autobiographical and other methods to raise awareness of the scourge of ageism in post-secondary education institutions, including in ‘Age-Friendly’ Universities, and beyond. This research is important because ageism is discrimination against our future selves and has negative ramifications for our emotional and physical health. Cornelia completed her honours thesis at the University of Manitoba in 2022 and received a Douglas Rennie Scholarship in Sociology, as well as a University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship.

Camille Nichols, MA Student (Sociology)

Camille’s research focuses on the sociology of death and dying, with a particular interest in modern death care communities and funeral ritual. Camille previously earned her Associate of Arts degree in Communications from Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and completed her BA in Sociology/Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. She currently works as a research assistant for an SSHRC-funded mixed methods study on Dying at Home in Canada.

Rachel Antonia Dunsmore, PhD Student (Sociology)

Rachel completed a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with Honours at the University of Winnipeg with a focus on social theory, and most recently completed a Master of Arts in Health and Aging at McMaster University. Her Master’s research examined media reporting on Long-Term Care in Ontario with specific attention to the portrayal of age(ing), care, and safety in the eight months following the WHO’s declaration of a global pandemic. She currently works as a Research Assistant for Dr. Funk’s SSHRC Insight Grant on Care Mobilization. Her research interests include: Sociology of Families; Medical Sociology; Sociology of Health and Illness; Sociology of Knowledge; media analyses; and crimes against older adults.

Bora Salman, PhD Student (Sociology)

Bora’s research area is genomic research, precision medicine, and governance mechanisms to regulate this novel knowledge and technologies, which stands at the nexus of the life sciences and social sciences. He has a BA in Public Administration, MA in Political Science from Ankara University and an MA degree in Political Science at Memorial University. His thesis research was entitled “ Governance of Genomic Research: The Case Studies of Iceland and Newfoundland and Labrador.” He currently works for Dr. Funk’s SSHRC funded study of Dying at Home. In 2021, Bora was awarded the Manitoba Training Program for Health Services Research Fellowship.


Cynthia Yamamoto. PhD Student (Interdisciplinary Studies)

Cindy has a professional background in Occupational Therapy and is completing an Interdisciplinary degree with Sociology as her home department. Her SSHRC-funded dissertation work will use qualitative methods to examine the tensions between social and medical supports in home care for older adults. Cindy has also been contributing to a CIHR-funded project on home care in Canada, and has a particular interest in the role of applied health professionals in home care.




Ed Klassen, PhD Student (Sociology)

Ed has been a part-time student for most of his adult life, studying in the fields of history, sociology, and religion. His academic interests lie in discourse analysis and how mystification and asymmetry are deployed within daily interaction and social theory.  Ed has also worked for Manitoba Justice for the last 25 years and recently accepted an Executive Director position within the Public Safety Division.


Wing-Sun Chan. PhD Sociology 2020. Thesis: “Social Relationships and End of Life Care in the Community in Hong Kong

Dr. Wing-sun Chan completed his PhD under Dr. Funk’s supervision, and is now completing a diploma of applied statistics at the Open University of Hong Kong. His doctoral research investigated the influence of social relationships on the community end of life care in Hong Kong, using the theoretical frame of social capital. Dr. Chan also holds a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His previous work investigated the implications of Hong Kong-China immigration policy on the everyday life of cross-border students as well as on mothering practices. Currently, he is working at the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (Family and Community Development Service). He is also a member of the International Association of Community Development. His Curriculum Vitae can be found at this link.

Erin Scott. MA Sociology 2019. Thesis: “Transitions into Personal Care Homes: Policy, Practice, and Lived Experiences.”

Erin is currently a PhD student in Community Health Sciences and still contributing as a research assistant on our Dying at Home study. Her MA work drew on data from my Research Manitoba-funded study of how family caregivers of older adults navigate health and social care systems. Her contribution explored how caregivers experienced home care clients’ transitions into personal care homes, juxtaposing this against narratives of ‘choice’ in the process.


Lisette Dansereau. MA Sociology 2018. Thesis: “The Emotional Labour of Frontline Care Work”  

Under my supervision Lisette co-authored five publications, including second author in the prestigious journal The Gerontologist, and presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association on Gerontology and the biennial Global Carework Summit. In 2014 Lisette was the recipient of the Douglas Rennie Scholarship in sociology, and in 2018 was awarded a University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship and the Jack MacDonell Scholarship in Aging from the Centre on Aging. Focusing her research on home care, Lisette has gone on to take doctoral studies at the University of Manitoba Department of Community Health Sciences under the supervision of Dr. Christine Kelly.

Efe Ehigiato. MA Sociology 2017. Thesis: “Newly Arrived Nigerian’s Experiences with Accessing and Receiving Health Care Services in Canada.”

Efe is now working as a Quality Assurance Professional. For her Masters thesis she collected data through interviews with Nigerians who were newly arrived to Winnipeg. Her analysis explored their interpretations and experiences of accessing and receiving health care services, especially as they contrasted these against their previous (pre-migration) experiences.