The Center for Gerontology’s Research Team on Caregivers for Persons with Memory Loss in Rural Appalachia presented the following papers at the Gerontological Society of America 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting:
Human Development doctoral students Shelby Borowski and Kevin Lancki; faculty members Rosemary Blieszner, dean and the Alumni Distinguished Professor, Karen Roberto, director of the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment and a University Distinguished Professor, and Tina Savla, professor; Anna Harris, Aubrey Knight, and Andrew Vipperman presented “Daily Use of Services and the Association between Stress and Negative Affect among Family Caregivers.”
Blieszner, Borowski, Harris, Knight, Lancki, Roberto, Savla, Pyrros Telionis, and Vipperman, were presenters of “A GIS Approach to Identifying Service Access Disparities in Rural Appalachia.”
Human Development senior Emily Hoyt, Blieszner, Borowski, Harris, Knight, Roberto, Savla, and Vipperman gave the presentations “Dementia Caregiving in Rural Appalachia: Culture Matters” and “Service Use and Barriers to Service Access among Family Caregivers in Rural Appalachia.”
Hoyt, Blieszner, Borowski, Harris, Lancki, Roberto, Savla, and Vipperman presented “For the Love of Land and People: Cultural Reasons for Providing Care to Family Members with Dementia.”
In addition, Blieszner, Human Development alumnus Aaron Ogletree, who earned his doctorate in May, and faculty member Laura Sands, along with Mark Brennan-Ing and Stephen Karpiak presented “Health Burden, Instrumental and Emotional Support Adequacy, and Depressive Symptoms in Older Men with HIV.”
The meeting took place November 14–18 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Emily Hoyt, a senior Human Development major, organized the first Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Wytheville, Virginia and served as the committee chair. The event, which took place June 15, was hosted by the Virginia Tech Center for Gerontology, the Virginia Tech Women’s Resource Center, the Elder Justice Task Force of the New River Valley, the New River Valley Area Agency on Aging, and the League of Older Americans Area Agency on Aging hosted a one-day multidisciplinary elder abuse conference on June 15th, 2018 for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day; approximately 200 professionals from different backgrounds participated.
Hoyt is also a Pamplin Scholar in the Honors College and a Cloyd Fellow.
Three students in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences were among the 15 recipients of a Fralin Undergraduate Research Fellowship award for 2018–2019.
Each Fellow received $1,000 to conduct research with a Virginia Tech faculty mentor over the course of one academic year.
Natasha Cox, a doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, received the 2018 Jessie Bernard Outstanding Research Proposal from a Feminist Perspective Award for her dissertation proposal, “Becoming a Black Man: A Qualitative Examination of Identity Management, Sense of Belonging, and Informal Support Systems of Black Transmen.” The competitive award is sponsored by the Feminism and Family Studies section of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR); it includes a cash prize, a plaque, conference registration funding, travel allowance, and complimentary books. Cox will present her research findings at the 2019 NCFR Annual Conference.
Karen Roberto, University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science and director of the Institute for Society, Culture and Environment, published Community Resources for Older Adults: Programs and Services in an Era of Change, fifth edition (Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, 2019), with Robbyn Wacker. Roberto and Wacker also received the 2018 Cornerstone Author award from Sage, which honors first-rate scholarship, quality writing, and lasting impact of the work.
Megan Dolbin-MacNab, an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, was elected by the Gerontological Society of America as a fellow in its Behavioral and Social Sciences Section. Fellows are nominated by peers for work advancing the study of aging through research, administration, and teaching. MacNab’s research focuses on grandparents who have to raise their grandchildren because of the impact of the opioid addiction epidemic. She will be recognized as a new fellow at the society’s 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston in November.
The College is delighted to welcome the following tenure-track and tenured professors. Joining as assistant professors are: Andrea Baldwin, Sociology; Koeun Choi, Human Development and Family Science; Carolyn Commer, English; Amanda Demmer, History; Megan Duncan, Communication; Bikrum Gill, Political Science/ASPECT Core Faculty; Tameka Grimes, School of Education; Scotty Hardwig, School of Performing Arts; Bryan Klausmeyer, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Karen Kovaka, Philosophy; Allan Lumba, History; Justin Perkinson, School of Performing Arts; Desiree Poets, Political Science/ASPECT core faculty; Audrey Reeves, Political Science/ASPECT core faculty; Jody Russon, Human Development and Family Science; Balbir Singh, Religion and Culture/ASPECT core faculty; Jessica Taylor, History; Tingting Zhao, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures. Derek Mueller, English, was hired as tenured faculty at the rank of Associate Professor.
The college is pleased to announce the following tenure and promotion decisions by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors at its June 6 meeting.
Promoted to associate professor with tenure were: Danna Agmon, History and ASPECT Core Faculty; Amy Azano, School of Education; María del Carmen Caña Jiménez, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Jason Crafton, School of Performing Arts; Erika Grafsky, Human Development and Family Science; Stefanie Hofer, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Eunju Hwang, Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management; Benjamin Jantzen, Philosophy; Melanie Kiechle, History; Christine Labuski, Sociology; Philip Olsen, Science, Technology, and Society; Dustin Read, Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management; Nadine Sinno, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Trevor Stewart, School of Education; Catherine Ulrich, School of Education; LaDale Winling, History; and Haiyan Zhu, Sociology.
Promoted to the rank of professor in the past academic year were: Janet Abbate, Science, Technology, and Society; April Few-Demo, Human Development and Family Science; Matthew Gabriele, Religion and Culture; James Ivory, Communication; Gerard Lawson, School of Education; Heidi Anne Mesmer, School of Education; Lydia Patton, Philosophy; Tina Savla, Human Development and Family Science; and John Wells, School of Education.
Also recognized with promotion were the following: Joseph Scallorns, English, to senior instructor; Matthew Goodrum, Science, Technology, and Society, to collegiate associate professor; and Peggy Quesenberry, Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management, to collegiate assistant professor.
Pamela Teaster, director of the Center for Gerontology and a professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, was the recipient of the Isabella Horton Grant Guardianship Award. Sponsored by the Rutter Group and administered by the National College of Probate Judges, the “Isabella”is given in recognition of individual achievements in the field of guardianships of adults and/or minors based on activities such as innovative programs leading to improvements in guardianship laws; articles, treatises, books, or other publications of unusual quality and impact on guardianship issues; and leadership roles or other activities in organizations that have led to significant improvements in the laws, administration, or practices in the guardianship field.
Teaster received the award at the Spring Conference of the National College of Probate Judges, which was held May 2–5 in San Diego.
The College notes with sadness the death of Kathleen Wright Wampler on June 20. Wampler was an extension specialist and faculty member in Family and Child Development. She dedicated her life to serving children and families and even after retiring from Virginia Tech in 1983 continued to volunteer two mornings each week at the Virginia Tech Child Development Center for Learning and Research.