Neena L. Chappell, PhD (sociology, 1978), was founding Director of two world-class university-based research centres on aging, one at the University of Manitoba and one at the University of Victoria (now the Institute on Ageing and Lifelong Health). Both are built on the twin pillars of academic excellence and community relevance; both continue to thrive today. Dr. Chappell has been conducting research on aging for over 40 years focusing on: caregiving, social support, dementia care, health and social services, and social policy. She has published more than 200 academic articles and chapters and has authored or co-authored nine books and edited two. Her work is known internationally; for example, her scales for measuring individualized care and family involvement in nursing homes are being used in Brazil, Sweden, Finland, Brussels, the U.K., the U.S., Australia, Hong Kong, The Republic of China, Turkey, and several parts of Canada.
She was Advising Professor at East China Normal University in Shanghai and Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Hong Kong. She has been active nationally and internationally throughout her career in both sociological and gerontological professional organizations, including on the executive of the International Sociological Association and the International Association for Gerontology and Geriatrics as well as president of the Canadian Association on Gerontology. She believes strongly in both disciplinary and multidisciplinary research and the importance of bringing a social perspective to multidisciplinary approaches.
Dr. Chappell has served on several advisory boards and as an expert advisor to governments in Canada and abroad, especially in China and has received numerous awards, including the University of Victoria’s highest honour, its Gold Medal for Career Achievement in Research; the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal; and 14 years as a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in social gerontology. She is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (the world’s premier association for academic researchers), of the Royal Society of Canada where she has served as President of Academy II, the academy of the social sciences, and of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. She is a member of the Order of Canada and is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Royal Roads University.
Recently Dr. Chappell chaired the CCA’s Expert Panel on Transportation Needs for an Aging Population.