Miami University was well represented at the 2016 GSA Annual Scientific Meeting "New Lens on Aging: Changing Attitudes, Expanding Possibilities."  Students, faculty, and staff presented their research in 29 presentations in concurrent and poster sessions
eNews | Winter 2016-17
Dear Friends,

Miami's new president, Dr. Gregory Crawford, and his wife, Dr. Renate Crawford, made a stop at the Scripps Gerontology Center during their "listening tour" across campus. We were delighted to have the opportunity to welcome them, to tell our story and to highlight the many exciting things happening here at the Scripps Gerontology Center.

Dr. Renate Crawford followed up that first visit by participating in an Opening Minds through Art (OMA) session at The Knolls of Oxford. We look forward to many years of working with the Crawfords to keep gerontology at Miami University on the cutting edge of education, research, and service that makes a positive difference in the lives of older people, their families, and their communities.

Suzanne Kunkel, Executive Director 

Recent Scripps Gerontology Center Publications

Two recent research briefs by Senior Research Scholar, Shahla Mehdizadeh  address some of the challenges Ohio faces with its growing aging population.

Serving an Increasing Older Population with Severe Disability: Serious Challenges Await Ohio Over the Next Twenty Years

Ohio faces a demographic and financing challenge as its population ages in the next 20 years. The number of people age 60 and older with a severe disability is projected to increase by 60% while overall population growth will be at two percent. This brief explores issues related to the availability of paid and unpaid caregivers and the state's role as the payer of last resort.  

Unpaid Caregivers: Growing Demand and Limited Supply

Several recent studies indicate that the supply of unpaid family and friend caregivers is declining; this change in potential support for older adults with disability could have major policy implications. This brief explores the reasons for the decline, implications for Ohio, and possible remedies the state can undertake. 

>> Read this research Brief (PDF)

Explore more of our publications at

Heather Menne is 2017 Cottrell Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

We are pleased to announce that Heather Menne is the recipient of the 2017 Cottrell Distinguished Alumni Award.

A 2001 graduate of the Master of Gerontological Studies program, Heather went on to earn a PhD in Sociology with a concentration in Sociology of Aging and Medical Sociology from Case Western Reserve University in 2006. After working as Research Scientist at the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging for 12 years, she recently assumed a position as Social Science Analyst at the Administration for Community Living in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Alumni making connections - face-to-face and online

Foreground:  Bob Applebaum (far L) chats with (L to R)  Natalie Pitheckoff (MGS '15), Katy Harris Abbott (MGS '97), and Kate Bridges (MGS '98).
A highlight of the 2016 GSA Conference in New Orleans in November was gathering with many of our alumni at our 2nd Annual Alumni Networking Break. Gerontology program graduates were able to reconnect with old friends and faculty members and meet some of our current gerontology students.

The next informal gerontology alumni gathering will be happy hour on Tuesday, March 21, 4:30 - 6:00 p.m at the Sweetwater Tavern and Grille in Chicago during the Aging in America (ASA) conference.  
We hope to see alumni who are attending the conference as well as those living in Chicago!  Contact Pam Mayberry ( for more information. 

Reconnect online with our LinkedIn group
Calling all Miami University GTY alumni! 
Connect to other gerontology professionals and current students, post and learn about job openings and events, and share news on our LinkedIn page. Join Miami University Gerontology Alumni online today!

Opening Minds through Art updates (OMA)

Miami University's OMA program receives national Alzheimer's legacy award

Opening Minds through Art (OMA), developed at Miami University's Scripps Gerontology Center, has received a 2016 Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer's Disease Caregiving Legacy Award in the Creative Expression category.

Elizabeth "Like" Lokon, founder and director of the Opening Minds through Art program expressed her gratitude, "This is the best present that I could wish for. This award will help our efforts in making OMA available to more people with dementia, their caregivers and volunteers."

A children's book featuring Opening Minds through Art (OMA) artwork is receiving national attention.

Why Can't Grandma Remember my Name?, by Kent L. Karosen and Chana Stiefel, is a children's book explaining Alzheimer's disease using artwork created by children juxtaposed with art created by OMA artists. It demonstrates the creativity that is within all of us, regardless of age or cognitive status. 

The book, was featured in an article in the December 12, 2016, print edition of Time Magazine. The article highlights five books written to help children deal with "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things in life."

>> Read more about this book 

Upcoming Webinar | Achieving Caregiver Respite and Support: A Strategy in Four Levels
March 29, 2017, 9-10 am EST

Scripps researchers  Kathryn McGrew and  Jennifer Heston will present a four-part strategy for family caregiver respite and support designed to sustain optimal care at home in a free one-hour webinar. We offer a way of thinking about caregiver respite and support that will enhance the way you organize, implement, and evaluate those supports.

>> Learn more about the webinar and register now
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The mission of the Scripps Gerontology Center is to do work that makes a positive difference in the lives of aging individuals, their families and communities, and to meet the needs of aging societies. This mission is accomplished through excellence in research, education, and service.

Founded at Miami University in 1922, the Center is one of the nation's top centers for research in aging. Scripps conducts the core of its research on a state and national level in the areas of demography, long-term care, program evaluation, and arts and dementia programming.