University of Calgary

Ilyan Ferrer

  • Assistant Professor
  • Advocacy
  • Community Development & Practice
  • Gerontology
  • Immigrant & Refugee Issues
  • Multicultural/Diversity Issues

Research Interests

Critical and Digital Methodologies:

Intersectionality and Life Course:

Social and Critical Gerontology:

Currently Teaching


Ilyan Ferrer joined the Faculty of Social Work as an assistant professor in January 2017. His research focuses on the intersections of aging, im/migration, labour, and care experiences of racialized communities in Canada. Ilyan’s work incorporates intersectionality, oral history, and anti-oppressive social work theory and practice. He was also involved in community organizing, skills and capacity building within the Filipino-Canadian diaspora.

Research and Scholarly Activity

Ilyan’s ongoing research and scholarly activities include: social gerontology, intersectionality and life course, and critical and digital methodologies.

Current Research

Ferrer, I. (PI), Shaw, J., & Lorenzetti, L. (June 2017 – May 2019). Making social work accessible through the airwaves: Developing podcasting as a pedagogical approach for experiential teaching and learning. Scholarship for Teaching and Learning Grant (SoTL).

Brotman, S., Koehn, S., & Ferrer, I. (Co-I) (May 2014 – June 2017). The lived experiences of aging immigrants: A narrative photovoice project. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant (SSHRC-IDG).


PhD, McGill University 

MSW, McGill University

BSW, McGill University

Professional and Community Associations

  • Alberta College of Social Workers
  • Association for Asian American Studies
  • Canadian Association for Social Work Education 
  • Canadian Association on Gerontology 
  • Critical Ethnic Studies Association 


Centre de recherché et d’expertise en gerontologie sociale (CREGES) Doctoral Award

Fonds de recherché sur la societe et la culture (FQRSC) Doctoral Scholarship 

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Doctoral Scholarship 

Publications from 2008-Present

 Peer-reviewed Journal Articles:

Ferrer, I., Brotman, S., & Grenier, A. (2017). The experiences of reciprocity among Filipino older adults in Canada: Intergenerational, transnational, and community considerations, 60(4), 313-327.

Ferrer, I., Grenier, A., & Brotman, S. & Koehn, S. (2017). Understanding the experiences of racialized older people through an intersectional life course perspective.  Journal of Aging Studies, 41, 10-17.

Ferrer, I. (2017) Aging Filipino domestic workers and the (in)adequacy of retirement in Canada. Canadian Journal on Aging, 36(1),15-29.

Ferrer, I. (2015). Examining the disjunctures between policy and care in Canada’s Parent and Grandparent Supervisa, International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, 11(4),253-267.

Brotman, S., & Ferrer, I. (2015). Diversity within family caregiving: Extending definitions of ‘who counts’ to include marginalized communities. Healthcare papers15(1), 47-53.

Lee, E., & Ferrer, I. (2014). Examining social work as a Canadian settler colonial project: Colonial continuities of circles of reform, civilization, and in/visibility, Journal of Critical Anti-Oppressive Social Inquiry, 1(1), 1-20.

Palacios, L., Hampton, R., Ferrer, I., Moses, E., & Lee, E. (2013). Learning in social action: Students of color and the Quebec student movement. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 29(2), 6-25.

Sussman, T., Yaffe, M., McCusker, J., Parry, D., Sewitch, M., VanBussel, L., & Ferrer, I. (2011). Implementation of chronic care models for late life depression in primary care: Barriers and facilitators. Annals of Family Medicine, 1-7.

Book chapters:

Ferrer, I. (2018). Combatting racism through the intergenerational life course: Case example of the Filipino community. In D. Este, L. Lorenzetti, & C. Sato, (Eds). Canada without racism: A call to action. Fernwood Publishing, Winnipeg, MA.

Ferrer, I. & Brotman, S. (2018). Remise en question du mythe des soins assumés par la famille chez les immigrants issus des communautés ethnoculturelles minoritaires : les enjeux de la prestation de soins aux aînés au Québec (pp. 265-274). In AM Seguin, P. Marier, V. Billette. (eds.) Le Vieillissement sous la loupe: entre mythes et réalités. QC : Presses de l’Université Laval.

Beauchamp, J., Brotman, S., Chamberland, L., & Ferrer, I. (2018). Contrer le mythe de la famille hétéro-nucléaire dans le soutien et les soins apportés aux aînés LGBT (pp. 257-264). In AM Seguin, P. Marier, V. Billette. (eds.) Le Vieillissement sous la loupe: entre mythes et réalités. QC : Presses del ’Université Laval

Hulko, W., Brotman, S., & Ferrer, I. (2017). Counter storytelling as a form of resistance: Doing anti-oppressive social work with minoritized? older adults and their families. In D. Baines (ed.), Doing Anti-Oppressive Practice: Social Justice Social Work, 3rd edition (193-208). Halifax, N.S.: Fernwood Publication.

Brotman, S., Ferrer, I., Sussman, T., Ryan, B., & Richard, B. (2015) Access and equity in the design and delivery of health and social care to LGBTQ older adults. In Nancy A. Orel & Christine A. Fruhauf (Eds.), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) older adults and their families (pp. 111-140). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. 

Grenier, A., & Ferrer, I. (2010). Age, ageing and growing old: Contested definitions of age.  In N. Guberman, M. Charpentier & A. Grenier (Eds.), Gerontologies Sociale: Problemes sociaux et interventions sociales (pp. 35-54). Quebec: Presses de l’Universite du Quebec.



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