Today, millions are learning what it means to live in an aging society: postponing retirement, supporting aging parents, seeking long-term care. UMBC’s innovative Erickson School is cultivating a new generation of professionals to respond to the “graying of America” and our growing need for supportive aging services. Our interdisciplinary Erickson, gerontology and aging studies faculty can provide insight from research-, practice- and policy-based perspectives.
Judah Ronch, professor and dean of the Erickson School, is a nationally-renowned expert on improving the treatment and mental wellbeing of elders. His writing has focused on the debilitating effects of dementia and he has pioneered major reforms in the long-term care industry to improve the mental health of older adults and the working conditions of their caregivers. His books include “Culture Change in Long-Term Care,” “Mental Wellness and Aging” and “Alzheimer’s Disease: A Practical Guide for Those who Help Others.”
Joe Gribbin, Erickson School professor, previously served as associate commissioner at the Social Security Administration (1987-2005), where he oversaw quality assurance and international programs for the agency. Gribbin has lectured extensively on global aging, retirement planning and services for older adults, including the nation’s social insurance programs and their impacts across generations.
Bill Thomas, Erickson School professor, is an international authority on geriatric medicine and eldercare, heavily involved in the movement to promote elderhood as an honorable and valuable position in US society. He is the founder of the Eden Alternative program and Green House initiative, which have promoted the de-institutionalization of nursing homes, replacing them with small, home-like environments that support a full and interactive life. Thomas has been profiled by the Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report, NPR and Baltimore Sun. He blogs at changingaging.org.
J. Kevin Eckert, professor and chair of sociology/anthropology, and Leslie A. Morgan, sociology professor, are co-authors of “Inside Assisted Living: The Search for Home.” Eckert has written extensively on aging services, senior housing and care with a focus on the social adjustments and wellbeing of older adults in assisted living settings. He is the PI or co-PI on several National Institute on Aging (NIA) studies. Morgan has received generous funding from the NIA for her work on the long-term care industry, care providers and the quality of supportive housing environments. She has also studied the costs to caregivers with relatives suffering from dementia.
Nancy A. Miller, public policy professor, has conducted interdisciplinary health policy research, focusing on disability and aging issues, for the past 18 years. She served as chair of the Gerontological Health Section of the American Public Health Association and is known for her expertise on Medicare and Medicaid.
Robert L. Rubinstein, anthropology professor, has studied aging in the US and South Pacific. He is currently PI on five NIA-funded research grants. His research has explored a range of topics, including food in long-term care facilities, suffering in later life and experiences with death and dying in nursing homes.