University of Calgary

Ilyan Ferrer

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

Research Interests


Immigrant, Refugee, Ethno-Cultural, and Racialized Groups:

Research Methods:

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning:

Human Service Organizations and Systems:

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


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.

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

  • Board Member of ActionDignity
  • Committee Member of Immigrant Seniors Advocacy Committee
  • Affiliate of Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies (University of California Davis, Asian American Studies)
  • Member of Alberta College of Social Workers
  • Member of Canadian Association for Social Work Education 
  • Member of Canadian Association on Gerontology 


- 2019 Faculty of Social Work Undergraduate (BSW) Teaching Excellence Award

- 2019 McGill University Arts Dissertation Award in the Social Sciences

- 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 2015 - Present

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles:

Ferrer, I., Lee, Y., & Khan, M. (in press). Understanding experiences of financial literacy among older adults using photovoice. Canadian Ethnic Studies.  

Macdonald, S.A., Srikanthan, S., Ferrer, I., Lee, E.O., Lorenzetti, L., & Parent, A.A. (in press). Field education as transgression? Intersectionalities Journal.

Naeem, I., Nurul Hossain, A.K. Vaska, M., Goopy., Rashid, R., Kassan, A., Aghajafari, F., Ferrer, I., Kazi, A., Sadi, I.A., O’Berirne, M., Leduc, C.., & Tanvir, R. (in press). Community-based Health Data Cooperatives Towards Improving the Community Health: A scoping review to inform policy and practice. International Journal of Population Data Science. 

Ferrer I., Lorenzetti, L., & Shaw, J. (2019). Podcasting for social justice: Exploring the potential of experiential and transformative teaching and learning through social work podcasts. Social Work Education. 

Brotman, S., Ferrer, I. & Koehn, S. (2019). Situating the life history narratives of aging immigrants within a structural context: The intersectional life course perspective as research praxis. Qualitative Research.

Brotman, S., Ferrer, I., Koehn, S., & Delgado, P. (2019). L’isolement social chez les immigrant-e-s âgés au Canada: Une question de droits de la personne. Ligue des droits et libertes, 37-41.

Ferrer, I., Brotman, S., & Grenier, A.  (2017). The Experiences of Reciprocity among Filipino Older Adults in Canada: Intergenerational, Transnational, and Community Considerations. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 60(4), 313-327.

Ferrer, I., Grenier, A., & Brotman, S.(2017). Developing a theoretical framework integrating intersectionality and critical life course. 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 papers, 15(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.


Hulko, W., Stern, L., Brotman, S., & Ferrer, I. (2020). Gerontological social work in action: Anti-oppressive practice with older adults, families and communities. Routledge.

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.


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