All About Raeann Hamon

Dr. Raeann Hamon is Distinguished Professor of Family Science and Gerontology and Chair of the Human Development and Family Science Department at Messiah College, where she has served for more than 32 years. Hamon received her B.A. from Messiah College and her M.S., Gerontology Certificate, and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. Dr. Hamon teaches Sociology of Aging, Psychology of Aging, Family Theories, Family Life Education Methodology, and Interpersonal Relationships.She is editor of several books and the co-author of Exploring Family Theories. She has authored numerous journal articles and book chapters on topics such as intergenerational relationships, family theory, the discipline of family science, SoTL, and filial responsibility.

1. How long have you been a Faculty Affiliate/Center Associate/Certificate Alumna/Futures Board member at Virginia Tech, and what is your current appointment?

I was the first graduate student to receive Virginia Tech’s Graduate Certificate in Gerontology in 1986. Dr. William McAuley was the Center’s Director, and Dr. Jewel Ritchey was the Dean at the time.

2. How did you become interested in doing work on an aging population?

As a young person, I loved my grandparents and really enjoyed spending time with older adults. I’m not sure how to explain it other than that I was drawn to older adults.

3. Where are you headed now with your research, teaching, and/or outreach related to older adults?

When I was hired by Messiah College (32 years ago), one of the first things that I did was to create a minor in gerontology that can be paired with any major on campus.

I teach two of the courses for the minor (Sociology of Aging and Psychology of Aging). I also oversee some of our Aging Practicum.

Most of the outreach that I do with older adults is related to the intergenerational service learning in both of my classes. Sociology of Aging students are paired with Elder Service Partners and join them in serving the community via commitments elders have already made (e.g., food pantries, libraries, museums, churches) for 20 hours. Students select Elder Mentors for Psychology of Aging and spend a minimum of 10 hours over the course of the semester visiting or engaging in any sort of activity (crafting, gardening, etc).

Much of my research includes a number of SoTL projects, examining the extent to which various teaching strategies achieve the desired objectives. For instance, I recently collected more data on the impact of the Elder Service Partner intergenerational service-learning program (that I created for my Sociology of Aging course) for students and elders. I continue to largely present and publish on SoTL at this point.

I have also been writing textbooks and related disciplinary materials, though this is in the discipline of family science.

4.Are there upcoming developments in which you are involved that relate to older adults?

In 2015, I was pleased to have the Elder Service Partner Program (created for the Sociology of Aging course) recognized as a Generations United Program of Distinction, “meeting the standards of Generations United for quality intergenerational programming.”

5. Could you provide any fun facts about yourself?

My husband and I adopted our daughter from Guatemala 16 years ago. She is a major delight in my life. I enjoy antiquing, walking, gardening, and traveling with my husband and daughter,as well as spending time at our cabin.

6. Other—anything you would like to add

I was Dr. Rosemary Blieszner’s first doctoral student. She was as amazing then as she is now.