Wilks Named Director of LSU Life Course & Aging Center

September 20, 2022


Scott Wilks
Scott E.Wilks, PhD, LMSWPhoto Credit LSU

BATON ROUGE – LSU College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) announced that Scott E.Wilks, PhD, LMSW, was named LSU Life Course & Aging Center (LCAC) Director. Wilks is Professor and PhD program director in the LSU School of Social Work. 

“I’m excited to welcome Dr. Wilks to this new and important role in the LSU Life Course & Aging Center. His research, as well as the center faculty’s research, is critical to our scholarship first work in the LSU College of Human Sciences & Education,” said LSU CHSE Dean Roland Mitchell, PhD. 

The LCAC is an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional research unit headquartered at LSU. Since 2001, the center participates in research and partnerships that promote healthy development and aging. Laura Ainsworth, PhD, LCSW, will serve as Associate Director for LCAC.

 “Our college mission is to improve quality of life across the lifespan. LCAC, under the strong leadership of Scott Wilks, will bridge research and practice, making an incredible and positive impact on our aging population in Louisiana and the nation,” said LSU CHSE Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies Arend Van Gemmert, PhD.

Wilks is a Hartford Faculty Scholar in Geriatric Social Work. He is the coordinator for the Graduate Specialization in Gerontology and professor at the LSU School of Social Work. His research interests center primarily on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) care, particularly the interactional process of coping and resilience among AD caregivers. His other research interests include burden and adaptation issues among custodial grandparents; social support and resilience among vulnerable, aging populations; and gerontological content in the social work curriculum. Wilks earned consecutive seven-figure grants from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services to study integrated behavioral health across the lifespan and workforce expansion in these settings.

“I’m honored to assume this role with the LSU Life Course & Aging Center and humbled to work alongside Dr. Ainsworth and our incredible team,” said Wilks. “The direction I look forward to focusing on as we continue to develop the center is healthy aging and wellbeing.”

Ainsworth has worked in the College of Human Science & Education's Social Research & Evaluation Center and is currently an Associate Professor in the LSU School of Social Work and Child & Family Studies Program Director. She has experience in administration and teaching, micro and macro social work practice, program design and implementation, grant writing, evaluation research and community-based participatory research.  Her work involves research in school social work, school mental health, and access to services for underserved populations. Ainsworth was previously an associate professor and served as the Associate Director and BSW Director at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi before returning to LSU.  


About LCAC

By the year 2020, more than 20 percent of the population is expected to reach the age of retirement. With the increase in the number of older adults living in Louisiana, there will come a greater need to ensure the successful aging of the population of our state. The Life Course & Aging Center faculty recognize that to ensure a successful outcome, attention to aging should begin at birth and continue through the rest of our lives. We are committed to identifying the keys to successful aging and educating the public about these important issues. Visit the LSU Life Course & Aging Center at lsu.edu/lcac.


About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, the School of Library & Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs, 18 graduate programs, and 7 online graduate degree and/or certificate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 1,120 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan. Visit the College of Human Sciences & Education at lsu.edu/chse



Adrienne Gale