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What was your previous position and where?I worked in Bridgeport, Conn., as a regional long-term care nursing home ombudsman for the Department of Social Services. I was responsible for responding to complaints made by or on behalf of 34 nursing homes in Fairfield County with 3,300 nursing home residents. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program works to ensure quality of life and to provide advocacy for residents and families of residents in skilled nursing facilities.
What brought you to LSU?On a wintry night in Connecticut prior to defending my dissertation, I decided to respond to a job announcement for an Assistant Professor of Social Work at LSU posted in the National Association of Social Work Newsletter. The South always had a romantic appeal to me, and I thought Iíd apply. My visit was planned quickly and I felt an immediate connection with LSU, the trees and landscape, and the people.
What is your research interest?My primary interest is long-term care, specifically nursing home care and quality, but Iím also interested in the productivity of older persons, and currently have begun looking more closely at retirement and work re-entry among older persons.
What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?Anything worthwhile that Iíve accomplished usually has had a team of people involved, so in that spirit, I hope to continue working with esteemed colleagues, including Katie Cherry as my mentor, and colleague Scott Wilks in growing the Life Course and Aging Center, and continuing to develop the emphasis in the School of Social Work surrounding the necessary study of gerontology under our dean, Christian Molidor Ė and many others. I hope to change perceptions in studentsí minds about the vast rewards of working with older people, and to continue to learn about ways in which I can partner with providers and practitioners to provide more opportunities to students and to the citizens of Louisiana. I hope to bring in funding for research in aging studies related to nursing home culture change or retirement. I also hope to accomplish becoming a full professor at some point in the next five years.
What do you enjoy most about LSU?I enjoy the community at LSU and to dialogue with colleagues and the administration. My week isnít complete without a stop-in at the Faculty Club Inc.ís events on Fridays to see old and new friends from across campus. I love the students in the School of Social Work and in my undergraduate class, and I still love the live oaks that line the Parade Ground and remind me why Iím here.
What are your major accomplishments?Although it wasnít my accomplishment as I came on board years after people like Katie and Jill Suitor and Lynn Jelinski and Todd Pourciau started the effort , I worked with a talented group of people to establish the Life Course and Aging Center as a formal center. Making tenure was a major accomplishment, and Iím glad thatís behind me.