University of South Florida

College of Behavioral and Community Sciences


School of Aging Studies celebrates another year of continued growth and success

Debra Dobbs and Reggie Riley

Debra Dobbs hands the Community Partner of the Year Award to Reggie Smith of Chapters Health.

The School of Aging Studies held its annual Preceptors and Awards Reception in the MHC Atrium Friday afternoon. The school recognized internship preceptors, supervisors, and recipients of awards and scholarships. The event was dedicated to the memory of the late Sue Saxon, PhD, one of the school's pioneering faculty members.

Sadeq, Dobbs, Norstrand

Nasreen Sadeq and Lu Norstrand accept their awards from Interim Director Debra Dobbs.

Three leaders in the school were awarded at the reception: Hongdao Meng, MD, PhD, Lu (Lucy) Norstrand, PhD, and Nasreen Sadeq, PhD. Professor Meng received the Sue V. Saxon Outstanding Teaching Award in the Field of Gerontology, and Sadeq, an assistant professor of instruction, and Norstrand, an academic advisor, both received the Wiley P. Mangum Outstanding Service Award in the Field of Gerontology.

Mutliple scholarships were given to students to support their studies and careers in the field of gerontology, health care administration, healthy aging, and public policy.

Undergraduate students Emily Black and Grizelda Venega were awarded the Wiley P. Mangum Scholarship in Gerontology. In her application essay, Venega wrote that she is pusuing her goal of ensuring "individuals are informed about advance directives, documenting their wishes for medical care at different stages of illness, while also striving to address the emotional pain and suffering in the aging population." Another undergraduate student was also recognized at the ceremony: Kaylin Day was awarded the Tollette Family Endowed Scholarship in Gerontology.

Odom, Dobbs

Nicole Odom accepts her award from Interim Director Debra Dobbs.

Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration student Nicole Odom received the Kymberly Jane Harris Endowed Scholarship in Long-term Care Administration. She described working with the aging population as "inspiring and rewarding" in her application essay.

Five graduate students were also awarded scholarships, including Jessica Yauk and Cassidy Doyle who were chosen to receive the H. Edward Greely and Mildred Greely Endowed Fellowship in recognition of their strong performance in the PhD program. PhD students Layla Santana and Joanne Elayoubi were named recipients of the Wolowec Scholarship. Jessica VanderWerf was selected for the Kenneth E. and Peggy Sponagle Endowed Scholarship, which will support her career goal of "finding ways to help the helpers."

The Kathryn Hyer Endowed Scholarship in Public Policy and Aging was awarded to Khunza Asmun. This scholarship goes to an incoming PhD student who shows promise as a scholar in public policy and aging. 

room full of people sitting

Attendees fill the MHC atrium to celebrate the award and scholarship recipients.

The school also honored community partners, alumni, and mentors at the reception. Chapters Health was recognized with the Community Partner of the Year Award for having been an instrumental sponsor and partner for the Center for Hospice, Palliative Care and End of Life Studies. Reggie Riley, who serves as the vice president for support services and patient experience and accepted the award, has fostered many internship opportunities for aging studies students with the organization.

Kelly Smith was honored as the Outstanding Alumni of the Year, and the Kathryn Hyer Professional Mentorship Award, which recognizes professionals in the field who help prepare our students for careers in aging, was awarded to Taylor Conley.

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About College of Behavioral & Community Sciences News

The Mission of the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences (CBCS) is to advance knowledge through interdisciplinary teaching, research, and service that improves the capacity of individuals, families, and diverse communities to promote productive, satisfying, healthy, and safe lives across the lifespan. CBCS envisions the college as a globally recognized leader that creates innovative solutions to complex conditions that affect the behavior and well-being of individuals, families, and diverse communities.