Prestigious Hartford grants bolster awardees' social work research

October 28, 2011

Twelve outstanding students have been chosen as the newest participants in the Hartford Doctoral Fellows Program in Geriatric Social Work. The program is funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation, administered by The Gerontological Society of America, and directed by James Lubben, DSW, MPH.

Each fellow receives a $50,000 dissertation grant plus $20,000 in matching support from his or her home institution, which enables the recipient to more fully concentrate on a dissertation research project over the next two years. Fellows also receive supplemental academic career guidance and mentoring, as well as professional development enabling them to more successfully launch an academic career in gerontology and social work.

This year's cohort consists of:

Jean Balestrery
University of Michigan School of Social Work Dissertation Topic: Culture and Communication in Rural Alaska's Health and Social Services

Keith Tsz-Kit Chan
Boston College Graduate School of Social Work Dissertation Topic: Examining the Measurement of Physical and Psychological Health and Their Relationship to Acculturation for Older Asian Americans

Noelle LeCrone Fields
The Ohio State University College of Social Work Dissertation Topic: Aging in Place in Assisted Living: Understanding the Personal and Environmental Factors that Influence Length of Stay

Angela Ghesquiere
Columbia University School of Social Work Dissertation Topic: Patterns and Outcomes of Bereavement Support-Seeking Among Older Adults with Complicated Grief and Bereavement-Related Depression

Jennifer C. Greenfield
Washington University School of Social Work Dissertation Topic: How Does the Caregiving Experience Affect Asset Trajectories of Informal Caregivers?: Findings from the Health and Retirement Survey

Andrea Jones
University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Social Work Dissertation Topic: Why People Volunteer as Guardians in the Community

Skye Nichole Leedahl
University of Kansas School of Social Welfare Dissertation Topic: Older Adults in Nursing Homes: Assessing Relationships Between Multiple Constructs of Social Integration, Facility Characteristics, and Health

Gina M. McCaskill
The University of Alabama School of Social Work Dissertation Topic: Validation of the Self-care Utility Geriatric African American Rating (SUGAAR) for Type 2 Diabetes

Julie Norstrand
Boston College Graduate School of Social Work Dissertation Topic: What Pathways Link Social Capital to Physical and Mental Health Among Older Adults?

Katherine Supiano
University of Utah College of Social Work Dissertation Topic: Complicated Grief in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Complicated Grief Group Therapy

Tiffany Washington
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work Dissertation Topic: Older Adult Kidney Disease Self-Management Behaviors and Their Relationship to Depression, Self-Efficacy, Illness Perceptions, and Social Support

Mark Williams
University of Washington School of Social Work Dissertation Topic: Partnership Status and Differences in Health and Well-Being for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Older Adults

The fellowship program is a component of the nationwide Geriatric Social Work Initiative, which seeks to expand the training of social workers in order to improve the health and well being of older persons and their families. It was created to help social work doctoral students overcome their greatest obstacles, such as limited teacher training and career guidance. These fellowships cultivate the next generation of geriatric social work faculty as teachers, role models and mentors for future generations of geriatric social workers.

Lubben, the Louise McMahon Ahearn University Chair at Boston College and a professor emeritus at UCLA, works together with a national program committee to select the fellows.
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The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society -- and its 5,400+ members -- is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA's structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

The John A. Hartford Foundation, founded in 1929, is a committed champion of training, research, and service system innovations that promote the health and independence of America's older adults. Through its grantmaking, the Foundation seeks to strengthen the nation's capacity to provide effective, affordable care to this rapidly increasing older population by educating health professionals and developing innovations that improve and better integrate health and supportive services.

The Gerontological Society of America

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