Aloen L. Townsend, PhD, was awarded 2016 Researcher of the Year by the Ohio Association of Gerontology Education (OAGE) at their 40th annual conference at Youngstown State University on April 15, 2016. This competitively-selected award recognizes one individual in Ohio’s aging network whose research has advanced knowledge in gerontology or supported the expansion of research in the field of aging in Ohio or nationally.
Dr. Townsend (center) is pictured with alumni Angela Curl Black, PhD 2007 (left), and Amy Restorick Roberts, MSSA 2000, PhD 2013. Both are Assistant Professors in the Department of Family Studies and Social Work at Miami University and members of OAGE.
In addition to being a Professor at the Mandel School, Dr. Townsend is affiliated with the University Center on Aging and Health and the Department of Sociology at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Townsend’s primary research interests are in adult development and aging, family relationships, mental and physical health, and the interface between families and formal service systems. Her research projects have focused on multiple roles of middle-generation caregiving women, benefits to families of using adult day services for older relatives with dementia, and physical health and depression in middle-aged and older married couples. Her current research investigates the impact of cancer and comorbidities on psychosocial quality of life of middle-aged and older married couples.
In honoring her for this award, OAGE noted, “Dr. Townsend is a dedicated researcher and first-rate research mentor. Those who know her speak of her ability to move seamlessly from the conceptualization of research questions, to the research design, to the implementation of primary data collection procedures, to the analysis and reporting of results. Dr. Townsend exemplifies excellence in research and shares her substantive expertise about gerontology and longitudinal research methodology by mentoring others. Beyond this, she is always willing to share helpful advice to support graduate students and early career researchers in efforts to successfully navigate personal and professional challenges. For many, Dr. Townsend is a role model for excellence in research through hard work, academic integrity, and compassion. She is clearly regarded as a leader in aging, family caregiving, and more recently end-of-life research. Dr. Townsend is extremely highly respected by her colleagues in both gerontology and social work, and she is most deserving of this award.”
OAGE is an association of educators, researchers, professionals, and students in Ohio dedicated to gerontological education, research and practice. It supports Ohio’s aging network as a resource for research and practice, and provides professional development for students, faculty and professionals.