Page 1

GERONTOLOGY Inside this issue: Coordinators’ Messages






Professional Activities


Recent Grad Bios


Grad Scholarships

FALL 2015/WINTER 2016


Congratulations to our August and December Graduates! 5

Stay in touch! We are trying to ensure that we stay in touch. We encourage all, particularly alumni, to provide current email addresses and life updates. You can send all of your personal and professional news to Maryam Kazempour -Esmati at

From the Gerontology Program Director Dear friends, the Fall 2015 semester was a busy time for the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program. We participated in several local and regional conferences (the Alzheimer's Association of Charlotte Dementia Care Education Conference; the Centralina Annual Aging Conference, and the Centralina Council of Government Regional Conference), community events (Charlotte Walk to End Alzheimer's; the Queen City First Creative Aging Collaborative; the Grand-opening of Charlotte’s first MultiGenerational Playground Park at Tyvola Senior Center); and we were invited by the Centralina Area Agency on Aging to participate at "A Purple Ribbon Affair, Elder Justice: Where we are and what needs to be done" with Bob Blancato, National Coordinator of the Elder Justice Coalition. During Spring 2016 we are adding a new Assistant Professor in Gerontology and hopefully a full-time lecture faculty to support the interdisciplinary program and provide excellent teaching and research opportunities to students. More importantly we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program. More details coming soon. Check our website at for timely updates. Thank you for all your support and dedication. Julian.

FALL 2015/WINTER 2016


From the Undergraduate Coordinator… Dr. Cynthia Hancock Welcome back! I hope you all had a wonderful winter break and are ready for the second half of this academic year. I wanted to update readers on the gerontology minor at UNC Charlotte. The minor continues to grow with undergraduate students from departments across the university. Some of our students are pursuing professional degrees in the health field. Many others are pursuing degrees in the social sciences. Additionally, we have minors pursuing majors in the Colleges of Education, Arts and Architecture, and Business. Students are discovering that having an understanding about aging across the lifecourse has personal, as well as professional benefits. In short, our minor is an excellent complement to every major across the University. Want to know how it might benefit you? You can visit our Gerontology Program website at for a wealth of information. I'm also happy to visit with any student who wants to learn more about how the minor in gerontology at UNC Charlotte might be of benefit. I'm located in the Fretwell Building in the Department of Sociology. Office hours this spring are 11-12 and 2-3 Tuesday and Thursday. To make an appointment, email me at I wish each of you a very successful and happy semester!

Congratulations to Dr. Cynthia Hancock who has been elected as Member-at-Large to the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education Executive Committee for 2016 - 2017!

Dr. Hancock

From the Graduate Coordinator… Dr. Anita Blowers Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and that your semester is off to a great start. This past semester has been a productive one for both students and faculty. This December we had three M.A. students (Elham Ardebeli, Caitlin Federhart and Zoe Stamoulis) and three Certificate students (Anna Coomber, Jesse Johnson and Marayam Kazempour-Esmati) graduate. Additionally, two students (Shannon Dixon and LaTonya Pearson) graduated with their M.A. in August. Congratulations and best of luck as you move forward in your careers!! Also congratulations to Maryam Kazempour-Esmati who presented a training session to police officers and prosecutors on issues pertaining to the financial exploitation of elders at a conference sponsored by the NC Conference of District Attorneys in mid-December, 2015. Maryam’s presentation is a great example of how graduate students get to work on research projects with faculty through our independent study class, GRNT 6800. The Gerontology Program Leadership Team is also working on a variety of initiatives to expand our Graduate Certificate Program. We are currently working with UNC Ashville to develop an on-line program to offer the Certificate to their students. That program is currently under the review process and we are excited to see how it progresses. I will be continuing to set up advising meetings for graduate students, but please keep track of your course work to make sure you are on the correct path for graduation. Our newly designed webpage now has a link for information on academic advising including checklists that outline the program requirements for both the Certificate and M.A. programs. I look forward to working with you this semester and wish you all a successful semester! Dr. Blowers

FALL 2015/WINTER 2016


Gerontology Program Co-Sponsors Conferences Last semester UNC Charlotte co-sponsored two well-attended local conferences on aging issues. The Alzheimer’s Association of Charlotte’s 2015 Dementia Care Education Conference ”Engage, Connect, Empower” brought together more than 300 caregivers, healthcare professionals, and consumers in 17 sessions featuring local and national speakers specializing in cognitive impairment. Then on October 30th, the 2015 Centralina Annual Aging Conference provided a great opportunity to network with peers and experts in the field of aging, long term care, healthcare and disabilities. Both conferences were held at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.

UNC Charlotte Gerontology Club/Sigma Phi Omega Thanks to all who participated, donated and volunteered in the Club’s efforts to raise approximately $1,000 for the Alzheimer Organization’s 2015 Charlotte Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, September 26th and at the fundraising yoga event.

Club officers for 2015-2016 are: Undergraduate Co-President Jessica Eudy

Graduate Co-President Maryam Kazempour-Esmati

Secretary Rebecca Davenport

Treasurer Kayla Christy

Historian Caitlin Hubbard

For information on joining and our meeting schedule, please contact any of our officers.

Follow us online! Facebook: UNCC/SPO Gerontology Club Twitter: @GRNTclubUNCC

FALL 2015/WINTER 2016


Professional Activities Updates Some recent publications from Gerontology faculty members Boyd Davis, Susan Kennerly and Julian Montoro-Rodriguez: Smith, G., Strieder, F., Greenberg, P., Hayslip, B., Montoro-Rodriguez, J. & Williamson, M. (In Press). A randomized clinical trial of psychoeducational interventions for custodial grandfamilies: Patterns of enrollment and engagement. Family Relations. 65. Smith, G., Strieder, F., Greenberg, P., Hayslip, B. & Montoro-Rodriguez, J. (In Press). Patterns of Enrollment and Engagement of Custodial Grandmothers in a Randomized Clinical Trial of Psychoeducational Interventions. Family Relations. 65. Hayslip, B., Montoro-Rodríguez, J., Smith G. & F. Strieder, F. (2015). Group Leaders’ Perceptions of Interventions with Grandparent Caregivers: Content and Process. GrandFamilies: The Contemporary Journal of Research, Practice and Policy. 2:(2). Available at Hayslip, B., Smith, G., Montoro-Rodríguez, J., Strieder, F. & Merchant, W. (2015). The Utility of the Family Empowerment Scale With Custodial Grandmothers. Journal of Applied Gerontology DOI: 10.1177/0733464815608492. Yap TL, Kennerly, S. M., Bergstrom, N., Hudak, S. L., & Horn, S. D. (2016). An evidence-based cue-selection guide and logic model to improve pressure ulcer prevention in long-term care. Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 31(1), 75-83. PMID: 26066791 Corazzini, K., Vogelsmeier, A., McConnell, E.S., Day, L., Kennerly, S., Mueller, C., Flanagan, J., Hawkins, K.., Anderson, R.A. (2015). Perceptions of nursing practice: Capacity for high quality nursing home care. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 2015, 6(3), 17-24. Kennerly, S., Boss, L., Yap, T.L., Batchelor-Murphy, M., Horn, S. D., Barrett, R., Bergstrom, N. (2015, September). Utility of Braden Scale Nutrition Subscale Ratings as an Indicator of Dietary Intake and Weight Outcomes among Nursing Home Residents At Risk for Pressure Ulcers. Healthcare, 3(3), 637-647. doi:10.3390/healthcare3030637. Open access: Kennerly, S., Heggestad, E., Myers, H., Yap, T.L. (2015). Using the Nursing Culture Assessment Tool (NCAT) in Longterm Care: An Update on Psychometrics and Scoring Standardization. Healthcare, 3, 637-647. http//doi:10.3390/ healthcare3030637. Open access: Yap, T. L, Rapp, M. P., Kennerly, S., Cron, S. G., & Bergstrom, N. (2015). Comparison study of Braden Scale and time-toerythema measures in long-term care. Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing, 42(5), 461-467. PMID: 26336042 Corazzini, K., McConnell, E.S., Day, L., Anderson, R.A., Mueller, C., Vogelsmeier, A., Kennerly, S., Walker, B., Flanagan, J., Haske-Palomino, M. (2015). Improving Nursing Home Care by Changing Enacted Scope of Practice: The Practical nurse, Registered nurse and Aide Collaborative Team In Care (PRACTICE) Educational Innovation. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 6(1), 1-8. Davis B, Shehab M, Shenk D, Nies M. (2015) E-mobile pilot for community-based dementia caregivers identifies desire for security. Gerontechnology 13: 332-336. Davis B, Shenk D. (2015). Stylization, aging, and cultural competence: Why health care in the South needs linguistics. In M.Picone and C. Davies (eds.), Language variety in the South: Historical and contemporary perspectives. Tuscaloosa AL, University of Alabama Press. 1486-1523 Davis B, Guendouzi J, Savage M. (2015). Anticipating expectations for politeness strategies in responding to prompted directives in the preliminary English version of the ABaCO Battery. J Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, 6:2:1-15 doi :10.1558/jircd.v6i1.26755 Davis B, Maclagan M. (2015) Sociolinguistics of aging and language. In Cognition, Language and Aging, ed Heather Wright. John Benjamins 219-243. To appear Apr 2016 Guendouzi J, Davis B, Maclagan M. (2015).Expanding Expectations for Narrative Styles in the Context of Dementia. Topics in Language Disorders 35:237-257. Pope C, Davis B, Roberts J, Escobar M, O’Brien E, Hinton E. (Upcoming, 2016). The Challenge of the Tetradic Relationship in Medically Interpreted Pediatric Primary Care Visits: A Descriptive Study of Patterns of Communication Practices. Patient Education and Counseling.

FALL 2015/WINTER 2016


Recent Graduate Bios...Elham Ardebili & Shannon Dixon Elham Ardebili After earning her B.S degree in Clinical Psychology, Ellie worked with family caregivers of older adults as a family counselor in her home country of Iran. Here she became aware of the complexities involved in their family dynamics. She decided to return to school to dedicate her life to the study and research of family problems related to aging issues, particularly those of her country. In Iran aging is a new cultural phenomenon, with very little academic attention paid to the subject, so to fully expand her expertise in research, she came to the United States. To fulfill the requirements for her M.A. in Gerontology at UNC Charlotte, she developed a culturally modified guide for Iranian family caregivers of people with dementia. She is determined to learn more about adult development and aging by participating in a variety of research projects studying individuals as they age in their famililial context. Professionally, she hopes to apply her knowledge and research skills in an academic setting to educate the next generation to work with older adults and their family caregivers. Shannon Dixon Shannon is a native Charlottean who completed her undergraduate degree at UNC Charlotte many years ago. She enrolled in graduate school at UNC Charlotte in 2011, when Dr. Dena Shenk encouraged her to consider the M.A. in Gerontology program. She worked full time and maintained a 3.6 GPA in the program and was inducted into Sigma Phi Omega, the national Gerontology Honor Society. She found her experience in the program very rewarding and feels she met a lot of great people. For her applied project she created a resource manual for grandparents raising grandchildren, which resulted in her participation in the Grandparents Raising Granchildren Project, an initiative of the gerontology program. She is currently employed as a paralegal and also volunteers at Hospice. She looks forward to continuing her volunteering with older adults to improve their reading skills, and is seeking an opportunity in program planning for older adults.

Graduate Scholarships & Awards available Graduate students in the M.A. or Graduate Certificate Program may be eligible to receive the Dr. Dena Shenk Graduate Research Award or the NMR Gerontology Graduate Scholarship. Deadline for the scholarship application and all related materials is June 1st. For more information, check our website page or contact Dr. Montoro-Rodriguez.

Gerontology fall 2015_winter 2016 newsletter  

University of North Carolina at Charlotte gerontology program newsletter fall 2015/winter 2016