The Center for Gerontology serves as the organizational unit and focal point for aging-related activities at Virginia Tech. The center’s primary mission is to foster and facilitate multidisciplinary research that enhances the quality of life of older adults. In support of this mission, the center focuses primarily on three streams of coordinated research: Family Gerontology, Health and Aging, and Elder Rights.
Although the center is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, it has a university-wide purview, with more than 60 faculty affiliates representing seven colleges and 28 departments or units across campus.
Pamela Teaster, a professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, directs the center. Dr. Teaster has particular expertise in elder and vulnerable adult mistreatment; public and private guardianship for the elderly; end-of-life issues and decision-making; and ethical responses to human rights issues.
The center is the administrative unit for the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, a university-approved program of graduate study designed to offer learning experiences consistent with the recommendations of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. The focus on three core gerontology competency domains — aging processes and outcomes related to biological changes and health, dimensions of psychological functioning, and contemporary social and societal issues — assures the public of the quality of the program and its graduates and clarifies for employers the knowledge and skills imparted to students who earn a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology from Virginia Tech.