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About UMass Boston Gerontology


The Department of Gerontology at the University of Massachusetts Boston features globally renowned academic programs in the study of aging. As the second oldest doctoral program in the world, we have produced more gerontology PhDs than any other institution—108, as of spring 2023.


Advanced work in gerontology is interdisciplinary, bridging theories, concepts, and research methods drawn from the social and behavioral sciences. Our doctoral program prepares students for leadership roles as educators, researchers, planners, and policy makers. Our department also offers a Management of Aging Services master's degree and a gerontology graduate certificate along with an undergraduate major, minor, and certificate program in Aging Studies.


The Gerontology Institute was established in 1984 by the Massachusetts legislature and then-Governor Michael Dukakis. The Institute serves as the research, policy, and public service component of the gerontology program at UMass Boston. Our research concentrations include age-friendly communities, aging equity and disparity, financial security, long-term supports and services, and social determinants of health.


Four centers located within the Institute offer targeted expertise, applied research, and community engagement: Pension Action CenterOsher Lifelong Learning InstituteCenter for Social and Demographic Research on Aging; and LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston.

Our team


Carolyne Arnold

Associate Professor

Jaqueline Contrera Avila 

Assistant Professor

Ellen Birchander

Senior Lecturer; Graduate Program Director, Management of Aging Services

Kathrin Boerner

Professor; Graduate Program Director, Gerontology PhD & Research/Policy Master's

Jeffrey Burr

Professor; Editor-in-Chief, Research on Aging

Marc Cohen

Clinical Professor
Co-Director, LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston

Elizabeth Dugan

Associate Professor

Edward Alan Miller

Professor; Chair, Department of Gerontology;

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Aging & Social Policy

Jan Mutchler


Director, Gerontology Institute


Pamela Nadash

Associate Professor

Sung Park

Assistant Professor


Frank Porell

Professor Emeritus

Kristen Porter
Adjunct Assistant Professor

Emma Quach
Adjunct Assistant Professor

Lien Quach
Adjunct Assistant Professor

Nina Silverstein

Professor Emeritus

Qian Song

Assistant Professor

Jeffrey Stokes

Assistant Professor;  Undergraduate Program Director


Sarah Barry

Office Manager


Chris Brindley

Computer Information Specialist

Michele Campbell

Program Administrator

Tyler Compton

Managing Attorney, Pension Action Center

Caitlin Coyle, PhD '14

Director, Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging

Drew Glazier

Office Manager, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute 

Martin Hansen-Verma
Program Manager


James Hermelbracht
Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute 

Taylor Jansen, PhD '23

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Emily Kennerley

Development and Outreach Coordinator, Pension Action Center

Annie McCluskey

Director of Finance, Grants, and Operations                        

Genevieve Peterson 

Program Coordinator, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute 

Changmin Peng

Managing Editor, Research on Aging

Charles Ruberto

Program Coordinator

Elizabeth Simpson

Managing Editor, Journal of Aging and Social Policy

Josephine Sturgis

Research, Administration, and Finance 

Anna-Marie Tabor  

Consultant, Pension Action Center

Jane Tavares, PhD '18

Senior Research Fellow


Lisa Watts

Director of Communications

Claire Wickersham, PhD '22

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

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We're happy to answer your questions and offer more information about our degrees, research activities, potential partnerships, and other areas of interest. 

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