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Contact Olive

Olive Bryanton,MEd,LLD
Project Coordinator PEI Centre on Health & Aging
310 Health Sciences Building UPEI Campus
550 University Ave.
Charlottetown, PE C1A 4P3
Phone: 902-894-2841 902-675-4312
PhD Student, Faculty of Education, UPEI

Professional Competencies
Olive Bryanton 23539
University of Prince Edward Island
September 2015

Author Note

Olive Bryanton, Faculty of Education, University of Prince Edward Island
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to
Olive Bryanton, Faculty of Education, University of Prince Edward Island,
550 University Avenue Charlottetown, PE C1A 4P3


Professional Competencies






Competencies are the knowledge skills and attributes that you use in every aspect of your life, skills you already have but don’t have the language to describe them. Throughout my journey as a PhD student I have been expanding my knowledge and refining my professional competencies. As a scholar and researcher I have also had opportunities to make professional connections with international scholars and researchers associated with older adult learning, which is my area of interest. To illustrate my level of professional competencies within academia, I have selected artefacts that validate my competencies as a peer-reviewed conference presenter, a grant proposal writer, and a communicator. As a PhD student who had presented at an international conference the local media contacted me for an interview about my experience and I have included that interview as a third artefact to demonstrate my communication abilities.


1.1 PowerPoint Presentation – Community Dwelling Women Age 85 and Older ELOA Conference October 23, 2014 Malta University Valletta Campus


2.1 SSHRC Proposal Submitted – Olive’s Final Copy of SSHRC Proposal for submission January 6, 2015.docx

3.1 CBC Interview –  Olive Bryanton  CBC Interview Following Presentation in Malta.mp3 November 2014


Artefact 1.1: PowerPoint presentation for the innovations in older adult learning conference in Malta October 2014.  (CLICK HERE FOR PDF)

This artefact depicted an overview of the paper I submitted to the European international peer-reviewed academic conference. Specifically, this fifth conference of the European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA) network on the Education and Learning of Older Adults (ELOA) conference about older adult learning fitted my area of academic interest. This resulted in my developing a paper to submit for peer-review. This paper drew on survey data from the Atlantic Seniors Housing Research Alliance (ASHRA) 2007 housing survey. The survey focused on Atlantic Canadians age 65 and older with a total of 1670 independent individuals completing the survey providing their thoughts on a variety of topics related to housing: the type of housing and communities they live in; services and social supports; how they get to community activities and services; their subjective health status; education attainment and income levels. The details of the survey have been published elsewhere (Shiner, D.V., 2007). Overviews of the survey, its rationale and methods, can be located on the study website:

My paper and presentation were prepared for the fifth annual conference of the European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA) network on the Education and Learning of Older Adults (ELOA) that was held at the Valletta Campus of the University of Malta on October 22 – 24, 2014.  My paper like all papers at the conference was peer-reviewed and placed on CD’s as part of the conference proceedings and were given to all conference delegates.


Entrance to University of Malta Valletta Campus

My PowerPoint presentation reflected highlights of the paper specifically demographics, comparison’s between rural and urban dwellers and drivers and non-drivers, and the women’s ability to get to activities and services within their community. I also identified factors missing from the study including learning opportunities for older adults. I argued that learning opportunities are necessary and should support decision making for older women as they deal with transitions related to the aging process.  I identified some of the non-formal learning opportunities for older adults on PEI, and visually demonstrated mobility could enhance quality of life for the older women on PEI. Because I was the only participant from North America I used some of my adult education skills to inform those present about Canada, Atlantic Canada (the location of the data I used), Prince Edward Island (my home province), UPEI (my University) and Team Olive (my committee). Although this was a small conference (approximately 50 delegates) and two-concurrent session each with five presentations happening, 16 participants attended my presentation including one of my admired researchers Dr Marvin Formosa. All were attentive and asked several questions and were very interested in the non-formal education options on PEI especially our Seniors College.


My Presentation with Dr. Formosa in the front row in the blue shirt

The conference theme “Innovations in Older Adult Learning” fit my research interests of education as empowerment for community dwelling women age 85 and older. The development of the my PowerPoint presentation using information from the paper I wrote for peer-review provided numerous opportunities to develop my research skills but it was the presentation of this information that demonstrated my professional skills.  This conference offered me not only the opportunity to communicate my research findings to an international audience but also to educate those in attendance about Canada, the region the data for my paper originated, my home province, university and committee, and the potential to meet international researchers who were interested in older adult education. The conference also provided me with the opportunity to meet two older adult education researchers whose work I admired and followed, Dr. Marvin Formosa and Dr. Brian Findsen.

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Dr. Marvin Formosa – Malta                                                                       Dr. Brian Findsen – New Zealand

Artefact 2.1 SSHRC Proposal. (CLICK HERE FOR PDF)

In 2014 I had the opportunity to apply to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for possible research funding. This artefact demonstrates my ability to participate in grant writing and submission. My submission was accepted at the faculty and university level and submitted to SSHRC. Within my document I outlined the purpose of my study which was to gain a deeper understanding of the aging experiences of community-dwelling women aged 85 and older, living in rural areas and small towns, and to uncover new knowledge about how these women, many with limited income, housing, and transportation options, continue their chosen lifestyles with independence. My intention is to fill a gap in educational, gerontology and feminist research on how older women adapt and adjust to aging in a society where ageism and sexism exists, and where basic services are non-existent or limited. The overarching question guiding my study is: How do community dwelling women age 85 and older maintain independence and continue being productive citizens in rural and small town Canada where everyday injustices that limit possible lifestyle choices appear to be based on age and sex?  I believe this research is significant because few researchers specifically examine the experiences or wants and needs of the growing population of women age 85 and older living in rural areas and small towns. Although this proposal was not accepted for funding it was put on a waiting list that according to SSHRC means that my application was ranked highly enough for my name to be placed on a list of candidates recommended for an award in the event that additional funds become available. This application process challenged my ability to condense critical information related to my potential dissertation and added to my research skills. Although this application did not result in funding it did add to my academic growth and provided a basis for the development of a future application.

Artefact 3.1 CBC Interview About My Presentation in Malta. (CLICK HERE FOR MP3) This artefact demonstrated my ability to communicate with the media and share my experience as a beginning academic and researcher. It was also an opportunity to inform the public that education is for all ages and regardless of age learning continues to be exciting. Within the interview I was able to share my experience as a presenter at an international conference related to education for older adults; share statistics about community dwelling women age 85 and older living in Atlantic Canada; the importance to recognizing the wants as well as the needs of these women; the lack of alternative transportation for older adults and the lack of focus on education for older adults.


Professional competencies include the ability to communicate your research and its implications to others, through presentations at conferences, submission of applications to SSHRC or communication through the media. All of which are essential components of preparing to become a PhD candidate. To communicate my academic journey, demonstrate my professional competencies and active professional engagement at a scholarly level I chose three artefacts that have contributed to my development as a graduate student, and validate my professional engagements connected to education for older adults. Each artefact challenged my analytical skills, my critical thinking and my communication abilities plus provided new opportunities for academic growth.


Bryanton, O. (2014, October) Empowering community dwelling women age 85 and older in maintaining their chose lifestyle (CD). Paper presented at the ELOA 2014 Conference Innovations in older adult learning October 2014 Valetta Campus University of Malta.

Bryanton, O. (2015, January). Submitted SSHRC Proposal

CBC MP3 Interview (2014, November). Interview on experience of presenting at   older adult education conference in Malta