UMBC forum highlights need for interdisciplinary collaboration in aging research

“Health, we know, is not cardiovascular, is not neurological, is not pathological. Those are completely artificial distinctions,” shared keynote speaker Luigi Ferrucci, director of science at the National Institute on Aging. “It’s become very, very clear that everything interconnects.” Continue reading UMBC forum highlights need for interdisciplinary collaboration in aging research

West Baltimore Police Commision

HAPP Lecturer Charles Cange analyzes Baltimore citizens’ perceptions of law enforcement in new report

A report released by the West Baltimore Community Commission on Police Misconduct and The No Boundaries Coalition based off of a quantitative study of 1,500 Sandtown-Winchester residents about their interactions with police is released at a time when the U.S. Justice Department is conducting investigations into police misconduct within many urban police forces. Continue reading HAPP Lecturer Charles Cange analyzes Baltimore citizens’ perceptions of law enforcement in new report

APHA national meeting features UMBC leadership in social and policy dimensions of health research

UMBC took center stage as more than 13,000 public health professionals gathered in Chicago for the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting, November 1-4, 2015. President Freeman Hrabowski presented the keynote address, which examined the conference theme “Health in … Continue reading APHA national meeting features UMBC leadership in social and policy dimensions of health research

Social Sciences Forum: We are Subjects of History: Indigenous Communities’ Fight for Autonomy and Human Rights in Chiapas and Beyond (9/24)

Social Sciences Forum Guadalupe Moshan Álvarez, principal attorney, Fray Bartolomé Human Rights Center, San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico Bárbara Suárez Galeano, Interpreter, Autonomous University of Social Movements, Centro Autónomo de Albany Park, Chicago Thursday, September 24 | 4:30 p.m. Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery   Mexico is at a critical moment: the forced disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa rural teachers and college students set off a tidal wave of indignation and massive protests. In the context of a war on drugs that has left more than 25,000 disappeared, Guadalupe Moshan Álvarez will speak on the human rights situation in … Continue reading Social Sciences Forum: We are Subjects of History: Indigenous Communities’ Fight for Autonomy and Human Rights in Chiapas and Beyond (9/24)

Erickson School and Sociology and Anthropology Featured in the Baltimore Sun for Work with St. Agnes Hospital

The Erickson School and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology were featured in a recent Baltimore Sun article about the opening of senior emergency departments at St. Agnes and Holy Cross hospitals. Both hospitals turned to The Erickson School for assistance and consultation in developing the programs. Erickson School Dean Judah Ronch was quoted in the article and shared insight into the growing demand for senior emergency departments. He also discussed how the new facilities are calmer, safer, and targeted to geriatric conditions. “The pediatric emergency room was really the genesis for senior emergency rooms,” said Ronch. “The need was pretty evident, and places … Continue reading Erickson School and Sociology and Anthropology Featured in the Baltimore Sun for Work with St. Agnes Hospital

Center for Aging Studies Research on Senior Housing Transitions Featured in Reuters

An article published in The Gerontologist by the Center for Aging Studies on stigma and distress with multilevel senior housing residents was recently featured in Reuters. The article, published by Erin Roth, Center for Aging Studies senior research analyst, Kevin Eckert, professor and chair of sociology and anthropology, and Leslie Morgan, professor of sociology and co-director of the UMBC/UMB Ph.D. program in gerontology, found that “residents and places reflecting the highest levels of care are stigmatized in a context where people are monitored for health changes and required to relocate. Consequently, residents self-isolate, develop a diminished sense of self, and hide health and … Continue reading Center for Aging Studies Research on Senior Housing Transitions Featured in Reuters

UMBC Faculty Provide Perspective and Reflect on Recent Events in Baltimore

In response to recent events that have transpired in Baltimore over the last several days, several UMBC faculty have engaged in thoughtful reflection and dialogue in the news around the complex challenges facing the Baltimore community. The substantive commentaries come from different viewpoints and add various perspectives to the ongoing conversation of the past week’s events. In The Conversation, School of Public Policy Professor John Rennie Short wrote about three background factors that should be considered when asking why the violence and riots took place in response to the death of one young man: the momentum of the police brutality … Continue reading UMBC Faculty Provide Perspective and Reflect on Recent Events in Baltimore

Ann Christine Frankowski, Center for Aging Studies, in the New York Times

An April 13 article in the New York Times took an in-depth look at the Henry Rayhons case which has drawn national attention in recent weeks. Ann Christine Frankowski, associate director of the Center for Aging Studies, was quoted in the article and discussed how dementia symptoms tend to fluctuate and patients can often be lucid in the morning and significantly impaired in the afternoon. “What may be appropriate on one day may not be appropriate the next week, or at a different point that same day,” she said. In the article, Frankowski also discussed what she has discovered in her research with … Continue reading Ann Christine Frankowski, Center for Aging Studies, in the New York Times

Aging-Self-Stereotypes: Obstacle or Pathway to Health? (4/13)

The Doctoral Program in Gerontology at UMB/UMBC, Department of Sociology and Anthropology and The Erickson School present “Aging Self-Stereotypes: Obstacle or Pathway to Health?” by Becca Levy, Ph.D, Associate Professor, Yale School of Public Health. Dr. Levy’s research explores psychosocial factors that influence elders’ cognitive and physical functioning, as well as their longevity. She is credited with creating a field of study that focuses on how positive and negative age stereotypes, which are assimilated from the culture, can have beneficial and adverse effects, respectively, on the health of older individuals. This event will take place on April 13, 2015 at … Continue reading Aging-Self-Stereotypes: Obstacle or Pathway to Health? (4/13)

Center for Aging Studies Researchers Present at 2014 Gerontological Society of America National Meeting

UMBC’s Center for Aging Studies had a strong presence at the 2014 Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Annual Meeting earlier this month in Washington, D.C. The conference brought together more than 4,000 leading researchers in the field of aging. The annual meeting is the premiere gathering of gerontologists from the United States and around the world. The theme of this year’s meeting was to challenge researchers to present aging-related connections and findings on alliances that improve policies and communities for older adults. Center for Aging Studies researchers presented several papers, posters, and symposia. A complete list can be found below. … Continue reading Center for Aging Studies Researchers Present at 2014 Gerontological Society of America National Meeting

Center for Aging Studies Receives National Institute on Aging Grant for Adult Day Services Research

UMBC’s Center for Aging Studies has received a grant for well over one million dollars from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to research Adult Day Services (ADS). The research project, “Adult Day Services: Cultural Contexts and Programming Effects,” will focus on understanding the ways that ADS programming affects clients. More than 250,000 clients and family caregivers participate in more than 4,500 adult day centers across the country today. Adult Day Services provides a place for adults who need assistance during the day so they are able to continue living at home. By researching daily life in ADS, the Center … Continue reading Center for Aging Studies Receives National Institute on Aging Grant for Adult Day Services Research

Maria-Theresa C. Okafor, Sociology and Anthropology, Speaks at NIH

Dr. Maria-Theresa C. Okafor, Sociology and Anthropology and Center for Aging Studies, was a guest speaker during the opening plenary session of the 2014 Professional Development and Data Systems workshop held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from July 24-25. Dr. Okafor, a Clinical Gerontologist and Epidemiologist specializing in health in the African Diaspora, discussed her research using national data from the New Immigrant Survey and the successes and challenges in translating quantitative research for policymakers to improve immigrant health and well-being. The two-day workshop sponsored by the Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools (HSHPS), aimed to help prepare scholars … Continue reading Maria-Theresa C. Okafor, Sociology and Anthropology, Speaks at NIH

Leslie Morgan, Sociology and Anthropology, in The Baltimore Beacon

An article published in the August 2014 edition of The Baltimore Beacon newspaper examines the struggles and challenges caregivers can face while caring for elderly family members. The article covers topics ranging from finding support and treatment for caregivers’ own health to caregiver stress and benefits. Leslie Morgan, professor of sociology and co-director of the UMBC/UMB Ph.D. program in gerontology, was interviewed for the article and said the subject of caregiver stress has been a focus of research for almost three decades. “This is a time when you and your loved can be together and get closer,” Morgan said, “when hopefully, you’ll have the … Continue reading Leslie Morgan, Sociology and Anthropology, in The Baltimore Beacon

Bambi Chapin, Sociology and Anthropology, on WYPR’s Maryland Morning

Bambi Chapin, an associate professor of sociology and anthropology, is the author of a compelling new book which offers a global perspective on the transmission of culture and childhood development. The book, Childhood in a Sri Lankan Village: Shaping Hierarchy and Desire, describes the results of Chapin’s anthropological research done while living for nearly two years in a central Sri Lankan village observing and studying how mothers were raising their children. Chapin was interviewed on WYPR’s Maryland Morning about her new book and what she set out to discover: “How is it that people become the culturally shaped people we become? What happens in how … Continue reading Bambi Chapin, Sociology and Anthropology, on WYPR’s Maryland Morning

Center for Aging Studies Research Featured in McKnight’s

A recently published study involving researchers from UMBC’s Center for Aging Studies found that assisted living facilities and nursing homes should evaluate certain processes and features that can often lead residents to feel stigmatized. Center for Aging Studies researchers Erin Roth, Susan Goldman, Amanda Peeples and Brandy Wallace conducted the study along with researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of South Florida, Tampa. Their findings were recently published in The Gerontologist. A June 27th article published in McKnight’s, a news magazine for long-term care providers, highlighted the research findings and their impact on decision making at … Continue reading Center for Aging Studies Research Featured in McKnight’s

Ann Christine Frankowski, Center for Aging Studies, in The New York Times

In a recent article published in The New York Times blog “The New Old Age,” Ann Christine Frankowski provides insight into sexual behavior policies at assisted living facilities. Frankowski, a senior research scientist for UMBC’s Center for Aging Studies, has conducted studies in 23 Maryland assisted living complexes over the last several years and she says, “none of them have formalized policies to deal with sexual behavior.” Frankowski commented further on the issue and said many aspects still need to be looked into, but she said assessing such policies at assisted living complexes is beginning to be brought to the forefront. “Ascertaining … Continue reading Ann Christine Frankowski, Center for Aging Studies, in The New York Times

Alyse Altenburg, Sociology, Named 2014 Presidential Management Fellow

Alyse Altenburg, a master’s student in Applied Sociology and a Shriver Center Peaceworker Fellow, has been selected as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) for the Class of 2014. Altenburg is the only finalist from UMBC. PMF is a prestigious two-year paid government fellowship sponsored by the Office of Personnel Management for recent graduate students who seek a two-year fellowship in a United States government agency. Following the conclusion of the two year fellowship, PMFs have the opportunity to convert their fellowship into a full-time permanent position. Alyse was one of 600 finalists out of 7,000 applicants.  She is originally from … Continue reading Alyse Altenburg, Sociology, Named 2014 Presidential Management Fellow

Tomiko Shine ’14, Anthropology, Wins First Place in National Council for Black Studies Paper Competition

Tomiko Shine ’14, anthropology, won first place in the National Council for Black Studies (NCBS) undergraduate paper competition for her paper, “The Lens of Blackness: An Anthro-Political Perspective.” When Tomiko moved to Baltimore, she noticed through her work with youth and mothers in Baltimore City that many of their fathers or husbands were incarcerated. After seeing the impact that incarceration had on black families and communities, Tomiko responded by becoming a court advocate and attended court with youth who had charges that carried jail time. “I wanted to understand this phenomenon of the impact of incarceration on black family and … Continue reading Tomiko Shine ’14, Anthropology, Wins First Place in National Council for Black Studies Paper Competition

Ann Christine Frankowski, Center for Aging Studies, in The New York Times

In a recent article in The New York Times blog “The New Old Age,” author Paula Span wrote about the Office of Inspector General’s report on Medicare payments for vacuum pumps. The report stated Medicare was paying “grossly excessive” prices for the devices. Ann Christine Frankowksi, senior research scientist for UMBC’s Center for Aging Studies in the department of sociology and anthropology, was quoted in the article commenting on ageist perceptions of sexuality. “The general concept is that older people are asexual, that they don’t have, or shouldn’t have, any thoughts about sex,” said Frankowski, whose research has included sexual behavior and policies in … Continue reading Ann Christine Frankowski, Center for Aging Studies, in The New York Times

Gerontology Honor Society Expands, Plans Year Ahead

Sigma Phi Omega (SPO) is the national academic honor society in gerontology, for professionals who work with or on behalf of older persons. The UMBC chapter of SPO, Delta Lambda, has continued to grow, thanks to the strength of UMBC’s sociology, gerontology and Management of Aging Services programs. At a recent induction ceremony welcoming new members, the group also honored graduating member Susan Hannum, who pioneered Delta Lambda’s annual senior center “Food Drop.” Continuing volunteer activities with local senior centers and organizations remains a primary goal for the year ahead. The society also plans to connect with Washington D.C.-area colleagues … Continue reading Gerontology Honor Society Expands, Plans Year Ahead

Seth Messinger, Sociology and Anthropology, on WTOP

As injured survivors of the Boston bombing start their long and challenging road to recovery, Washington D.C.’s WTOP interviewed UMBC’s Seth D. Messinger yesterday on the topic of rehabilitation following traumatic limb loss. Messinger, an associate professor of anthropology who works primarily with service members, notes, “the question is whether or not civilian patients are going to be able to have the kind of time in therapy or in rehab that military patients take for granted.” He also highlights the financial hardship that the recovery process might place on victims and their families, remarking, “It’s not only the individual who’s … Continue reading Seth Messinger, Sociology and Anthropology, on WTOP

Seth Messinger, Sociology and Anthropology, in The Boston Globe

Today’s Boston Globe published a letter by Seth D. Messinger, associate professor in UMBC’s Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology, in the opinion series “Voices on the Bombings.” Messinger, a medical anthropologist, is an expert on recovery from traumatic limb loss, specifically among military service members. In “The Need for Strong Rehabilitation Services” he writes, Military patients with traumatic limb loss take part in a comprehensive rehabilitation program that provides them with surgical and medical care, physical and occupational therapy, and a wide variety of prosthetic limbs as well as opportunities to use them in a diverse array of sporting and … Continue reading Seth Messinger, Sociology and Anthropology, in The Boston Globe

Ann Christine Frankowski, Center for Aging Studies, in the Washington Blade

The Washington Blade today highlights a talk presented by Ann Christine Frankowski, associate research scientist and associate director of UMBC’s Center for Aging Studies, and Imani Woody, of Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), on challenges facing older LGBT people. Frankowski’s work examines autonomy, independence and freedom for older adults, with a focus on minorities, especially sexual minorities. The article notes: An estimated 1.4 to 3.8 million LGBT people in the U.S. are over the age of 65 with the number expected to double by 2030. In pursuing her research, Frankowski found that “there is no discussion of sexuality, … Continue reading Ann Christine Frankowski, Center for Aging Studies, in the Washington Blade

Center for Aging Studies Receives NIA Grant for Autonomy Research

UMBC’s Center for Aging Studies has received a 17-month grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to expand the research project “Autonomy in Assisted Living: A Cultural Analysis.” This grant extends a four-year ethnographic study of autonomy to include dementia care units affiliated with three of the sites in the parent grant. The Principal Investigators of this research are Professor Robert L. Rubinstein and Associate Research Scientist Ann Christine Frankowski. The research team includes ethnographer Amanda D. Peeples and GRA Colleen R. Bennett. Continue reading Center for Aging Studies Receives NIA Grant for Autonomy Research

Seth Messinger, Sociology and Anthropology, in the New York Times

Seth D. Messinger, associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, commented in today’s New York Times on the long-term process of recovering from limb loss, in the wake of Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings. Messinger told Times reporter James Dao that training for athletics gives amputees a clear way of measuring recovery incrementally. “Rehab for traumatic limb loss is not a short thing, and patients want to know what they have to do next,” he said. “A sports model offers people a set of stages. You’ll walk between parallel bars, then walk with canes, then learn to run.” He … Continue reading Seth Messinger, Sociology and Anthropology, in the New York Times

Gerontology Honor Society Gives Back to Local Seniors

Sigma Phi Omega (SPO) is the national academic honor society in gerontology, for professionals who work with or on behalf of older persons. The UMBC chapter of SPO, Delta Lambda, has been tremendously active this year with volunteer activities, nurturing an ongoing relationship with Catholic Charities of Maryland, specifically two independent senior living apartment buildings near UMBC: DePaul House and St. Joachim House. Delta Lambda has been assisting Congregate Housing Services (CHS) with a project to interview residents about their personal journeys coming to live at DePaul and St. Joachim, as well as their experiences utilizing the CHS program. These … Continue reading Gerontology Honor Society Gives Back to Local Seniors

Leslie Morgan, Sociology & Anthropology, Honored with AGHE Award

The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) has selected professor Leslie A. Morgan, Sociology & Anthropology, as recipient of the David A. Peterson Award for her Gerontology & Geriatrics Education article “Paradigms in the Gerontology Classroom: Connections and Challenges to Learning.” The AGHE will present Morgan with this “best paper” award at its 2013 annual meeting. The group notes, “The purpose of this award is to recognize excellence in scholarship in academic gerontology.” Manuscripts are evaluated on “innovation, the soundness of their approach, and their significance to and implications for gerontology and geriatrics education.” Morgan’s research focuses on social … Continue reading Leslie Morgan, Sociology & Anthropology, Honored with AGHE Award

Robert Rubinstein, Sociology/Anthropology, in the Baltimore Sun

In a new Baltimore Sun article on managing grief during the holidays, Professor Robert Rubinstein, sociology and anthropology, offers advice for mourning families on how to make it through the season. “It’s a very difficult time,” he recognizes, before continuing, “That’s not to say people can’t have great holidays.” Rubinstein’s research focuses on older adults’ experiences of  loss and grief. He offers his impression that, “People do tend to take care of each other,” around the holidays, as they share memories of deceased loved ones, such as favorite traditions or recipes. Rubinstein notes that often younger generations worry more about the … Continue reading Robert Rubinstein, Sociology/Anthropology, in the Baltimore Sun

Center for Aging Studies Receives $1.37 Million NIH Grant for Diabetes Research

The National Institutes of Health has awarded researchers from UMBC’s Center for Aging Studies a three-year research grant totaling $1,366,702 to examine “The Subjective Experience of Diabetes among Urban Older Adults.” This ethnographic study seeks to inform targeted interventions to improve diabetes-related outcomes among underrepresented populations. Results may be used to design more sensitive and culturally appropriate education and self-management programs. J. Kevin Eckert, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and Sarah Chard, associate professor of anthropology, are co-PIs on the project. Additional collaborators from the department include Assistant Professor Brandy Harris-Wallace, Professor Robert Rubinstein and … Continue reading Center for Aging Studies Receives $1.37 Million NIH Grant for Diabetes Research