Next STAR meeting

STAR meetings are normally scheduled from September–November and January–March during the academic year. Meetings are being hosted virtually.

Meetings have concluded for the 2023–2024 academic year. Join us in the fall when meetings will resume.

Thanks to all those students who attended meetings and volunteered for this year's Spring Research Symposium!

What happens at STAR meetings?

STAR information (PDF)

STAR meetings are a great way for any student attending the University of Manitoba to meet other students interested in aging related topics. 

Meeting topics vary and are based on STAR member recommendations and interests. We've had Centre on Aging Research Affiliates talk about their aging related research, invited community members to talk about their aging related careers and to share their own career paths with students, hosted networking events to get to know one another, and hosted outreach activities to help support older people in the community. 

Connect with STAR

The Centre on Aging hosts the STAR group for students attending the University of Manitoba. The aim of STAR is to provide students, whose interest is in aging related topics, with an opportunity to actively engage and connect with one another, discuss shared interests, network with peers, learn about current issues in gerontology from researchers and practitioners in aging, and stay up-to-date on aging related topics using an interdisciplinary perspective.

Gerontology is a diverse and complex field. By 2031, it is projected that the 65- to 74-year-olds will account for nearly 11 per cent of Manitoba’s population. And by 2036, the number of Manitobans aged 75 to 84 is projected to near 125,000.

At the University of Manitoba, Centre on Aging Research Affiliates represent 11 diverse, interdisciplinary faculties. Aging issues require the collaboration and teamwork of individuals from different backgrounds. Through networking, students can make connections with like-minded individuals who share the same interests in aging.

Sign up for the STAR mailing list

If you are interested in staying up to date on future STAR meetings and opportunities, email the co-leads at to be included on the mailing list.

Students must provide their current UM email addresses as per the University of Manitoba's student email policy.

Meet the STAR lead

STAR is led by student representatives. Brontë Vollebregt is the STAR lead and is available to answer any questions students may have about joining the group.

  • Students Targeting Aging Research lead Bronte head shot
  • STAR lead

    Brontë Vollebregt is a doctoral candidate in the Applied Health Sciences program at the University of Manitoba. She is based out of the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management (FKRM) where her work focuses on investigating the effects of dual-tasking during gait and posture in humans, specifically older adults.

    Previously she completed an Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology and a Master of Science at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, ON. The ultimate goal of her work is to improve the lives of older adults by reducing falls (and subsequent injuries).

STAR activities

Summary report: Enhancing student engagement in STAR

Current and past co-leads of STAR: Lisette Dansereau, Megan Campbell, and Courtney Addison, conducted a study under the supervision of Centre Director, Dr. Michelle Porter, which asked, “How can we increase student engagement in STAR?”

The goal was to assess awareness of STAR in the study body at large, to describe basic characteristics of our membership, assess interest level and participation rates, and collect thoughts and ideas for improvement.

View the study summary.


Dansereau, L., Campbell, M. & Addison, C. (2022) Engaging post-secondary students in a multidisciplinary aging studies interest group, Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, Published online: 18 Sep 2022.


2021.    Addison, C., Campbell, M., & Dansereau L. Engaging Students in STAR (Students Targeting Aging Research). University of Manitoba Centre on Aging Annual Spring Research Symposium (VIRTUAL). May 3–4, 2021.
2021.    Dansereau, L., Addison, C., & Campbell, M. Engaging students in aging research. Canadian Association on Gerontology (CAG) Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting (VIRTUAL). Oct 20–23, 2021.

Get recognized on your experience record

University of Manitoba students who participate in STAR meetings and volunteer at the Centre on Aging's Spring Research Symposium, and attend approved aging related events may receive recognition on their experience record.

Volunteerism and participation credit

Students who wish to pursue credit for Volunteerism and participation must complete 10 approved hours of combined attendance at STAR meetings and volunteering (registration desk, session chair, assisting symposium attendees, etc.) at the Spring Research Symposium during the current academic year.

Official recognition as a STAR member will be provided through the University of Manitoba's Experience Record. The STAR group is officially recognized as a Experience Record activity.

To start earning credit, students need to:

  1. Log in to UMConnect to create an account if you already haven’t.
  2. Select UM Students and enter your UM credentials
  3. Search for “STAR” to find the Students Targeting Aging Research listings
  4. Follow the prompts to sign up as a STAR member.

Knowledge development in aging

Launched in Fall 2022, the Centre on Aging will provide recognition of Knowledge development in aging for University of Manitoba (UM) undergraduate and graduate students. Reflected in a student’s Experience record in the area of Foundational skill development, the Knowledge development in aging is open to students who want to supplement their learning and receive recognition for completing professional development activities specifically in the area of aging.

About the Knowledge development in aging (PDF)

This is not a formal program credit in gerontology, but allows any student with an interest in aging to receive official recognition by the UM for their participation in university-approved activities on their Experience Record during the current academic year.

How to participate

  1. Sign up for an account in UMConnect, if you do not have an existing account. 
  2. Attend a minimum of 6-one-hour Centre on Aging approved professional development events focusing on specific aging topics offered at the UM:
  • Centre on Aging (Speaker Series, Research in Aging  workshops, Spring Research Symposium, special events or workshops)
  • Students Targeting Aging Research (STAR) meetings
  1. Students will be required to register for events and complete the sign in sheet (for in person events) or self identify online to confirm their attendance. 
  2. Complete the questions in the Reflection form and return the form within two weeks, post event to receive credit. All submissions will be reviewed by Centre staff based on specific criteria that a student must meet to be approved for credit. Late submissions will not be accepted.
  3. Professional development activities must be completed over the current academic year (e.g., September–August), and cannot be gained cumulatively over the course of a student’s program of studies.
    For example, students who complete four hours of professional development activities in 2023–2024, and then complete two hours in 2024–2025 will be ineligible to receive the recognition on their experience record.
  4. Look for the Experience Record logo on event posters. This symbol indicates that students are eligible to receive recognition upon attending and completing a reflection form for this event.

How does completing the Knowledge development in aging benefit students?

Often, students interested in taking a course in aging are limited by course offerings (e.g., offered every other year), scheduling availability, courses are only available to students registered in a specific faculty/department, or are degree specific (e.g., open to graduate students only). While many units across the UM offer presentations, conferences, or workshops, students generally do not receive official recognition for attending these events. The Centre on Aging is providing an opportunity for students to both supplement their lifelong learning in aging topics and receive recognition by the UM for a non-academic activity through a student’s co-curricular record.

Receiving the Knowledge development in aging allows students to incorporate lifelong learning skills as a regular part of their training. Many professions require practitioners to complete some form of professional development to maintain their professional standing or credentials. By incorporating these habits early, students will learn to self-administer their personal learning and be prepared for the professional work environment.

Students are unable to get recognition for both the Volunteerism and participation credit AND Knowledge development in aging. Students must choose which of the two options they wish to work towards during the academic year.

Other organizations and groups

UM students can connect with other students interested in aging through national organizations: