The UMass Boston Department of Gerontology has named Jeffrey Stokes, PhD, assistant professor of gerontology and current director of the undergraduate aging studies program, as the graduate program director, overseeing the gerontology doctoral program. A quantitative sociologist, Stokes joined the UMass Boston faculty in 2018. His research focuses on the ramifications of intergenerational, marital, and social relationships for adults’ well-being in mid- and later-life.

Stokes replaces Kathrin Boerner, PhD, professor of gerontology. A native of Germany, Boerner has accepted a faculty position in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany, where she is heading the division of Prevention and Rehabilitation Research.

“We are sad to see Kathrin leave UMass Boston. She’s been an excellent colleague, and we appreciate her years of teaching, scholarship, and service to the University, including her stewardship of the gerontology PhD program,” says Edward Alan Miller, PhD, dean of the Department of Gerontology. “With 108 graduates and counting, our doctoral program is among the most productive and respected globally. I look forward to working with Jeff as he transitions into his new role directing the program. I am confident that it will be excellent hands.”

Qian Song, PhD, assistant professor of gerontology, will direct the undergraduate program, which grew in 2023 with the addition of a four-course minor. Song joined the gerontology faculty in 2019. Her research has focused on the intersection of migration, families, institutional discrimination, and health, looking particularly at how early life experiences create health disparities in later life.