Gerontology focuses on the social, psychological, and biological aspects of aging and older adulthood. Our program embraces a multidisciplinary approach to address the aging process from such fields as psychology, health, biology, sociology, demography, policy, humanities, business, and economics. Our majors are generally interested in improving the lives and well-being of older individuals and their families through career paths in case management, housing, long-term care, services and supports, physical health, and social opportunities. Many students utilize their understanding of aging and applied experiences to pursue graduate work related to health and well-being.
This minor is an exceptional complement to other majors on campus focused on areas such as psychological well-being, individual and community health, leadership, policy, and social services.
This new program option was developed specifically for non-majors/non-minors seeking health careers that often interface with older adults.
“Nothing is more satisfying than working with students on their academic journeys
and watching them graduate with their degrees in hand! My teaching focuses on
understanding social ties and aging within multiple contexts and preparing students
for future career opportunities. My research addresses older parent-adult child
relationships particularly those who have experienced genocide, poverty, or the
death of an older family member. I am passionate about facilitating community
educational programs on aging.”
Associate Professor, Department Head
“Hi! I began teaching at WOU in 2016. My research primarily focuses on how our social and built environments affect us as we age, age-friendly communities and universities, and the importance of community and “third places” for older adults. I love being at WOU because we have amazing students, a beautiful campus, and a positive, supportive community!”
“I have been teaching in the WOU Gerontology department for three years now. My area of interest focuses on family challenges in caregiving. When we examine caregiving families, we find issues of social inequalities for many. I enjoy the small class sizes at WOU which lead to the opportunity to get to know students. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family, my dog Lucy, and travel.”
“Do the practicum where you can see yourself working at! Continue to volunteer after the practicum is over if allowed…I did this and got hired at my practicum site because I stuck around.”
“Find out what it is about working with older adults that you love and dig into it. I was intrigued by dementia, and now I work to improve the quality of life with those with dementia.”
“Gerontologists are needed, and desired, in every role…There is a lack of older adult-friendly and knowledgeable professionals available.”
Phone: 503-838-8344 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office hours: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday - Friday