More AlumniAndres E. Carrillo
Roland J. Thorpe
April J. Stull
Tetyana P. Shippee
John Spruill III
How did you get interested in gerontology?
Growing up, my grandmother instilled a great sense of responsibility in me to value and respect older adults in our community. From an early age, I can remember visiting our community elders at nursing facilities and providing assistances with odds and ends around their home when they were no longer able to complete them. My educational interests in gerontology bloomed as a Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) Scholar, in which I completed a summer research project with Dr. Ken Ferraro in the Center on Aging and the Life Course. After completing the SROP program, I was determined to pursue and complete the dual-title gerontology program at Purdue.
What do you remember about your time in the Center on Aging and the Life Course? What were some of the most important experiences you had at Purdue that helped shape your career?
My most memorable experience during my time in CALC were the “R-squared” research meeting with Dr. Ferraro. My participation in these meetings were very valuable to both my professional development and research skills as an emerging scholar in the field. Two key experiences during my time at Purdue were my research assistantships at the Racial and Ethnic Epidemiology Center at the Indiana Minority Health Coalition and at the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering. Through these research assistantships I learned how to leverage my research skills to assists with local health initiatives and policies.
In what ways did your Purdue education help you in your career?
My completion of the dual-title PhD in Health Promotion and Gerontology has been very beneficial for my career, as it helped me identify my expertise, which is nestled at the intersection of health disparities and aging. The interdisciplinary focus of the program allowed me to take courses that helped inform my interested in disparities in minority health across the lifecourse, particularly as it relates to Black men’s health.
Who were your mentors and what were the attributes they had that helped you?
Drs. Ken Ferraro, Laura Sands, Gerald Hyner, and Haslyn Hunte were all very instrumental in mentoring me throughout my graduate career. All of my mentors were very encouraging, and willing to help me discover my niche in the field of gerontology. I am extremely grateful for their mentorship and support.
Anything else you would like to add?
I am very grateful for my time in the Center on Aging and the Life Course, and appreciate the mentorship and guidance from countless individuals at Purdue.