About Us

Topics in Gerontology is a collaborative effort between the Office of Geriatrics and Interprofessional Aging Studies at The Ohio State University and multiple colleges and departments across the OSU campus.  This collaboration brings the many benefits of interprofessional faculty knowledge, teaching and research directly to you, providing a unique and varied continuing education and professional development experience. In each of the modules, you will have an opportunity to learn about the faculty member(s) who have created the module.  The program staff and faculty are committed to bringing the latest state-of-the-art theories and research to your practice setting to enhance your work in gerontology.

Putting Research Into Practice

The Topics in Gerontology program originally grew out of research conducted at The Ohio State University College of Social Work by Dr. Keith A. Anderson, Andrea M. Cimbal, and Jeffrey J. Maile regarding "informal social supports" in the hair stylist community, titled "Hairstylists' Relationships and Helping Behaviors with Older Adult Clients."  This research highlights the broad interdisciplinary nature of aging and was the "tipping point" for the development of Topics in Gerontology as an innovative tool for assisting community providers -- "gatekeepers" who often serve as important links to help older adults age successfully in their homes and in their communities (hair stylists, bankers, delivery personnel, and others).  Dr. Anderson's research further supports the growing recognition of those providing services in the community often featured by the media and outlined in the Columbus Dispatch article titled, "Keeping Watch: Delivery Workers are Often Rescuers."   The community gatekeeper modules are identified as 100 level modules on the Modules home page.

All of the modules are categorized by level of instruction, making them appropriate for a wide audience of students -- administrators, direct care staff in long-term care and health care, social services providers, policy makers, clinicians, and the community gatekeepers who have interactions with older adults as they provide community-based services.    

Meet The Program Staff

Cynthia V. Dougherty, MSW, PhD, Director, Office of Geriatrics and Interprofessional Aging Studies  

Dr. Cynthia Dougherty is the Director of the Office of Geriatrics and Interprofessional Aging Studies at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.  She has a wide-range of experience serving children, families, older adults, and communities through direct practice, program development and evaluation, administration, and grant writing. She earned MSW with concentration in Administration and a PhD in Social Work from The Ohio State University.  She most recently served as the Intergenerational Program Manager for the Champion Intergenerational Enrichment and Education Center, an initiative of the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work, administered by the Office of Geriatrics and Interprofessional Aging Studies.  Cynthia has led projects involving agency service providers, leaders in county-wide public systems, decision-making stakeholders in social services, and affordable housing providers. She has also been involved in faculty-led research and evaluation projects, curriculum development and more. Her primary research interest includes interprofessional education and practice in healthcare. Cynthia has been teaching in the university environment for several years,  both in the classroom and through online distance education.  She is currently on the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education and serving as their membership chairperson.  In addition to being a proud Buckeye, she is a proud Ohio University and AmeriCorps alumna.





Michelle MyersMichelle Myers, MA, Program Manager, Office of Geriatrics and Interprofessional Aging Studies

Michelle is a Program Manager in the Office of Geriatrics and Interprofessional Aging Studies at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.  In this capacity, she assists in the development, integration and implementation of high quality on-line educational experiences designed for professionals and other individuals providing services to the older population in the community, healthcare facilities, hospitals and medical clinics.  Michelle also works with and manages students by promoting student interest and participation in on-line educational programs, and by educating medical students about national educational and research opportunities in aging.  Additionally, Michelle helps with the dissemination of other educational, informative, and beneficial projects that support caring for and providing services to the older population, including producing quarterly newsletters. Michelle has over 20 years of experience in medical education.