100+ Gerontology PhDs!

UMass Boston Gerontology 100 PhDs celebration

UMass Boston Gerontology Celebrates Our 100th Dissertation Defense

We’re very pleased to announce the UMass Boston Gerontology PhD program’s 100th dissertation defense! Established in 1989, our globally renowned PhD program is one of the oldest in the world, and has produced more PhDs in Gerontology than any other institution. Doctoral education takes a commitment to the field and a willingness to sacrifice; the alums of our program exemplify dedication, perseverance, and passion for research that makes a difference in society. As we mark this milestone, we celebrate the hard work of our graduates, and the impact they make in the world. Please register here to join us for this event.

In 1995, Amy Stern was the first Gerontology student to defend a dissertation. Krystal Kittle successfully defended number 100 on March 19, 2021. Between the first dissertation defense and the 100th, our students have produced many innovative, cutting-edge research projects and publications in scholarly journals. They add significantly to the knowledge base on aging, while informing practices and policies that impact older adults, their families and communities.

Our alums have been major contributors to the strong international reputation of UMass Boston Gerontology. They live all over the United States and across the globe, including in Canada, China, Israel, South Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and Thailand. They work in universities as educators, researchers and administrators; in health care settings; for local, state, and federal government agencies; as well as for non-profit and for-profit organizations that address aging issues. And of course, our alums serve as inspiration and models for current Gerontology students.

One highlight of faculty life is our ability to maintain relationships with graduates as they progress in their careers. We see them at conferences and other professional settings; welcome them as guest speakers in the Gerontology Seminar Series and Careers in Aging events; collaborate on research, policymaking, and community engagement projects; and exchange advice on professional and academic matters. A few have even served as instructors in our Management of Aging Services Master’s program, where their practical and applied policy knowledge as aging professionals is highly valued. It is particularly gratifying to see the close personal and professional bonds that develop among our students continue throughout their lives and careers.

The mission of the Gerontology PhD program is to provide advanced training and research in gerontology within an interdisciplinary framework, bridging theories, concepts and research methods drawn primarily, but not exclusively, from the social and behavioral sciences. As the ranks of our alumni swell, the dedicated faculty and staff of UMass Boston Gerontology stand ready to offer strong support for our current students, and those that will join us in the future. Here’s to all our grads, and to the next hundred!

Jeffrey Burr, PhD
Professor and Chair, UMass Boston Department of Gerontology
Edward Miller, PhD
Professor and Doctoral Program Director, UMass Boston Department of Gerontology

Please contact martin.hansen@umb.edu for more information about the event.

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