Faculty

Gerontology Director

Dara Bourassa

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

Office: Shippen Hall 325
(717) 477-1969
dpbourassa@ship.edu

Education
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 honor being a part of the Social Work and Gerontology Department.

Interdisciplinary Gerontology Coucil (IGC)


Allison Carey
Allison Carey

Major/department
Sociology/Anthropology

Education
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 and disability. From there, I became increasingly interested in both the impact of disability on people as they age as well as the impact of aging on people with lifelong or developmental disabilities.


Cynthia Drenovsky
Cynthia Drenovsky

Major/department

Sociology

Education
B.S. in Sociology and Communication from Western Michigan University in 1984
M.A. (1988) and PhD (1990) from Washington State University in Sociology

Why did you become interested in older adults?
I started doing research on aging back in graduate school, and I have always been interested 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.

Scott Madey
Scott Madey

Major/department

Associate professor of Psychology

Education
Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at San Antonio (1988, summa cum laude) and a Doctor 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 psychology to incorporate all phases of the human lifespan into its theories and models of thought and behavior. The postdoctoral research fellowship allowed me to increase my understanding of how themes in social psychology can interface with themes in aging and life-span development.


Ben Meyer 2016

Ben Meyer

Major/department
Assistant professor of Exercise Science

Education
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

Major/department
Associate professor, English

Education
PhD, English Language and Literature, University of Michigan

Why did you become interested in older adults?
Initially, I would have to say it was my close relationship with my own grandmother. One of my literary interests is identity, and I found that many poems, stories, and novels dealing with aging tie in with that 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

Major/department

Psychology

Education
B.A. in Psychology at Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1971)
M.A. in Psychology at Hebrews University of Jerusalem (1973)
Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at 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 I completed research in the areas of long term care. My PhD is in Developmental Psych with an emphasis on Aging and my dissertation and some of my publications deal with changes in cognition (memory, intelligence) with increased age. My current work deals with Death and Dying.