Rosemary Blieszner

Rosemary Blieszner

Rosemary Blieszner

Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences; Alumni Distinguished Professor of Human Development


College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Room 205
200 Stanger Street,
Blacksburg, VA 24061





  • Gerontology
  • Relationships and Well-Being
  • Mild Cognitive Impairment
  • Spirituality and Resiliency

Professional Activities

  • Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
  • Alumni Distinguished Professor
  • Assistant Vice Provost for Enrollment and Degree Management (2015–2017)
  • Associate Dean, Virginia Tech Graduate School (2009–2017)
  • Director of Strategic Planning, Office of the President, Virginia Tech (2001–2002)
  • President-elect, President, and Past President, Gerontological Society of America (2013–2015)


  • Ph.D. The Pennsylvania State University
  • M.S. The Ohio State University
  • B.A. Mercyhurst College

Research Interests

    Awards and Honors

    2016 — Charter Fellow, International Association for Relationship Research

    2012 — Distinguished Alumna Award for Outstanding Service to a Chosen Field, Mercyhurst University

    2006 — Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech

    2000 — Alumni Recognition Award, College of Health and Human Development, Pennsylvania State University

    Selected Publications


    Ramsey, J. L., & Blieszner, R. (2012). Spiritual resiliency and aging: Hope, relationality, and the creative self. Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing Company, Inc.

    Ramsey, J. L., & Blieszner, R. (1999). Spiritual resiliency in older women: Models of strength for challenges through the life span. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.  

    Edited Books

    Blieszner, R., & Bedford, V. H. (Eds.). (2012). Handbook of families and aging (2nd ed.). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.


    Savla, J., Wang, Z., Roberto, K. A., & Blieszner, R. (2016). Deficit awareness in persons with mild cognitive impairment and family care partners. Families, Systems, and Health. doi: 10.1037/fsh0000230

    Potter, E., Roberto, K. A., Brossoie, N., & Blieszner, R. (2016). “Decisions, decisions: African American families’ responses to Mild Cognitive Impairment.” Research on Aging. doi: 10.1177/0164027516655581

    Komelski, M., Blieszner, R., & Miyazaki, Y. (2016). “Curriculum, practice, and diet predict health status among experienced Taiji and Qigong practitioners.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

    Roberto, K. A., & Blieszner, R. (2015). “Diverse family structures and the care of older persons.” Canadian Journal on Aging, 34(3), 305–320. doi:10.1017/S0714980815000288

    Blieszner, R. (2014). “The worth of friendship: Can friends keep us happy and healthy?” Generations 38(1), 24–30.  

    Sponsored Research

    “Families in Rural Appalachia Caring for Older Relatives with Dementia.” Co-investigator with Joyti S. Savla & Karen A. Roberto. Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Research Award Fund, $45,000 (2016–2017).

    “Support for Editorial Office Operations, Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences.” Contract with Gerontological Society of America, $224,348 (2008–2012).

    “Caring for a Spouse with Mild Cognitive Impairment: Daily Challenges, Marital Relations, and Physiological Indicators of Health.” Co-investigator with Dr. Karen A. Roberto (PI) and Dr. Jyoti Savla (Co-investigator). Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Research Award Fund, Virginia Center on Aging, $40,000, (2008–09). 

    “Understanding Mild Cognitive Impairment: Family Dynamics and Diversity.” Co-investigator with Dr. Karen A. Roberto, PI. Alzheimer’s Association, # IIRG-07-59078, $240,000 (2007–10).