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

Interdisciplinary Gerontology Coucil (IGC)

Allison Carey Allison 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 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

                                       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.

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 of health are central to the field.

Scott Madey          Scott Madey

                                         Associate professor of Psychology
                                         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.

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 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

                                     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.