Jennifer Hewson

Vice Dean - On Leave

Leadership Team

Associate Professor - On Leave

Calgary Campus

PhD, Educational Studies

University of British Columbia, 1998

MA, Family Studies

University of British Columbia, 1993

BA, Family Science

University of British Columbia, 1990

Contact information


MacKimmie Tower : MT418

Research Activities

Research areas

  • Gerontology
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
  • Human Service Organizations and Systems


Dr. Hewson’s research areas include age-friendly communities, specifically social participation, respect and social inclusion, and housing; gerontological social work education; aging and the human-animal bond; social work field education; evaluating the delivery of social and human services; and intergenerational relationships. She has extensive experience teaching research at the Master’s level. She has taught research in the foundation year and the leadership, clinical, and international and community development specializations for both course-based and thesis students. Dr. Hewson has been actively involved in developing a research-based practicum program, redesigning the thesis program, co-supervising students in research placements, supervising MSW Thesis students, and participating on supervisory teams for MSW Thesis and PhD students as well as Thesis students in Kinesiology.

Current Research

Dr. Hewson’s most recent research includes several SSHRC & CIHR funded projects with Dr. Meghan McDonough, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary and The City of Calgary to explore social support, physical activity participation, and older-adults prior to and during COVID-19. Another current SSHRC funded project with Dr. David Nicholas and the Brenda Strafford Foundation explores the psychosocial and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic for older adults living in care. Dr. Hewson’s future research plans include exploring the use of robotic animals in facility-based continuing care programming and age-friendly housing for older adults living in community.


Dr Hewson has been actively involved in leadership roles in FSW since joining the University of Calgary community in 2005 including Director of the Centre for Social Work Research and Professional Development, PhD and MSW Thesis Coordinator, Field Education Coordinator, Interim Field Education Director, Graduate Program Director, Associate Dean - Teaching and Learning, and Team Lead of the Clinical Social Work Practice Certificate – Gerontology. She is currently assisting with the development of a Leadership and Indigenous Engagement Certificate. Dr Hewson has also been actively engaged in community and professional service in the field of gerontology including previous roles as the Co-Chair of the 2015 Canadian Association on Gerontology’s (CAG) 44th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting, the Social Sciences Division Chair on the CAG Board of Directors (2016-2018), a member of various Age-friendly Calgary and Older Adult Service Provider committees (2008-2022), a member of The City of Calgary’s Social Well-being Advisory Committee (2019-2021), and a member of the Calgary Community Development Conference Coordinating Committee (2009-2013).

She is passionate about student engagement, experiential and inquiry-based learning, and fostering an inclusive teaching and learning environment. Dr Hewson has co-authored several journal articles on the student experience. Her practice approach is grounded in the teaching and learnings from her PhD in Educational Studies with a specialization in Adult, Continuing and Community Education. Her commitment to experiential learning has also resulted in various field education roles. In addition to field education leadership positions in FSW, she has been a co-supervisor/field instructor with community practitioners and the faculty liaison for numerous BSW and MSW practicum placements. She has also been extensively involved in practicum seminar instruction for undergraduate and graduate students and has co-authored several journal articles and a book chapter on social work field education.


Morrison, L., McDonough, M. H., Won, S., Matune, A. J., & Hewson, J. (in press). Older adults' physical activity and social participation during COVID-19: Changes in participation and perspectives on program delivery. Activities, Adaptation & Aging. Accepted June 19, 2022.

Patterson, M., McDonough, M. H., Hewson, J., Culos-Reed, S.N., & Bennet, E. (in press). Social support and body image in group exercise programs for women. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology. Accepted June 13, 2022.

Zimmer C., McDonough, M. H., Hewson, J., Toohey, A. M., Din, C., Crocker, P. R. E., & Bennett, E. V. (2022). Social support among older adults in group physical activity programs. The Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. Published online March 28, 2022.

Zimmer, C., McDonough, M. H., Hewson, J., Toohey, A., Din, C., Crocker, P. R. E., & Bennett, E. V. (2021). Experiences with social participation in group physical activity programs for older adults. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 43(4), 335-344. https://doi.10.1123/jsep.2020-0335

Beselt, L. J., Patterson, M. C., McDonough, M. H., Hewson, J., & MacKay, S. (2021). A meta-study of qualitative research on social support related to physical activity among older adults. Kinesiology Review. 10(1), 51-65.

Burns, V. F., St-Denis, N., Walsh, C. A., & Hewson, J. (2020). Creating a sense of place after homelessness: We are not “ready for the shelf”. Journal of Aging and Environment. https://doi.10.1080/26892618.2020.1858382

Archer-Kuhn, B., Lee, Y., Hewson, J., & Victoria Burns. (2020). Growing together: Cultivating inquiry-based learning in social work education. Social Work Education, 41(3), 333-353. https://doi.10.1080/02615479.2020.1839407

Archer-Kuhn, B., Ayala, J., Hewson, J., & Letkemann, L. (2020). Canadian reflections on the Covid-19 pandemic in social work education: From tsunami to innovation. Social Work Education, 39(8), 1010-1018. https://doi.10.1080/02615479.2020.1826922

Walsh, C. A., Gulbrandsen, C., Hewson, J. A., & Paul, K. (2019). "Fallen Between the Cracks”: Exploring Subsidized Housing from the Perspectives of Low-Income Preseniors. Journal of Housing for the Elderly. https://.doi:10.1080/02763893.2019.1627264

Ayala, J., Drolet, J., Fulton, A., Hewson, J., Letkemann, L., Baynton, M., Elliott, G., Judge-Stasiak, A., Blaug, C., Gérard Tétreault, A., & Schweizer, E. (2018). Restructuring social work field education in 21st-Century Canada: From crisis management to sustainability. Canadian Social Work Review, 35(2), 45-65.

Hewson, J., Kwan, C., Larkin-Black, T., Samaha, A., & Lai, D. (2018). Evaluating age-friendliness: A case example of a baseline assessment of one mid-sized Canadian city. The Journal of Aging and Social Change 8(3), 1-16. doi:10.18848/2576-5310/CGP/v08i03/1-16

Toohey, A., Hewson, J., Adams, C., & Rock, M. (2018). Pets, social participation, and aging-in-place: Findings from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue Canadienne Du Vieillissement, 37(2), 200-217.

Ayala, J., Drolet, J., Fulton, A., Hewson, J., Letkemann, L., Baynton, M., Elliott, G., Judge-Stasiak, A., Blaug, C., Gérard Tétreault, A., & Schweizer, E. (2018). Field education in crisis: Experiences of field education coordinators in Canada, Social Work Education, 37(3), 281-293. https://doi:10.1080/02615479.2017.1397109

Hewson, J., Kwan, C., Shaw, M., & Lai, D. (2018). Developing age-friendly social participation strategies: Service providers' perspectives about organizational and sector readiness for aging baby boomers. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, 42(3), 225-249.

Shaw, M., Hewson, J., Hogan, D., Raffin, S., & Simon, J. (2018). Characterizing readiness for Advance Care Planning from the perspective of residents, families and clinicians: An Interpretive Descriptive study in supportive living. The Gerontologist, 58(4), 739-748.



Student Union Teaching Excellence Award (2010)