Growing up in the City of Burlington, Shannon was fortunate enough to be situated between Toronto, a fairly large urban centre, as well as various rural communities which were less than an hour away. This provided her with a basic understanding of both rural and urban communities, which would prove to be useful later in life. Shannon graduated from McMaster University with a BA in Geography and Earth Sciences. From an early age, and throughout her academic career she has always had a passion for various social issues, some being affordable housing, homelessness and Indigenous issues. Since her admittance into the MSc Rural Planning and Development Program at the University of Guelph she has been able to more clearly define her research interests. Her current research interests focus on substance abuse and its impacts on First Nation communities in rural and/or northern areas of Ontario.