UMass Boston’s gerontology program—including the academic department, research institute, and four centers—will join the Robert and Donna Manning College of Nursing and Health Sciences on July 1, 2023. The transition comes as part of a campus-wide reorganization effort led over the last three years by Provost Joseph Berger and his predecessor, Interim Provost Emily McDermott.
The Department of Gerontology’s degree and certificate programs and the work of the Gerontology Institute and its centers and researchers will retain their social and behavioral grounding and focus on policy and practice, say Department Chair Edward Alan Miller, PhD, and Gerontology Institute Director Jan Mutchler, PhD. The move opens new possibilities for collaboration with Manning College colleagues, particularly as the college prepares to launch a Department of Urban Public Health in the fall of 2023.
“We look forward to bringing our expertise in aging and policy to the Manning College. We already collaborate with a number of the Manning faculty, and we look forward to expanding partnerships in shared areas such as the social determinants of health,” says Mutchler. Agrees Miller, “We bring an emphasis on policy and applied impact along with a program that’s at the top of its field. We fit very well within Manning and look forward to the possibilities, including helping to transform the college.”
The Manning College includes the Department of Nursing, the Department of Exercise and Health Sciences, and a new Department of Urban Public Health, launching in the fall 2023 semester. The college offers two PhD programs, two master’s of science programs, and a doctor of nursing practice degree in addition to five undergraduate programs and several certificate offerings.
“We are delighted to welcome our gerontology colleagues,” says Bo Fernhall, PhD, dean of Manning College. “The intersection of health and aging is a natural fit. The contributions of our new colleagues will help expand Manning’s focus on the social determinants of health, including their deep expertise in financial security, as well as broaden our leadership on policy issues around long-term supports and services and other timely concerns.”
The UMass Boston gerontology program began nearly 40 years ago when the undergraduate program and the Gerontology Institute were established in the former College of Public and Community Service. Twenty years ago, in 2003, the Department of Gerontology (established in 1988) and the growing Gerontology Institute became founding members of the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies.
As one of the world’s oldest programs in the field, UMass Boston Gerontology is known for its emphasis on the interrelationships of social science research, policy, and community engagement along with an equity lens on the pervasive disparities in the aging population. The department offers a doctorate, two master’s degrees, a graduate certificate, and an undergraduate degree and certificate program. The Gerontology Institute provides opportunities for research and community engagement and includes four centers: Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging, LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and Pension Action Center.