Associate Professor
Cross Appointment: Social Work & Department of Sociology


Mary Ann Murphy, Ph.D. (Health and Social Policy) holds a Cross-appointment on Aging between the School of Social Work and the Department of Sociology within the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Science.

She successfully chaired the School of Social Work on its first full accreditation; assisted in developing aspects of the then Child Welfare Specialization; and created the first undergraduate social work Aging Specialization in Canada. Over time, she has also created novel curriculum for the School of Social Work in the areas of social welfare law; comparative social/family policy; introduction to social work; and in aging practice and policy. In Sociology, she has created innovative curriculum in the areas of family studies, global aging, and intergenerational relationships – the latter based on an intergenerational classroom she has taught since 2008.

Her practice background includes experience as a juvenile probation officer; social planning and research consultant for a variety of firms including Price Waterhouse; and, as a strategic planner for both the Ontario government and a 500 bed chronic care hospital. She also has senior level policy experience, having worked as a project manager for an Assistant Deputy Minister and as one of two staff to a 13 member committee of Ontario deputy ministers developing an anti-poverty agenda for that province.

Dr. Murphy is highly engaged with her local community on numerous aspects of policy and practice, both as a researcher and as a volunteer. Her teaching is strongly based on connecting the praxis of excellence in education with community needs and realities. To achieve this, she actively involves community in curriculum development and classroom delivery in ‘knowledge exchange’ based on principles of mutual respect, co-learning, and sustainability.

  • Ph.D.       Health and Social Policy                                Heller School – Brandeis University                 1996
    • Dissertation: “Canadian Constitutional Litigation and Social Policy”
  • M.S.W.    Social Work Administration                            University of Calgary                                         1981
    • Thesis: “Canadian Constitutional Litigation and Social Policy”
  • B.S.W.     Clinical and Community Development           University of Calgary                                         1978
  • B.A.         General                                                         University of Alberta                                          1975


2017        UBC Alumni Affairs Faculty Community Service Award

2016        UBC Teaching Excellence and Innovation Award

2014-15   Thank-A-Prof Award – UBC Okanagan Campus

2012-13   “I am ACCESSIBLE” Award – Disability Resource Center, UBC Okanagan Campus

2009       UBC President’s Award for Public Education through Media

1992-95  Full Health and Welfare Canada Doctoral Fellowship

1980       Graduate Research Award – University of Calgary

  • Aging/Gerontological Social Work
  • Social Welfare Law and Human Rights: International Human Rights, Aging and Grey Power
  • Policy and Practice Issues Affecting an Older Population
  • Constitutional/Charter Litigation & Social Policy
  • Social Policy and Comparative Family Policy
  • Intergenerational Relationships
  • Visual Sociology


Kurtz, D. (PI), Bryant, l., Jones, C., Hutchinson, P., Jung, M., Little, J., King (Medical Internist), King (SFU), Murphy, M.A., & McGovak. (2018-2022). “Building Indigenous Pathways for Diabetes and Obesity Prevention and Management with Urban and Rural Communities in BC.” Funded by C.I.H.R (Canadan Institutes of Health Research) $849,152.

Murphy, M.A. (2016—). “Intergenerational Responses to the “Age of Love”: A Narrative Analysis.”

Murphy, M.A. (2013-2018). “An Evaluation of St-age-ing Matters: The Process and Outcomes of Developing Elder Actors to Address Social Inclusion.”

Murphy, M.A. (2010-2018). “The Intergenerational Classroom as a Vehicle to Reduce Social Distance and Promote Social Innovation: Integrating Research, Teaching & Undergraduate Learning.”


Select Publications

Jones, C., Vandenberg, C., Mick, P., Little, J., Jones, G., Murphy, M.A., & Miller, H. (Submitted Aug. 2018). “Walk, Talk and Listen: A pilot randomized controlled trial targeting functional fitness in older adults with hearing loss.” BMJ Open.

Murphy, M.A., Helfand, F., Cash, P. & Scott, D. (Spring 2018). A visual essay to aid emergency responders and ESS workers in understanding victims’ perspectives on the Meaning of Home. HAZNET, 10 (1). [Available online and in-print.]

Jutras, M., Lambert, J., Hwang, J., Wang, L., Simon, S., Del Medico, T., Mick, P., Miller H., Kurtz, D., Murphy, M. A. & Jones, C. A. (2018). Targeting the psychosocial and functional fitness challenges of older adults with hearing loss: a participatory approach to adaptation of the walk and talk for your life program. International Journal of Audiology, 1-10.

Lambert, J., Ghadry-Tavi, R., Knuff, K., Jutras, M., Siever, J., Mick, P., Roque, C., Jones, G., Little, J., Miller, H.,  Van Bergen, C., Kurtz, D., Murphy, M.A., & Jones, C.A. (2017). Targeting functional fitness, hearing and health-related quality of life in older adults with hearing loss: Walk, Talk’n’Listen, study protocol for a pilot randomized controlled trials. Trials, 18(1), 47.

Rush, K., Murphy, M.A., & Kozak, J. (2012). A photovoice study of older adults’ conceptualizations of risk. Journal of Aging Studies, 26(4), 448-458.

Sookraj, D., Hutchinson, P., Evans, M., & Murphy, M.A. (2010).  Aboriginal organizational response to the need for culturally appropriate services inthree Canadian cities. Journal of Social Work, 1-22.

Murphy, M.A., & Rota, C. (2008, June). Literature review on transitions in caregiving. Published paper sponsored by the G3: Gender, Geography and Gerontology: Building Research Capacity to Improve Health. Co-Sponsored by Women’s Health Research Network (WHRN), BC Network of Aging Research (BCNAR), BC Rural and Remote Health Research Network, UBCO and IHA.

Murphy, M.A., Teixeira, C., Sookraj, D., & Stanbury, J. (2007-08). Report of the Public Survey: District of Peachland Seniors’ Housing Needs and Marketplace Analysis.

Gripton, J., Nutter, R., Irving, A, & Murphy, M.A. (1996). A state-of-the-art review of social work research in Canada. Major professional sectoral study sponsored by SSHRC. Ottawa: Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Francis  J, & Murphy, M.A. (Research Director). (1995).  Writing on the wall: Mayor’s Task Force on youth issues, Report initiated by Jim Stuart, then Mayor of the City of Kelowna, reporting to City Council .


1) Murphy, M.A. (March 3-6, 2016). “Use of Live Actors to Evaluate Interprofessional Geriatric Assessment Skills in Graduate Education.” [Workshop Session]. Presented at the 42nd Association for Gerontology in Higher Education: Longbeach, CA.

2) Murphy, M.A., Wariach, C., & Loring, S. (November 18-22, 2015). “Intergenerational Responses to the Documentary theAge of Love: A Narrative Analysis.” Presented at the Gerontological Society of America 68th Annual Scientific Meeting – Optimal Aging Through Research: Orlando, FL.

3) Murphy, M.A., & Sookraj, D. (October 15-18, 2015). “Developments in Aging and Gerontological Social Work in Canada”. Presented at the Council on Social Work Education 61st Annual Program Meeting: Denver, CO.

4) Sookraj, D., Chau, S. & Murphy, M.A. (July 9-12, 2014). “Improving the Global Agenda: Use of the Internet to Facilitate Information Sharing, Networking and Collaboration.” Presented at the Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development: Melbourne, Australia.

5) Murphy, M.A. (November 20-24, 2013). “ST-AGE-ING Matters: The Process and Outcomes of Developing an Elder Actors Troupe to Address Social Inclusion”. Presented at the Gerontological Society of America 66th Annual Scientific Meeting – Optimal Aging Through Research: New Orleans, LS.

6) Murphy, M.A. (June 23-27, 2013). “ST-AGE-ING Matters: Training Elder Actors to Address Social Inclusion.” Paper presented at the International Association for Gerontology & Geriatrics – 20th World Congress: Digital Ageing – New Horizon for Health Care and Active Aging: Seoul, South Korea.

7) Murphy, M.A. (November 14-18, 2012). “Right Under Our Noses: Why One New Frontier On Aging Should Be A Post-Secondary Intergenerational Classroom”. Presented at the Gerontological Society of America 65th Annual Scientific Meeting – Charting New Frontiers in Aging: San Diego, CA.

8) Murphy, M.A. (February 23-26, 2012).”Recruiting Older Adult Students to Strengthen Gerontology and Geriatrics in Post-Secondary Education.” Accepted for presentation at the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education’s 38th Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference. Arlington, VA. Declined presentation due to illness.


  1. Kent, D. (3 May, 2017). Release of Stats Can Data on Age, Sex and Housing from the 2016 Census.  Global BC TV, Vancouver. [Video interview “live on-air” 10 mins.]
  2. Ryan, D. (11 February, 2017). State of the union: Getting married in B.C. today more about choice than Numbers. Vancouver Sun.
  3. Wellborn, P. (13 May, 2016). UBC celebrates ‘exemplary role models’ who make a difference.
  4. Davis, K. (3 March, 2016). Music helping people with dementia use reduce of medication.
  5. Kelowna Capital News. (2016, March 25). Music and memories: A unique music and memory project at Baptist Housing brought new forms of learning to life for a number of UBC Okanagan students. Kelowna Capital News – Just for Seniors p.4.
  6. Matthews, Lisa. (December 2015). Phone Interview: Seniors, wisdom, and the digital divide. CBC Cross-Country Check-Up.
  7. Boyd, D. (2016, March 3). No age limit for love. Penticton Western News.
  8. CBC News – BC. (2015, November 8). UBC Okanagan prof invites seniors to audit her global aging course. CBC News.
  9. Zandbergen, Rebecca. (2015, November 4). The ‘intergenerational classroom’ at UBC’s Okanagan campus. CBC Radio West.
  10. Seymour, R. (2015, September 29). New stats show seniors are No.1. Kelowna Daily Courier.
  11. Brotherton, D. (2014, June 5). Friends make you healthier: Social isolation just as dangerous as smoking. Westside Weekly.
  12. Castanet Staff & UBC Okanagan Media Relations. (2013, December 11). Korean war veterans share experiences with UBC students.
  13. Thompson, Rosemary. (2013). UBC’s next “Big Thing” feature Dr. Mary Ann Murphy. UBC & Shaw Television.
  14. (2013, January 23). Embracing 50 and learning from youth and seniors. Beyond50 for
  15. Dunagan, J. (2012, October 27). Memories of the ‘50s by ones who were there. Okanagan Saturday – Kelowna Daily Courier.
  16. Goldhawk, D. (2012, September 24). 75% of adult children in GTA still living at home. AM 740 ZOOMER Radio – Toronto.
  17. Kennedy, M., & Sinoski, K. (2012, September 20). Canada’s new modern family: Census data finds a growing number of same-sex marriages, adult children at home. Vancouver Sun,
  18. McDivitt, Barry. (2012, September 19). Stats Can Census Data Release: Families. On-camera interview with CHBC Global Okanagan TV.
  19. Turner, Geoffrey. (2012, September 19). Stats Canada Census Release: Families and households. CBC BC Almanac / Early Edition.
  20. Johnson, Phil. (2012, September 19). Stats Canada Census Release: Changing landscape of families, households, and marital status. AM 1150 – Astral Media.
  21. Sinoski, K. (2012, September 19). Census finds spike in single-parent families, same-sex and common-law unions (with video). Vancouver Sun.
  22. Bosevold, S. (2012, September 19). The rise of the single dad and 10 other takeaways from the Census’ family andhouseholds figures. National Post.
  23. Campion-Smith, B. (2012, September 19). Canadian families growing more diverse, census data shows. Toronto Star.
  24. Sinoski, K. (2012, September 19). Census finds young adults choose to stay at home with parents: Convenience, finances keep 20-somethings from going it alone. Vancouver Sun.
  25. Pigg, S. (2012, September 19). Census data shows more young adults opting to live with mom and dad in 905 regions. Toronto Star.
  26. Pearce, T. (2012, September 19). New family structures elbowing their way into collective portrait. The Globe and Mail.
  27. Raj, Althia. (2012, September 19). Same sex marriage Canada Census 2011: Census shows new picture of couples’ unions. Huffington Post.
  28. Walker, Chris. (2012, September 12). UBC Okanagan seeks seniors for intergenerational class. CBC South Daybreak Radio.
  29. Plant, Don. (2012, April 24). Phone interview: Health care and residential and assisted living sector issues and costs. Kelowna Daily Courier.


Murphy, M.A. (2017, September 26). “Understanding Advance Care Planning and Seniors Suicide”. Hosted at the Society for Learning in Retirement, Kelowna, B.C.

Murphy, M.A. (2017, June 12). Keynote Presentation: “Ageism and Intergenerational Relationships” to the AGM of the Central Okanagan Association for Cardiac Health (COACH). Hosted at Kelowna General Hospital.

 Murphy, M.A. (2, November 2016). “Wellbeing, Engagement & Social Inclusion.” Keynote address presented at the Kelowna Seniors Outreach Society & Province of British Columbia [Seniors Directorate] Aging Symposium. Ramada Inn, Kelowna, B.C.

Murphy, M.A. (2 May, 2016). “How Does Our Society View Love and Romance for Older Adults: Preliminary Data from The Age of Love Study.” Keynote address presented at the Annual Aging Well Conference: Westside Health Network Society. West Kelowna, B.C.

Murphy, M.A. (November 4, 2015). “Age-Friendly Banking & Seniors Policy Priority Issues.” Presented to East Kootenay Credit Union. Cranbrook, BC.

Murphy, M.A. (October 6 & 7, 2015). “Top 10 Federal Election Issues for Seniors.” Presented to Interior Savings Credit Union – Membership Outreach Event. Kelowna & Kamloops, BC.

Murphy, M.A. (April 1, 2015). “Lead the Way with Fresh Ideas About Getting Older.” Presented to Interior Savings Credit Union Corporate Leadership Conference. Kelowna, BC.

Murphy, M.A. (March 18, 2015). “The Significance of Social Networks for Newcomers: Impacts of Health, Health Behaviors, and Social Support.” Presented at the Kelowna Newcomers Club. Kelowna, BC.

Murphy, M.A. (December 4, 2014). “New Developments in Assistive Technology for Seniors’ Supportive Housing.” Presented at the Peachland Seniors’ Housing Committee Meeting with BC Housing, and Mayor C. Fortin. Peachland, BC.

Murphy, M.A. (November 20, 2014). “Healthy Aging.” Presented at Heritage Retirement for the “Walk-n-Talk” Program – UBC Southern Medical Program. West Kelowna, BC.

Murphy, M.A. (October 10, 2014). “Suicide and Older Adults: Risks, Signs, Resources/Prevention.” Presented at the SLR Society for Retirement. Kelowna, BC.

Murphy, M.A. (May 28, 2014). “Why Seniors Need to Social Network.” Presented at Westside Health Network Community Society AGM. Kelowna, BC.

Murphy, M.A. (October 1, 2013). “International Award Winning Volunteer Ideas: Recruitment, Retention and Supportive Policies.” Kelowna Community Resources. For agencies including: The Kelowna Foodbank, Gospel Mission, Terry Fox Run, Lake Country Arts Council, Peachland Wellness Center, Helping Hands etc. (Contact: Dawn Wilkinson, Community Services Manager, KCR).

Murphy, M.A. (June 12, 2013). “BC Pensioners and Seniors Organizations (BCOAPO) AGM Keynote Address.” Princeton, BC. Attendance: 150.


  • Board Member, Society for Learning in Retirement. (2005–Present)
  • Facilitator of “Poverty Reduction Strategy – Provincial Consultations.” BC Ministry of Social Development & Poverty Reduction in partnership with Westside Health Network. (March, 2018).
    • Writer of final report submission to Ministry and Social Planning Council of B.C.
  • Co-founder / Co-Chair / Chair of “Policy & Advocacy Committee”, Canadian Association of Retired Persons – Okanagan Chapter (2009-2016)
  • First Link Program Facilitator, Alzheimer’s Society of BC (2009-2012)


  • Member, Gerontological Society of America and Association for Gerontology in Higher Education
  • Former Member, National Board of Directors, Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work