Gerontology Director

Dara Bourassa

Dr. Dara Bourassa, Associate Professor of Social Work and Gerontology

Office: Shippen Hall 325
(717) 477-1969

I received my Bachelors in Social Work and Masters in Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. I have received my PhD in Social Welfare at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Why did you become interested in older adults?
I think that a lot of my interest stems from not having any grandparents that are alive. My last grandparent died when I was 23 and I felt like something was missing from my life. I was working at a suburban hospital in Baltimore, MD at the time, as a social worker, and began noticing and talking more to my older adult patients and family members. I "fell in love" with older adults during that time.

Why did you decide to become the Gerontology Program Director?
It was an opportunity that I could not say no to! I am so lucky to have been offered this directorship and I love and honorbeing a part of the Social Work and Gerontology Department.

Interdisciplinary Gerontology Coucil (IGC)

Allison CareyAllison Carey
BA and PhD in Sociology, specializing in Medical Sociology, health and disability studies
Why did you become interested in older adults?
I have a sister with an intellectual disability, which spurred my interest in health anddisability. From there, I became increasingly interested in both the impact of disabilityon people asthey age as well as the impact of aging on people with lifelong or developmental disabilities.

Cynthia Drenovsky Cynthia Drenovsky

B.S. in Sociology and Communication from Western Michigan University in 1984
M.A. (1988) and PhD (1990) from Washington State University in Sociology
Whydid you become interested in older adults?
I started doing research on aging back in graduate school, and I have always beeninterested in successful aging and intergenerational relationships within families. I feel that because our population is aging so rapidly, every responsible social scientist must become aware of the impact of these demographic changes on society.

David Kalist David Kalist

PhD in Economics
Why did you become intersted in older adults?
My fields of specialization are health and labor economics. In health economics, issues of health care of older adults, such as access to care, resource expenditure, and determinants ofhealth are central to the field.

Scott Madey Scott Madey

Associate professor of Psychology
Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texasat San Antonio (1988, summa cum laude) and aDoctor of Philosophy from Cornell University (1993). I have taught at Cornell University and at the University of Toledo. From 1995 to 1998, I held a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. While there, I taught a course on social gerontology and conducted research on stereotyping, health compliance, and attainment of health goals in the aging population.
Why did you become interested in older adults?
My interest in aging arose from what I perceived was a need in social psychologyto incorporate all phases of the human lifespan into its theories and models of thought and behavior. The postdoctoral research fellowshipallowed me to increase my understanding of how themes in socialpsychology can interface with themes in aging and life-span development.

Meyer,B Ben Meyer

Assistant professor of Exercise Science
B.S. Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota
M.S. Biomechanics, Indiana University
Ph.D. Human Performance, Indiana University
Why did you become interested in older adults?
I teach a free elective course in the Gerontology Minor Program (ESC 200 Lifestyle Management) and one of the topics that is covered is Lifetime Fitness and Wellness. Maintaining a healthy level of fitness and wellness is an ongoing, lifelong process, and we need to make healthy behavior choices to ensure good health in the years to come. Research has shown that older adults who engage in a regular, vigorous physical activity program can have levels of aerobic fitness that are similar to someone much younger!

Deborah Montuori Deborah Montuori

Associate professor, English
PhD, English Language and Literature, University of Michigan
Why did you become interested inolder adults?
Initially, I would have to say it was my close relationship with my own grandmother. One of my literary interests is identity, andI found that manypoems, stories, and novels dealing with aging tie in withthat topic. Often, aging characters discover a new identity through their life experiences. Finally, my brother is the chair of the Applied Gerontology department at the University of North Texas,so I have learned a lot in our conversations. We have also been working on a textbook collection of short stories about aging.

Adrian Tomer Adrian Tomer

B.A. in Psychology at Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1971)
M.A. in Psychology at Hebrews University of Jerusalem (1973)
Ph.D. in Developmental Psychologyat University of Florida (1989)
Why did you become interested in older adults?
As for my interest in Adulthood and Old age, it goes back to my work at a Research Institute in Jerusalem (Brookdale Institute) where Icompleted research in the areas of long term care. My PhD is in Developmental Psych with an emphasis on Aging andmy dissertation and some of my publications deal with changes in cognition (memory, intelligence) with increased age. My current work deals with Death and Dying.