More AlumniKathryn Berlin
Andres E. Carrillo
Katie Hill Gallant
Tetyana P. Shippee
John Spruill III
April J. Stull
Roland J. Thorpe
Lindsay Wilkinson, PhD ('14)
Lindsay Wilkinson is an assistant professor of gerontology at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Her research primarily focuses on health, social stratification, and aging and the life course. Some of her current projects investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older adults living in rural and underserved areas and the health consequences of the economic recession over the life course.
Who were your mentors (formal and informal) in CALC? What made them effective mentors?
Ken Ferraro served as my primary mentor and advisor at Purdue. Ken is an outstanding mentor—supportive, caring, and incredibly generous with his time. I am grateful that he involved me in his research early on during my graduate studies and trained me to be an independent researcher. His door was always open, and he offered sage advice on topics important to my success in graduate school and beyond. Indeed, I still seek advice from him years after graduating from Purdue. Ken and his wife even invited me and my husband to local dance classes, and I enjoyed playing tennis with Ken and other faculty and graduate students! Drs. Jill Suitor and Sarah Mustillo also provided valuable mentoring to me. Both continue to offer guidance and support in my scholarly journey.
What was your favorite experience in the CALC gerontology program? What did you like about it?
It’s hard to name just one! I really enjoyed the regular colloquia and annual symposia. In addition to providing the highest-quality education, CALC fosters a strong sense of community. Each and every opportunity I had to interact with faculty and graduate students in the gerontology program enhanced my graduate experience. I formed close friendships and collaborations that continue to this day.
How has your interest in gerontology influenced or shaped your research agenda?
I view my research questions through the lens of gerontology. My interests are in social stratification and health, but I examine this relationship among older adults and over the life course. In doing so, my research draws on long-term, longitudinal data to better understand the life course dynamics of how stratification influences health—and how health influences stratification.
What professional achievement are you most proud of?
I received the society-wide 2014 Senior Service America Junior Scholar Award for Research Related to Disadvantaged Older Adults from Senior Service America, Inc., and the Gerontological Society of America. This award recognized a paper from my dissertation research on financial strain and mental health among older adults during the Great Recession. It eventually became my first sole-authored publication.