Gerontology PhD Mai See Yang Delivers UMass Boston Graduate Commencement Address

Mai See Yang received her doctoral degree in gerontology this year from the University of Massachusetts Boston. She was honored as the selection to be the student speaker for the UMass Boston graduate commencement ceremony. The following is her commencement address delivered at the ceremony May 25 at the Blue Hills Pavillion in Boston.

Good afternoon family, friends, professors, staff, and my fellow members of the class 2017. Congratulations!

It is with great honor that I address you all at the end of my time here at UMass Boston. The graduating class of 2017 being here today together is an impressive achievement. Continue reading

Boston Age-Friendly Action Plan Developed With Gerontology Institute Research

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the city’s Elderly Commission have launched the first-ever Age-Friendly Boston Action Plan. He called it a blueprint to make Boston the best city and place to live for older adults within three years.

The 75 action items in the plan were developed through 25 listening sessions, featuring engagement from over 4,000 older residents throughout the city developed in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Boston, AARP and the Tufts Health Plan Foundation.

The Elderly Commission formed a partnership with the Gerontology Institute at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School, supported by a grant from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, to conduct research based on the guidelines set forth by the World Health Organization. Grounded in community feedback, the plan identifies recommendations and action items the City will take to enhance the quality of life for Boston’s older adult residents. Continue reading

Questions and Answers About the New LeadingAge LTSS Center @ UMass Boston

The Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston and LeadingAge have joined forces to create a new research center called the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston. Katie Sloan, LeadingAge president and CEO; Len Fishman, director of the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston; and LTSS Center Co-directors Robyn Stone and Marc Cohen recently answered questions about the new center.


Katie Sloan: LeadingAge and the Gerontology Institute at UMass Boston share a strong commitment to improving the quality, affordability and accessibility of long-term services and supports (LTSS) through data and evidence of what really works. So, it made perfect sense for us to bring together our respective expertise and resources in a joint center focused on applied research in the LTSS field. Continue reading

UMass Boston and LeadingAge Establish New LTSS Research Center

LeadingAge is joining with the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston to create a new research center called the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston.

The new center is the first in the country to combine the expertise of applied and academic researchers with the unique perspectives of providers and consumers of long-term services and supports (LTSS). The center will conduct research aimed at transforming the way LTSS are financed, delivered, and experienced by older adults and their families.

“We are delighted to announce this unique partnership between two leading organizations with deep experience in aging policy and research,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge. “Together, we have committed ourselves to improving the quality, affordability and accessibility of long-term services and supports through data and evidence of what really works.”

The LeadingAge LTSS Center will be co-directed by Dr. Robyn Stone, senior vice president of research at LeadingAge, and Professor Marc Cohen, leader of LTSS research at the Gerontology Institute, part of the McCormack Graduate School at UMass Boston (both pictured above). Continue reading

Record Number of Gerontology Students Earn Doctoral Degrees in 2017

One came up directly through the University of Massachusetts undergraduate system. Several traveled halfway around the world to study in Boston. Still others took their own varied paths to the same campus.

This year, the eight students all earned PhD degrees in gerontology from UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School and set a new standard in the process. Continue reading

UMass Boston Gerontology in the News

Professors and other UMass Boston gerontology thought leaders appear regularly in news media stories about seniors and issues important to them. Among recent articles:

Associate Professor Kathrin Boerner highlighted her research on centenarians and their adult children in a recent USA Today story prepared by Kaiser Health News. The story on boomerang seniors, aging adults who move to be near a parent, featured Boerner’s findings on the very old who are the fastest-growing segment of the population in most developed countries. Continue reading

Professor Jan Mutchler Honored as Boston Globe “Game Changer”

pic of Jan MutchlerJan Mutchler is among 51 selections highlighted in The Boston Globe’s 2017 Game Changers publication, an annual compilation of “bright ideas and breakthroughs, inventions and innovations, people and places making waves in Boston.”

Mutcher, a professor of gerontology at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School, was featured by the Globe as a leader in the movement to make cities more conducive to healthy aging and her work in Boston to further that goal.

Supported by the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, UMass Boston’s Gerontology Institute, Boston’s Elderly Commission, and AARP Massachusetts conducted multilingual surveys and neighborhood listening sessions to assess the needs of Boston’s aging population. “We were able to hear from more than 3,600 people,” said Mutchler, who leads the Gerontology Institute’s Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging. “We learned that people love this city and want to stay.”

McCormack Professor Nina Silverstein On Innovative Care For Patients With Dementia

Nina Silverstein was one of 40 experts worldwide who contributed to a ground-breaking new study of innovation in dementia treatment, prevention and care across the world’s largest developed countries.

 “Dementia has no borders,” said Silverstein, a professor of Gerontology at the McCormack Graduate School at UMass Boston. “Addressing the challenges of living with dementia while researching prevention, treatment and ultimate cures takes innovation and commitment on a global level.” Continue reading

UMass OLLI Director Wichian Rojanawon on a Career in Lifelong Learning

Wichian Rojanawon launched a new lifelong learning program at the University of Massachusetts Boston with modest resources in 1999. Now the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UMass Boston is the largest among many lifelong learning programs in the state. But the spring semester underway will be his last as director of the program that is part of the Gerontology Institute at the McCormack Graduate School. Wichian, who plans to retire as director this summer, recently talked with the Gerontology Institute Blog about his lifelong learning experience at UMass. This is an edited version of the conversation.

How did the lifelong learning program first get off the ground at UMass?

At the time it was called LETS, Life Enrichment Through Studies. I started the program with two volunteers and $3,000 — a small grant from the university endowment fund. This was the idea of Frank Caro, the former director of the Gerontology Institute. He asked me to explore what was going on in the lifelong learning area. A lot of programs had been launched in the 1980s and ‘90s and there were about 300 of them by 1999. So a lot of other universities got started ahead of us. Continue reading

McCormack Associate Professor Elizabeth Dugan Sworn in to Governor’s Panel on Aging

Elizabeth Dugan was sworn in Wednesday with other members of the new Governor’s Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts, created to develop plans for improved public and private support of healthy aging in the state.

Dugan, an associate professor of Gerontology at the McCormack Graduate School at UMass Boston, is well known for her research on senior transportation and healthy aging issues. She joined the panel that includes elder service providers, medical professionals, financial experts, public officials and others. Continue reading