News 2018

CBCS Faculty Members Named New AAAS Fellows

CBCS Faculty Members Named New AAAS Fellows

We are thrilled to announce that for the first time, two of our CBCS faculty members have been elected as new AAAS Fellows. Congratulations to Dr. Kathleen Heide in the Department of Criminology and Dr. William Haley in the School of Aging Studies on this extraordinary accomplishment and honor. Election as a Fellow is a distinction bestowed upon the American Association for the Advancement of Science members by their peers in recognition of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Dr. Haley was elected AAAS Fellow in the Psychology Section for advancing understanding of the psychological, social, and health impacts on family members providing care for relatives with Alzheimer's disease, stroke, cancer and terminal illness. Dr. Heide was elected AAAS Fellow in the Social, Economic and Political Sciences Section for distinguished contributions to the field of criminology, particularly with respect to juvenile homicide and parricide. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin on February 16 during the 2019 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. I'm sure I speak for the entire college when I say how proud we are of both faculty members and thank them for elevating the college to this level of recognition.

To read more about their research and the other 6 USF faculty members who also received this honor, click on the full USF News story.

Aging Studies Professor Recognized for her Graduate Mentorship

This award recognizes faculty members who mentor graduate students with the highest level of quality. Criteria include selflessness in their time commitment, special efforts to develop their students as professionals, and the maintenance of strong relationships beyond graduation.

One of her former students, Kali Thomas, PhD, provided this quote in support of Dr. Hyer’s nomination:
“I always say that the one thing that has been instrumental in my achievments has been having a strong, female figure in my corner. Someone who believes in me. Someone who advocates for me. Someone who cares about me. Someone who recognizes my potential. Someone who makes me believe in myself. That person, for me, has and continues to be Dr. Kathryn Hyer.”

Dr. Thomas is an Associate Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice at Brown University, Providence, R.I., and a Research Health Science Specialist at the Providence VA Medical Center's Center of Innovation for Long-term Services and Supports. 


Students, Faculty Collect Supplies to Help Hurricane Victims

Students and faculty from the School of Aging Studies, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, and the College of Engineering have responded to a call for help from the Florida Health Care Association and collected supplies to send to the northern Florida counties devastated by Hurricane Michael.

Several nursing homes were so badly damaged that they remain closed months after the hurricane struck the Panhandle of Florida with 155-mph winds. The supplies, including non-perishable food, bedding, cleaning supplies, and person hygiene item, will go to help nursing home residents and the staff of the damaged facilities. They will be combined with supplies collected from nursing home employees in the Tampa area to be delivered for the Thanksgiving holiday. For information about how to donate, go to

School of Aging Studies Teams With Local Employers to Develop Students’ Interviewing Skills

The School of Aging Studies recently hosted its 9th annual Mock Interview Night at the University of South Florida. The event provides students in the Long-term Care Administration program a chance to practice their interviewing skills and receive professional feedback and advice. Nine administrators and executives from Florida long-term care companies participated.

Aging Studies’ Long-term Care Administration program was created to prepare students for careers in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Many of these students soon will be interviewing in reality for internships and jobs, and during this event, they learned the valuable lessons of what company executives expect of a candidate.

Each student was given a 15-minute interview with three long-term care professionals, who then provided feedback on their performance. In addition, they watched as a panel of administrators interviewed a student who is currently an intern in a nursing home. 

USF’s bachelor’s degree program in Long-term Care Administration was created in 1984 to meet the growing need for well-trained long-term care professionals. Since then, the population of older adults has continued to grow. More than 11 million Floridians are 60 and older. By 2040, that number is expected to grow to more than 13 million.

For more information about the Long-term Care Administration program, the School of Aging Studies or the mock interviews, please contact Kathryn Hyer at (813) 974-3232 or

Thank you to the following professionals for helping USF’s School of Aging Studies train future long-term care professionals.

Erin Blakely, Regional Director of Operations, Greystone Healthcare Management
Sarah Castro, Associate Administrator, Highlands Lake Center, Opis Senior Services Group
Christopher Edelmann, The Health and Rehabilitation Centre at Dolphins View, Consulate Health Care
Theresa Felicione, Senior Administrator, Tierra Pines Center, Opis Senior Services Group
J David Fitts, Executive Director, Westchester Gardens Health and Rehabilitation, The Goodman Group
Valerie Goode, Regional Director of Employee Relations, Consulate Health Care
Laura Haraburda, Divisional Executive Director, Consulate Health Care
Brian Sweetland, Administrator, Fairway Oaks Center, Opis Senior Services Group
Matthew Thompson, the Manor and Villa at Carpenters

Dr. Bill Haley and Victoria Marino Advocate for the Common Problem of Wandering

Dr. Bill Haley, Professor in the School of Aging Studies (SAS), and Victoria Marino, a student in the PhD in Aging Studies program, participated in a joint project with the American Psychological Association (APA) Committee on Aging, and the advocacy group Autism Speaks, to advocate for the common problem of wandering that can occur in people across the lifespan, with conditions ranging from childhood disabilities through older adults with Alzheimer's disease. Both groups are supporting a bill, Kevin and Avonte's Law, to provide funding through the US Department of Justice to train first responders and others to be alert to issues of wandering, and ways to intervene with people who are wandering due to a disability or cognitive impairment. Dr. Haley and Ms. Marino completed an advocacy training program led by staff from APA and Autism Speaks, along with other teams of APA members and students throughout the country. These teams then met with local US Senators and Representatives. Dr. Haley and Ms. Marino met in August with Representative Gus Bilirakis and his Chief of Staff Elizabeth HIttos, and with Senator Bill Nelson's Regional Director, Digna Alvarez. The meetings were a great success and the bill is moving forward. The meetings also allowed Dr. Haley and Ms. Marino to share information about the successes of SAS and the College in research and teaching related to disability throughout the life span. Just recently we learned that both the House and Senate appropriations bills now include funding for Kevin and Avonte's Law. APA plans to continue this program of advocacy training for students and APA members.

Dr. Brent Small Publishes in Journal of Clinical Oncology

Dr. Brent Small, Professor in the School of Aging Studies, recently published two separate articles in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology. With the Journal Citation Reports Impact Factor of just over 24, this journal is rated as 5th highest in oncology and has a widespread reach across audiences in the United States and abroad.

Mandelblatt, J. S., Small, B. J., Luta, G., Hurria, A., Jim, H., McDonald, B. C., ... & Breen, E. (2018). Cancer-Related Cognitive Outcomes Among Older Breast Cancer Survivors in the Thinking and Living With Cancer Study. Journal of Clinical Oncology, JCO-18.

Jim, H. S., Jennewein, S. L., Quinn, G. P., Reed, D. R., & Small, B. J. (2018). Cognition in Adolescent and Young Adults Diagnosed With Cancer: An Understudied Problem. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 36(27), 2752-2754.

Dr. Ross Andel and PhD Student Mitch Roberts Receive APHA Excellence in Aging Research Award

Dr. Ross Andeland Mitch Roberts' project "Evaluating Brain Health: Early Findings on the Utility of a Novel Technology to Assess Brain Health in Late Life" has been selected for the American Public Health Associations 2018 Erickson Foundation Award for Excellence in Aging Research! This publication includes student authors like Mitch as well as colleagues from Israel and physicians from The Villages. This is a great example of what can be learned when academics, students & community partners come together to find novel ways to tackle problems like dementia that plague our nation today.

Dr. Kathryn Hyer Invited to Speak at Aging Conference

Dr. Kathryn Hyer Invited to Speak at Aging Conference

Dr. Kathryn Hyer was invited to speak at closing lunch panel for the Florida Conference on Aging Panel. She spoke about the importance of preparing a geriatric workforce for the longevity economy as PI on the USF Health, 4 year 3.1 million HRSA funded grant. 

Faculty Present Work at Florida Conference

Several School of Aging Studies faculty presented their research at the Florida Conference on Aging August 15th, 2015 in Tampa, FL, including Dr. Debra Dobbs (Associate Professor, SAS), Dr. Hongdao Meng (Associate Professor), Dr. Kathy Hyer (Professor and Director Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging), Dr. Lindsay Peterson (Instructor and Internship Director, SAS), recent SAS PhD graduate Dr. Rosalyn Roker and current PhD student Joseph June. The papers included results from Dobbs' pilot study on palliative care education in assisted living, Hyer, June and Peterson's work on Hurricane Irma, Meng's collaboration with WellCare to develop an online family caregiver education resource, and Roker's dissertation research about mental health service use for older Blacks and Whites.

Mitchell Roberts Wins Research Award

Mitchell Roberts, a student in the PhD in Aging Studies program, was recently awarded the Florida High Tech Corridor Excellence in Graduate Student Research Award. The winning research project is based at The Villages, a large retirement community with over 100,000 residents. It is titled "Using Technology to Improve Service Delivery and Health Outcomes for Older Adults" and It includes three sub-projects-a study using the Brain Network Activation program to create a big data brain mapping repository using EEG signals, a project using HomeSense, a wireless sensor system, to collect data on activities of daily living, sleep/wake patterns and lifestyle of The Villages residents, and finally the Hospitalist Evaluation sub-project, where data are collected on discharged patients to track post-discharge health outcomes.

Dr. Lindsay Peterson Receives Donaghue Foundation Grant

Dr. Lindsay Peterson Receives Donaghue Foundation Grant

Lindsay Peterson, in the School of Aging Studies, has been awarded a two-year grant from the Donaghue Foundation. Using national data from the federal government, Dr. Peterson will investigate complaints filed against nursing homes by staff, residents, and family members. This is a largely unexplored area, and this research could lead to the use of complaints as a new way of measuring and reporting nursing home quality.

Currently, the federal government uses complaints to rate nursing homes on its Nursing Home Compare website. It also uses quality of care and other annual inspection data. However, the way in which complaints are used in the rating and the meaning of the information are not explained to the public.  The ultimate goal of this project is to make complaints more meaningful as a reflection of nursing home quality.

The Patrick and Catherine Weldon Donaghue Medical Research Foundation, based in Connecticut,  provides funding for health-related research, including projects using existing data that can improve the quality of care and the quality of life for older adults in nursing homes or other care facilities.

Dr. Ross Andel speaks at TedX Fulbright in Canberra

Dr. Ross Andel speaks at TedX Fulbright in Canberra

In his research, Dr. Ross Andel has focused on identifying ways to slow age-related cognitive decline and reduce risk of dementia through diet, exercise, leisure activities and modifications to work environment. Ross has also been involved in research to distinguish true signs of cognitive impairment from normal cognitive aging. Watch the full video here.

Dr. Kathryn Hyer Invited to Participate in Age-Friendly Public Health System Advisory Committee

Dr. Kathryn Hyer Invited to Participate in Age-Friendly Public Health System Advisory Committee

Dr. Kathryn Hyer was invited to join the Age-Friendly Public Health System Advisory Committee. This Committee will include public health and healthy aging industry leaders that will guide the advancement of the Framework for an Age-Friendly Public Health System in our state, and create a model for public health's role in healthy aging for the nation.

Dr. Kathryn Hyer Named to "Age Friendly" Public Health Advisory Committee

Kathryn Hyer, a professor in the School of Aging Studies and director of the Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging, has been named to the advisory committee on Florida’s new Framework for an Age-Friendly Public Health System. It’s part of a broad national effort to involve public health systems in the promotion of healthy aging.

As the population of older adults has surged in recent decades, cities, states, and countries across the world have worked to become more “age friendly.” These initiatives focus on improving physical and social services to support older adults and make it easier for them to maintain their independence and remain in their homes and communities as they age.

The movement began more than a decade ago with the World Health Organization’s creation of the Global Network for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. In 2015, Sarasota became Florida’s first “Age Friendly” community through the work of Kathy Black, a Professor of Aging Studies and Social Work at the USF Sarasota-Manatee USF, supported by The Patterson Foundation in partnership with AARP Florida and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.

Hyer will be part of the effort to bring public health systems into the “Age Friendly” movement. Last October in Tampa, national, state, and local pubic health officials gathered with researchers, advocates, and service providers to discuss how public health could contribute to an age-friendly society and improve the health and well-being of older Americans. The Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation, organized the gathering.

The October meeting resulted in an outline of the role that public health could play to meet the needs of an aging society. A key conclusion was that aging was a core public health issue. More information on the project can be found here:

Florida Fares Well in Nursing Home Staffing Study

A recent New York Times report revealed staffing levels at nursing homes across the country are often lower than previously reported to federal officials. The report originated with a Kaiser Health News analysis that found evidence of dramatic staffing fluctuations, with severe shortfalls on weekends.

Florida, however, fared well in the analysis, Few facilities experienced the severe dips.  Furthermore, most were ranked as maintaining above average staffing. There’s a reason for this. Kathryn Hyer, a professor in the School of Aging Studies and director of the Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging credited Florida legislators for major legislation passed in 2001.

Current Florida standards require a minimum of 2.5 hours of direct care from a nursing assistant and 1 hour of direct care from a licensed nurse per resident, per day.  Furthermore, nursing homes must stop accepting new patients if the staffing falls below the minimum levels for more than 48 hours. 

Budget cuts have actually reduced Florida’s mandated staffing minimum from 2.9 hours per resident per day in 2007 to the 2.5 current level.  However, unlike other state regulations, Florida requires providers to adhere to a daily minimum, thwarting wide fluctuations and low weekend coverage.

Hyer and her colleagues have tracked the quality improvements that followed state regulatory changes in 2001. They found, for instance, that with stronger staffing requirements fewer facilities were cited for deficiencies classified harmful to residents as well as dietary deficiencies. The percentage dropped from 21% in 2001 to less than 7% in 2006. Minimum staffing has also been shown to improve residents’ health and wellbeing by reducing pressure sores, improving residents’ ability to perform activities of daily living, and reduced restraint use. 

Hyer was among a group of researchers at USF who began working with the Florida Health Care Association and Florida legislators nearly 20 years ago to increase both staffing requirements and Medicaid funding.  The School of Aging Studies researchers continue to conduct research on how to improve nursing home quality, including extensive work on nursing home disaster preparedness. 

Hyer, K., Thomas, K., Mehra, S., Johnson, C. E., & Harman, J. S. (October 2009). Analyses on outcomes of increased nurse staffing policies in Florida nursing homes: Staffing levels, quality, and costs (2002-2007). [Report prepared for the Florida Legislature]. Retrieved from
Hyer, K., Thomas,* K. S., Branch, L. G., Harman, J. S., Johnson, C. E., & Weech-Maldonado, R. (2011). The influence of nurse staffing levels on quality of care in nursing homes. The Gerontologist, 51(5), 610-.
Smith, K. M.*, Thomas, K., Johnson, S., Meng, H. & Hyer, K. Dietary Service Staffing Impact Nutritional Quality in Nursing Homes (2017) Journal of Applied Gerontology Published online January 26, 2017 DOI:
Bowblis, J.R. & Hyer, K.  (2013). Nursing home staffing requirements and Input substitution: Effects on Housekeeping, Food Service, and Activities Staff. Health Services Research, 48(4), 1539-1550.
Hyer, K., Thomas,* K. S., Harman, J., Johnson, C. E. & Weech-Maldonado, R.  (2013). Do Medicaid incentive payments boost quality? Florida’s direct care staffing adjustment program. Journal of Aging and Social Policy, 25(1), 65-82.

School of Aging Studies Faculty Member Showcased At TEDxFulbrightCanberra

School of Aging Studies Faculty Member Showcased At TEDxFulbrightCanberra

Ross Andel, PhD, Director of the PhD in Aging Studies Program, recently spoke at the TEDxFulbrightCanberra at Questacon, Australia on May 24. Through these events, Fulbrighters showcase the program's thought leadership by communicating their meaningful but often complex research and expertise in lay terms and using the TEDx format.

TEDxFulbrightCanberra has the theme "Power & Wisdom," inspired on this reflection from Senator Fulbright: "Science has radically changed the conditions of human life on earth. It has expanded our knowledge and our power, but not our capacity to use them with wisdom." Six current or former Fulbright Scholars will present a TEDx talk around this theme including Andel. 

In his research, Andel has focused on identifying ways to slow age-related cognitive decline and reduce risk of dementia through diet, exercise, leisure activities and modifications to work environment. Andel has also been involved in research to distinguish true signs of cognitive impairment from normal cognitive aging. 

Ross Andel, Professor in the School of Aging Studies and Director of the PhD in Aging Studies Program, has been chosen for a 2018 University of South Florida Nexus Initiative (UNI) Award.

Ross Andel, Professor in the School of Aging Studies and Director of the PhD in Aging Studies Program, has been chosen for a 2018 University of  South Florida Nexus Initiative (UNI) Award. This is a competitive internal award created to recognize outstanding global collaboration. Dr. Andel was selected for his proposed collaboration with Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, to examine the biological and genetic markers for Alzheimer's Disease among those in the Czech Republic.

A long-time collaborator with colleagues from the Czech Brain Ageing Study and other Czech researchers, Dr. Andel has contributed to multiple research projects in the Czech Republic and to publication of about two dozen articles using data from the Czech Republic, including research on early identification of cognitive impairment. He also has hosted numerous Czech scholars in the USF School of Aging Studies and sent doctoral students from the School of Aging Studies to work with colleagues in the Czech Republic. Founded in 1348, Charles University in Prague is the oldest and largest university in the Czech Republic.

Nasreen Sadeq, a School of Aging Studies PhD candidate, has been awarded an honorable mention in the 2018 Provost’s Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Teaching Assistant.

Nasreen Sadeq won in the Education/Business/Social Science category, one of four categories in which one graduate assistant is chosen for the award and one is chosen for honorable mention.

This competitive program was established in 1998 to recognize exemplary contributions made by graduate teaching assistants to excellence in undergraduate education. The winners are chosen based on essays they write describing their teaching philosophy and practices, a video of themselves teaching a class, and student evaluations. For more information about the program, go to

Doctoral student Joseph June from the School of Aging Studies

Gerontological Society of America Announces Dr. Kathryn Hyer as President-Elect

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — is proud to announce GSA President-Elect is Kathryn Hyer, MPP, PhD, FGSA.  Dr Hyer is a Professor and Director of the Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging in the School of Aging Studies, the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences at the University of South Florida. Dr. Hyer will be the 76th person to hold the office since GSA was founded in 1945. As president, she will oversee matters of GSA’s governance and strategic planning, while also managing the program and selecting the theme for GSA’s 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting which is also the 75th anniversary of GSA.

GSA’s membership, which consists of more than 5,500 researchers, educators, and practitioners elects officers annually.  GSA mission is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational unit, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education.

Dr. Hyer is the Principal Investigator on a $2.4 million Health Resources and Administration Services grant for Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program designed to increase USF’s medical residents’ and health professions students’ knowledge about older adults’ needs and community services. Her research focuses on ways to improve care of older adults and she has published widely on disaster preparedness and nursing homes, nursing home quality, hospice care, and state Medicaid policy. She has held national leadership roles for many organizations and been on numerous federal, state, and local Boards. For 15 years, she has worked with Florida’s State Department of Elder Affairs to review required dementia curriculum for nursing homes, assisted living, home health, hospice and adult day care providers.  She serves on the Gold Seal Panel, Governor’s Panel on Excellence in Long-Term Care. After Hurricane Irma, Dr Hyer testified before the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing, “Disaster Preparedness and Response: The Special Needs of Older Americans” and the Florida House of Representative’s Florida House Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness.

The School of Aging Studies, along with Sigma Phi Omega Honor’s Society, hosted their annual Careers in Aging event on April 11th

It was a lunch and learn organized as a career fair event, with several organizations in attendance that serve older adults in the Tampa and surrounding area including Senior Connections Center, Hillsborough County Aging Services, Arbor Terrace at Citrus Park Assisted Living, Fletcher Health & Rehabilitation (part of Consulate Care), Westchester Gardens Health & Rehabilitation (part of Goodman Group), Aging Care Advocates Geriatric Healthcare Management, Jewish Center Towers, and Greystone Health Care. More than 40 students, both undergraduate and graduate, from different majors and degree programs (undergraduate and graduate students) attended the event to learn about careers in aging as well as the academic programs and internship opportunities offered by the School of Aging Studies.


The USF School of Aging Studies recognized its community partners and presented annual awards and scholarships in a ceremony at USF on April 6.  USF Aging Studies Director Brent Small thanked those who have given their time and talent over the past year to provide opportunities to the School of Aging Studies interns.

Jeff Johnson, State Director of AARP Florida, received the Community Partner of the Year award for his ongoing assistance to the School of Aging Studies.

In addition the school recognized those who serve as preceptors for the Long-term Care Administration program interns:
Joseph Cassiba, Hawthorne Village of Brandon
Kimberly Lehigh, Sun Terrace Health Care Center, in Sun City Center
Scott Allen, Fletcher Health and Rehabilitation, in Tampa
Theresa Felicione, Tierra Pines Center, in Largo
Bob Murphy, Whispering Oaks Health and Rehabilitation, in Tampa
Su Reynard-Suriano, Manor Care of Palm Harbor

Those who work with the Aging Sciences program interns are:
Eileen Poiley, USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute
Jill Andrew, Superior Residences, in Brandon
Carla Creegan, Suncoast PACE Center, in Pinellas Park
Genevieve Faulk, Aging Care Advocates, in Tampa
Laurie Ferguson, John Knox Village, in Tampa
Mary George, Jewish Center Towers, in Tampa
Veronica Maxwell, Hillsborough County Aging Services
Kimberley Trusty-Doughty, Hillsborough County Aging Services

Also at the April 6 ceremony, Dr. Small named the winners of its annual student and faculty awards.
The student recipients were:
Ashey L'Huillier - Harold L. Sheppard Endowed Memorial Scholarship in Gerontology
Emma Abbott - Kymberly Jane Harris Endowed Scholarship in Long Term Care Administration
Emily Leavitt  - Tollette Family Endowed Scholarship in Gerontology
Erika Esnard and Karina Perez - Wiley P. Mangum Scholarship

The faculty recipients were:
Dr. Lindsay Peterson - Wiley P. Mangum Outstanding Service Award in the Field of Gerontology
Dr. William Haley - Sue V. Saxon Outstanding Teaching Award in the Field of Gerontology

To read more about the School of Aging Studies awards and scholarships, go to

School of Aging Studies Professor Ross Andel weighed in on a perplexing issue recently on Gizmodo, a website devoted to design, technology, and science.

Why do our faces change shape as we get older?

It's not a superficial issue.

It’s all about our bones, he wrote, and connective tissues.

“Bones, in particular, are quite dynamic. Over time, they do not rebuild themselves as well, leading to overall reduction in mass, which can lead to differences in the shape of face. Eye sockets enlarge and lower jaw decreases in length and height. Connective tissue in the nose and some changes in the angle make the nose appear larger.”

The molecules of the skin share some of the blame, too. Through a process called cross-linking, the bonding across collagen and elastin molecules becomes less flexible, more rigid.

If this makes you want to grimace, don’t. Continuous contracting of the muscles during concentration or stress only makes wrinkles look deeper over time.

Dr. Andel was one of several scientists to address the question for Gizomodo’s “Giz Asks.”

To read the whole story, go to