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Faculty Associates

Sonya Albury-CrandallMs. Sonya Albury-Crandall

Ms. Albury-Crandall has a distinguished history as an executive director and manager of strategic planning initiatives, innovative health and human services programs, marketing, communications, government relations and resource development. Ms. Albury-Crandall currently serves as a Research Associate at Clemson University and is responsible for administering components of a large federal grant (phases I and II) within the Architecture + Health Program, and conducting local and national research on healthcare facilities utilizing the Post Occupancy Evaluation (P.O.E.) methodology and case study analyses.

Dina Battisto

Dr. Dina Battisto

Dr. Battisto has studied the environmental influences on aging in place to identify the characteristics common among the homes and communities of older adults who chose to stay at home as long as possible. Quantitative analysis was performed using the Asset and Health Dynamics among the Oldest-Old (AHEAD) dataset, and content analysis was conducted from in-depth interviews with older single adults 80 years and older living in the greater community. She is also involved in a collaborative project with Dr. Judith Voelkl (PRTM) to create a “Family Model of Care” for nursing homes that includes the integration of a supportive organizational culture, a homelike environment, and meaningful activities. In another study, Dr. Battisto interviewed married couples from two cohorts to elicit information on their residential histories and the meanings attached to homes where they have lived throughout life. Her manuscripts about these projects include: “Environmental Influences on Aging in Place”; “A Family Model of Care: Creating Life Enriching Environments”; and “Gender Issues in the Home."

Johnell BrooksDr. Johnell Brooks

Dr. Brooks' research area is human factors psychology related to transportation. She studies road users' (both drivers and pedestrians) capabilities and limitations. Her primary research activity is investigating the relationship between how well road users think they are going to perform and how well they actually perform in challenging visual conditions.

Kelly CaineDr. Kelly Caine

Dr. Kelly Caine is an Associate Professor in the Human-Centered Computing division of the School of Computing. She has an MS and PhD in Engineering Psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology and her research interests are human factors, health informatics, privacy, human computer interaction, and designing for special populations such as older adults. One of her recent research projects has focused on the use of technology to support aging in place in rural communities.

Min CaoDr. Min Cao

Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive intracellular pathogen, which can cause serious food-borne infections in immunocompromised individuals, elderly individuals and pregnant women. Dr. Cao is using genetic, genomic and biochemical approaches to investigate the molecular mechanisms of L. monocytogenes pathogenesis and its adaptation to various stress conditions.

Lynne CoryDr. Lynne Cory

Her primary research interests include therapeutic recreation, quality of life across the lifespan for individuals with and without disabilities, as well as community-based inclusive recreation, and community integration and re-integration for individuals with developmental or acquired disabilities. Dr. Cory works with PRTM and other Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences faculty in the emphasis areas of Therapeutic Recreation (TR), and Community Recreation, Sports, and Camp Management (CRSCM) to identify research opportunities. With these PRTM and HEHD collaborators, Dr. Cory is engaged in the initial stages of several research projects including (1) a study examining effects of physical activity on individuals with physical disabilities who participate in community-based recreation and sports, (2) an initiative to reduce health disparities in Anderson County, South Carolina through a partnership of AnMed, HEHD, and Partners for a Healthy Community, and (c) an initiative to increase family involvement in Anderson County schools via community/school partnerships. In addition, Dr. Cory is interested in the development of sustainable youth sports programs, inclusive recreation, and physical activity in the Caribbean island of Dominica and is looking forward to research and student service learning projects there beginning in 2006.

Nicole DavisDr. Nicole Davis

Nicole Davis is a board certified Adult and Gerontological Nurse Practitioner with expertise in urinary incontinence, the needs of the aged, and using health information technology to support family caregivers. Davis has lectured and published on these topics; and has received several awards and funding for her work. Davis is a National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence Patricia G. Archbold Scholar, which recognizes her strong plan for research in gerontological nursing and her commitment to this highly relevant field. Davis received a BS in Nursing from New York University, and a MS in Adult Primary Care and Gerontological Nursing from Duke University. Davis is also a PhD candidate at the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions, Georgia State University.

Yuqing DongDr. Yuqing Dong

In partnership with local providers, two projects are underway to investigate the current state of end-of-life care in Upstate SC. The first project, Barriers to Seamless Transitions into Hospice, is an initiative with Interim Home Care and Hospice who serves 8 upstate counties, and the second is a project with GHS partners Profiling the Last Six Months of Life, a study exploring 2003 deaths in hospital settings. Dr. Craig is also the primary investigator on several graduate student projects of a similar nature with GHS Hospice and Spartanburg Regional Hospital. These studies will extend the sample size and lend credibility to findings about the current nature of EOL care in the upstate community and provide direction and priorities for change.

Cheryl J. DyeDr. Cheryl Dye

Dr. Dye has provided state and university leadership for several gerontology initiatives. From 2001 to 2006 she served as Chair of the Advisory Board for the South Carolina Center for Gerontology (SCCG) which included representatives from universities and aging agencies across the state.  In 2004, she led the SCCG in hosting the statewide, "Summit on Aging: Meeting Greater Elder Needs with Fewer Resources in South Carolina", which was sponsored by SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, SC Department of Health and Human Services, South Carolina Alliance 2020, and South Carolina Leadership in Public Service Program.  In 2006, she collaborated with USC, MUSC, Greenville Health System (GHS), and Palmetto Health to establish the South Carolina Aging Research Network (SCARN), which facilitates inter-institutional research in gerontology. Since then, Dr. Dye and her SCARN colleagues have hosted the annual Aging Research Day which features research conducted by faculty and graduate students at each member organization.  In 2006, Dr. Dye was appointed Director of the CU Institute for Engaged Aging (IEA).  In collaboration with SCARN members, the IEA hosted Aging Research Day in 2009, 2012, and 2015. Also in 2006, Dr. Dye collaborated with USC, GHS, and Palmetto Health to submit a proposal to establish a Center of Economic Excellence (CoEE) called SeniorSMART which was approved by the Commission on Higher Education in 2007.  SeniorSMART includes three Endowed Chairs, one of which was awarded to CU.  Efforts to fill the CU Endowed Chair in Senior Mobility and Physical Functioning are underway.

From 2012-2013, Dr. Dye represented the College of Health and Human Development and the IEA in co-sponsoring with GHS the conference "Transforming Healthcare with Compassionate Healthcare of Our Aging Community: a Focus on the Care of Aging Patients and Dementia".  After serving as PI on a 2014 Governmental Affairs proposal to address veteran needs in collaboration with GHS, Upstate Warrior Solution, and IEA Faculty Associates, Dr. Dye led the same collaborators in planning and hosting the conference, "Coming Home: Key Transitions for Warriors and Families" was held on June 18, 2015 with over 120 registrants.

Since 2001, Dr. Dye’s research has focused on promoting quality of life of older adults. She has received over $1.5M in funding as a Principal Investigator (PI) from agencies including National Institutes of Health (NIH), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Kellogg Foundation, the Duke Endowment, the USDA, and the Veteran’s Administration. As a Co-Investigator, she has received on additional $4M in research funding. Most of her funded research has focused on promoting chronic disease self-management skills of older adults through use of community-based, peer health coaching and on promoting health and quality of life of those with dementia and their family caregivers.

Dr. Dye served as PI on two projects funded by HRSA and a third one funded by the USDA to develop models using community-based, peer Health Coaches to mentor older adults in chronic condition self-management who reside in the rural upstate area of South Carolina. In the first project (2006 -2010), conducted with IEA Faculty Associate, Dr. Deborah Willoughby (Nursing), use of community Health Coaches significantly reduced readmissions of Home Health patients with diabetes or cardiovascular disease. The second and third projects, Health Coaches for Hypertension Control (HCHC), focused on hypertension self-management (2009-2013; 2012-2013), were conducted with Faculty Associates Dr. Joel Williams and Ms. Janet Evatt. HCHC was effective in reducing systolic blood pressure, waist circumference, BMI and weight among study participants.  Dr. Dye is now collaborating with Faculty Associate Dr. Michelle Parisi to implement HCHC across the state through the CU Extension Service.

From 2007 to 2008, Dr. Dye collaborated with researchers at MUSC and USC on the project, "South Carolina Aging Research Network (SCARN) Infrastructure Core," funded by Health Sciences South Carolina.  This award supported the first year of a 3-year study to examine stroke incidence, physician practices with post-stroke patients, and patient adherence with post-stroke and secondary stroke prevention regimens.  The CU/GHS portion of the project was develop and implement a lay health advisor program in which Health Coaches mentor post-stroke patients in rehabilitation and secondary stroke prevention.

From 2007 to 2015, Dr. Dye was Principal Investigator on a subcontract with V. Hirth, PI at USC, for the project, "Palmetto State Geriatric Education Center", which was funded and renewed by HRSA.  The IEA collaborated with GHS, USC School of Medicine and MUSC Center on Aging to improve the training of health professionals in geriatrics.  As part of her work, Dr. Dye developed health literacy curricula and conducted trainings for healthcare providers and undergraduate students.

Dr. Dye serves as a Co-Investigator on the project, Enhancing mHealth Technology in the PCMH Environment to Activate Chronic Care Patients (R. Gimbel (PI) funded by the USAMRMC/DoD (2014-2018).  As faculty lead for the Patient Activation Group, she leads development of tailored health messages designed to activate patients to better self-manage their diabetes. A majority of study participants are between 50 and 70 years of age.

In a second research agenda, Dr. Dye has collaborated with IEA Faculty Associates, USC, and GHS to improve care for those with dementia and their caregivers. In 2012, she led a team including Dr. Hiep Pham from GHS and Julie Eggert (Nursing) and Ellen Vincent (Horticulture) as well as Veronica Parker (Nursing) to develop and conduct the project, "Environmental Approaches to Increase Engagement and Reduce Dementia-Related Disordered Behaviors of Those with ADRD" funded by the Institute for Advancement of Healthcare. Results from this project revealed that exposure to participant-preferred music and nature images can reduce disordered behaviors of those with dementia  

She and collaborators at USC are co-investigators with PI, Dr. James Davis (GHS), on the project, "GHS-REACH: A Caregiver Coaching Intervention for High Risk Patient/Caregivers to Extend Dementia Capable Services" funded by Administration on Aging (2015-2018).  She has also served as a consultant to Dr. Davis on his project funded by the Duke Endowment Foundation (2014-2017) to expand and evaluate services of the GHS Memory Health Program.  Funding from both the Duke Endowment and AoA awards supported Dr. Dye’s post-doctoral fellow in 2014-2016 and currently supports a doctoral student in 2016-2018.

In Fall 2016, Dr. Dye served as PI on an NIH R-01 proposal with IEA Faculty Associate Nicole Davis (Nursing), Kapil Madathil (Civil Engineering), James McCubbin (Psychology), Michelle Parisi (Extension), Kathleen Valentine (Nursing), and Lingling Zhang (Public Health). The goal of the proposed project, Activating Rural Alzheimer’s Caregivers for Self-Care (ARACS), is to enable rural family caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s Disease to provide effective care while sustaining their own health. Direct - $2,482,124. Indirect - $1,246,780. Total $3,728,904.  In review (1-2017).

Dr. Dye’s teaching activities have also focused on improving quality of life for those with dementia and their caregivers.  Through the past six semesters of Creative Inquiry, her students established a program for those in early to mid-stage dementia at various community settings.  The program is now institutionalized at a local church through creation of a governing board, receipt of funding from the state’s Office on Aging, and employment of a part-time Director.  Dr. Dye’s students continue to provide activities in the program and to regularly offer a "Brain Fitness Camp" to residents of Clemson Downs, a local retirement community.  Dr. Dye’s past Post-Doctoral Fellow, Dr. Xi Pan, and current doctoral student, Caitlin Torrence, are both actively engaged in her research and teaching activities involving older adults with dementia.

In addition to mentoring Public Health Sciences undergraduates and doctoral students in research benefiting older adults, Dr. Dye has served, or is serving, on the following graduate student committees in other departments:

Dissertation committee member 2017-2019
Janet Donnelly, MA
Doctoral Student, Psychology
Working Title: "The Role of Financial Factors in the Decision to Retire"

Dissertation committee member 2016-2018
Pai Liu
Doctoral Student, Department of Planning, Design and the Built Environment
College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities
Working Title: "Planning Retirement Communities for Chinese Elderly in US"

Dissertation Committee member 2015-2016
Theresa Atkinson, M.S.
Ph.D. degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology
"Disability and Employment: The Role of Social Skills, Social Support, and Core Self-evaluations"
Graduation: May 2016

Dissertation committee member 2014-2016
Maciel Ugalde
PhD Degree in Food Technology
"Evaluating Nutritional Risk of Older Adults Participating in the South Carolina Older Americans Act Programs"
Graduation – December 2016

Thesis committee member 2014-2016
Tatiana Epimakhova
Master’s Degree in Healthcare Architecture
"Age-segregated vs Age Integrated Communities"
Graduation – May 2016

Doctoral committee member 2013-2015
Christine B. Haltiwanger, DrPH Candidate
University of Georgia, Athens
"An Introspection into the Nutritional Health Status and Activity of Daily Living (ADL) Indicators for Older South Carolina Residents: Program Evaluations of State-Based Older Adult Programs"
Graduation – December 2015

Thesis committee member 2010-2013
Catalina Aragon
Master’s Degree in Food, Nutrition and Culinary Sciences
"Costa Rican Longevity and Healthy Aging Study: Inflammation, diet and disease"
Graduation – May 2013

Thesis committee member 2010-2011
Heather Bachman
Master’s Degree in Healthcare Architecture
"Built Environment for Dementia Day Services"
Graduation – May 2011

Contact and Read More about Dr. Cheryl Dye.


Julie EggertDr. Julie Eggert

Dr. Julie Eggert is a Professor and Coordinator of the PhD in Healthcare Genetics Program in the School of Nursing. Her clinical specialties are gerontological nursing and oncology and her research interests are breast cancer (early detection and prevention) and nursing home culture change interventions. She is also interested in identifying what environmental stimuli can increase engagement of demented elders. Dr. Eggert and colleagues developed the tool, Individualized Dementia Engagement & Activity Scale (IDEAS), that can be used by nursing home personnel to measure engagement of elders with dementia. The tool is currently being used in Dr. Eggert’s funded research which examines the impact that music and nature images have on the engagement of nursing home residents with dementia.

Dale Layfield

Dr. Dale Layfield

Dr. Layfield uses Intergenerational Service-Learning in his course, Ag Ed 200 (Agricultural Applications of Educational Technology) in a program titled "Joining Wisdom with Youth Through Bits and Bytes: Computer Skills Development Through Intergenerational Service Learning". The primary objective of this program is to integrate computer-based experiential learning for undergraduate students and Clemson Downs (a local retirement community) residents in a unique setting where both groups mutually benefit beyond the traditional outcomes of Service-Learning.

Dr. Luo’s recent research primarily focuses on three interrelated areas: social determinants of health, life course and aging, and gender and family relationships. Her research examines the relationship between socioeconomic status and health over the life course, and whether these relationships can be generalized to different populations and different societies. Her work examines how life transitions in old age, such as retirement, grandparenting, living arrangements, and life events, such as elder abuse and mistreatment, affect health and well-being of older adults. Dr. Ye Luo

Dr. Luo’s recent research primarily focuses on three interrelated areas: social determinants of health, life course and aging, and gender and family relationships. Her research examines the relationship between socioeconomic status and health over the life course, and whether these relationships can be generalized to different populations and different societies. Her work examines how life transitions in old age, such as retirement, grandparenting, living arrangements, and life events, such as elder abuse and mistreatment, affect health and well-being of older adults. Her research focuses particularly on how social services and social support at individual, family, community and societal levels modify these relationships.

Dr. Kapil Chalil Madathil

Dr. Kapil Chalil Madathil

Dr. Chalil Madathil’s area of expertise is in applying the knowledge base of human factors engineering to the design and operation of human-computer systems that involve rich interactions among people and technology. His research covers the entire spectrum of system design: from identifying the user needs to designing and developing systems that inform and motivate user behavior and empirically evaluating the efficacy of these interventions. He draws on qualitative and quantitative methodologies including ethnography, contextual inquiry, surveys and controlled behavioral experiments to understand how humans perceive, make sense of, and interact with complex human-machine systems. His research in human factors engineering primarily focuses on designing and developing computer systems for complex environments in healthcare. He has explored how anecdotal information influences a healthcare consumer’s decision-making process, including the development and empirical evaluation of interface designs to support the decision making process when inaccurate anecdotal information is provided to the consumers. In addition to this research, he was part of the team that designed and developed the Research Permissions Management System (RPMS), a comprehensive statewide health information system designed for electronically capturing and managing informed consents, research authorizations and patient permissions in both clinical care and research settings. More recently, his work is focused on the design and development of telemedicine systems; specifically evaluating the nuances associated with such systems, when used to interact with older patients.

James A. McCubbin, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and Public Health Sciences (adjunct) at Clemson University.Dr. James A. McCubbin

James A. McCubbin, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and Public Health Sciences (adjunct) at Clemson University. He also serves as a Faculty Scholar at the Institute for Advancement of Health Care, University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville.  He received his PhD in Psychology and Neurobiology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He has served on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Duke Medical Center and the Department of Behavioral Science at the College of Medicine, University of Kentucky. He came to Clemson University as department chair and developed one of the nation’s first graduate training programs in Occupational Health Psychology. He is a Founding Member of the Society for Occupational Health Psychology, and a Fellow of the Academy for Behavioral Medicine Research, the Society for Behavioral Medicine, and the American Psychological Association’s Division of Health Psychology and Division of Comparative and Behavioral Neuroscience.

Dr. McCubbin’s research on the role of stress in the origins, treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for over 20 years.   He has published extensively on central nervous system control of blood pressure, pain sensitivity, and perception of emotion.  He is active in grant proposal review for both NIH and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and he served as Chair of NIH’s Behavioral Medicine review committee.

Francis McGuire

Dr. Francis McGuire

Dr. McGuire is a leader of the Clemson University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. The goal of the program is to offer opportunities to upstate residents to expand their educational horizons in a format that best suits their lifestyles. Classes are rarely more than ten sessions in length, and most are eight or fewer with no prerequisite educational requirements for attendance. Group interaction is encouraged, and, as a result, many new friendships are made. Although largely attended by retirees, the classes are in no way restricted to any one age group. The institute is a non-profit educational organization composed almost completely of volunteers; only the director holds a part-time paid position. Some of the teachers are retired or active faculty members from area colleges and universities.

Jennifer OgleDr. Jennifer Ogle

Dr. Ogle’s research area is transportation infrastructure design and safety. She studies road design and operations with a particular focus on the safety effects of the road-vehicle-driver system. Dr. Ogle’s primary research area is in the use of instrumented vehicles to measure operator performance and compliance with design assumptions. Understanding how, when, and where drivers comply with speed limits, stop signs, and other traffic devices will inform designers and enable the development of a user-centered road system. In particular, Dr. Ogle is interested in the study of young and older driver populations due to the safety challenges associated with these groups.

Stephanie M. Ruhl received a PhD in Health Communication from the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University. She joined the faculty in the Department of Communication Studies at Clemson University in August 2014. Stephanie teaches upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in health communication, qualitative research methods, and communication theory. In addition to her role as a Faculty Associate for the Institute of Engaged Aging, she also serves as a Faculty Fellow for Clemson’s Service Alliance, a group of scholars dedicated to experiential service-learning and community-based research. Dr. Stephanie M. Ruhl

 Stephanie M. Ruhl received a PhD in Health Communication from the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University. She joined the faculty in the Department of Communication Studies at Clemson University in August 2014. Stephanie teaches upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in health communication, qualitative research methods, and communication theory. In addition to her role as a Faculty Associate for the Institute of Engaged Aging, she also serves as a Faculty Fellow for Clemson’s Service Alliance, a group of scholars dedicated to experiential service-learning and community-based research.

Dr. Ruhl’s scholarly agenda is guided by aesthetic, narrative, and pragmatist sensibilities and focuses on the relational dynamics of communicative experiences in health, healing, and healthcare. Specifically, she seeks to identify and celebrate interpersonal and organizational practices that cultivate inclusive, compassionate communities amidst the inevitable vulnerabilities that shape our lives. Her research and advocacy efforts to date include a variety of contexts and topics including: hospice care, Alzheimer’s and dementias, caregiver social support, geriatric and pediatric end-of-life care, humanizing communicative practices in medicine, integration of arts and narrative programming in healthcare contexts, and enhancing social and emotional health of senior citizens through active community involvement. In 2014, Stephanie also completed a five-day immersion training retreat with the Memory Bridge organization whose aim is to end the social isolation of people with dementia through our learning how to be with them in emotionally and spiritually sustaining ways. As result, she is now embraces her role as a trained Memory Bridge Ambassador and has dedicated herself to pursuing creative ways to serve and enrich the lives of individuals living with dementia.

In her first year as a member of the Clemson community, she collaborated with Clemson Downs to develop a formal partnership presenting a variety of service learning opportunities for Clemson University students across all levels of geriatric care – the primary goal of this partnership being to work toward cultivating a more compassionate community that includes and values its senior citizens. In the summer of 2015, this partnership continued to evolve, as did the Clemson Downs community, and now includes a Creative Studio for the integration of creative arts in the new Memory Care facility.

Mary Anne Taylor

Dr. Mary Anne Taylor

Dr. Taylor is currently involved in understanding the incentives that lead white-collar retirees to return to work, and she is also interested in understanding the needs of low-income older workers. Recent publications include "Recruiting and Retaining Talented Older Workers" in Thriving on an Aging Workforce and "Predicting the Retirement Adjustment of Military Retirees: The Central Role of Expectations."

Kathleen ValentineDr. Kathleen Valentine

Kathleen Valentine is Director of Clemson’s School of Nursing, Associate Dean of CBSHS, and Chief Nursing Academic Officer of Greenville Health System. Valentine is an international leader in nursing education having held positions as Dean of nursing at the University of New Brunswick, Canada as well  associate dean positions at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Health Professions;  Florida State University’s College of Nursing; and department chair and associate professor at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.  Valentine has also held various clinical positions, including Director for Patient Care Services at Kaiser Permanente, director of the Memory and Wellness Center and Diabetes Center at the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University. She has also led regional and national initiatives to advance professional nursing practice and consulted with national and international health care organizations that range from Mayo Clinic to the Moscow Psychologic Institute. Valentine’s research focuses on the economic value of human caring, nurse-managed primary care clinics, and interprofessional collaboration related to services for the aging.  Her leadership in complex health care organizations across the United States includes hospital systems, large multi-specialty physician practices, health care insurers, and academic nursing. She is past president of the International Association for Human Caring and founding editor for the International Journal for Human Caring, she is also author of the book "Health Care System Transformation for Nursing and Health Care Leaders: Implementing a Culture of Caring."

Van PuymbroeckDr. Marieke Van Puymbroeck

Dr. Marieke Van Puymbroeck, CTRS, FDRT is a rehabilitation scientist and recreational therapist who received a graduate certificate in Gerontology from the University of Florida. Her research focuses primarily on the use of yoga as a therapeutic intervention, and has been applied to individuals with stroke, breast cancer, fibromyalgia, and informal caregivers. A secondary line of research interest includes health promotion through exercise for individuals with transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke. Along with her co-investigators, Dr. Van Puymbroeck’s research has been funded by the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Clinical and Transitional Sciences Institute, as well as a number of local agencies. At Clemson, Dr. Van Puymbroeck serves as the coordinator of the Therapeutic Recreation program. Professionally, she holds a number of associate editorships, including the Journal of Leisure Research, the Therapeutic Recreation Journal, and the American Journal of Recreation Therapy, and she serves on the Stroke Special Interest Group Movement Taskforce for the American Congress for Rehabilitation Medicine.

Julie VidottoMs. Julie Vidotto

Julie Vidotto is the new director of Clemson University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), a 1,000-member continuing education program for adults age 50 and older.

Vidotto comes to Clemson after a 20-year career in museum and public garden education program administration, serving as director of education for the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, N.C., and director of visitor education/services at the Chicago Botanic Garden. She held positions at the Hillwood Museum and Gardens in Washington, D.C., and the Callaway Gardens/Ida Cason Callaway Foundation in Pine Mountain, Ga.

Vidotto holds a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership from Western Carolina University, a Master of Arts in teaching degree from George Washington University and an undergraduate degree in ornamental horticulture from the University of Maryland. Her professional interests lie in understanding how organizations support complex partnership endeavors, with her most recent research exploring successful multi-agency collaborations in community colleges.

Part of the university’s parks, recreation and tourism management department, OLLI at Clemson is a continuing education program and membership organization for adults age 50 and older. The institute offers lectures, courses, excursions and social events, as well as access to Clemson events and resources.

Since its start in 2000, the program has grown from 85 to more than 1,000 members. The institute holds approximately 215 classes each year in interest areas that include technology, fine arts, culture, travel, nature and fitness, among others. The program is housed in the Charles K. Cheezem Education Center at Patrick Square in Clemson.

OLLI at Clemson is supported by the Bernard Osher Foundation, a San Francisco-based organization founded by businessman and community leader Bernard Osher that seeks to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts. The foundation supports 117 OLLI organizations in the United States, all of which are associated with a major college.

Ellen VincentDr. Ellen Vincent

Ellen Vincent, Ph.D. is an Environmental Landscape Specialist and an instructor in Environmental Horticulture at Clemson University who has done focused research on nature and health. Dr. Vincent has studied the impact of nature images on patient outcomes and her most recent research has involved the use of nature images with Alzheimer’s patients to increase engagement and reduce disordered behaviors.

Dr. Laura Whitlock

Dr. Whitlock is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology. Her research interests include:

  • Design and use of mobile technology for health self-management
  • Internet health forums and the management of chronic illnesses
  • Decision aids and automated support to promote performance and learning
  • Game-based cognitive training programs for older adults

Dr. Joel E. WilliamsDr. Joel E. Williams

Dr. Williams completed undergraduate training in exercise science and sports medicine, graduate training in health promotion, education and behavior, and in applied statistics. He completed postdoctoral training in evidence based public health, and in pediatric obesity prevention and health promotion. Joel's practical experience includes working as a Certified Athletic Trainer in an outpatient physical therapy setting, a Certified Health/Fitness Instructor for a large hospital-based fitness center, and a Chronic Disease Program Evaluator at the state health department level. Joel’s research interests include: health promotion, physical activity and nutrition behavior, obesity and chronic disease prevention and control, program evaluation, and applied measurement in public health sciences.

Joel has worked on research projects funded through CDC, NIH, HRSA and USDA. He and his colleagues have completed evaluation contracts for private foundations, the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, and the SC Department of Agriculture. He is a Co-Investigator (Evaluator) with Dr. Cheryl Dye on her Health Coaches for Hypertension Control projects.

Dr. Williams is consistently engaged in service at the state, local, university, college, and departmental levels. At the national and international levels, he is a member of the Nutrition and Physical Activity Subcommittee of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Nutrition and Health Committee for Program Planning and Guidance. He is also Co-Chair of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Exercise is Medicine® Community Health Committee, which is charged with promoting the Exercise is Medicine® initiative (broadly) and providing guidance on improving linkages between medical systems and communities (specifically).

Joel has been a peer reviewer for the following journals: Obesity; Journal of Rural Social Sciences; BMC Public Health; Maternal and Child Nutrition; Health Education Research; Athletic Training and Sports Health Care; Journal of Public Health Management and Practice; Health Promotion Practice; International Journal of Exercise Science; Infant, Child, and Adolescent Nutrition; American Journal of Health Behavior; Public Health Nutrition; American Journal of Preventive Medicine; Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Dr. Williams is also a Review Board Member for the American Journal of Health Behavior (since 2008), Editorial Board Member (since 2011) and Guest Editor for Family and Community Health (April 2013 issue), and is the Psychology and Behavior Section Editor for the International Journal of Exercise Science (since 2011).

Deborah WilloughbyDr. Deborah Willoughby

Dr. Willoughby has partnered with with Senior Solutions centers for providing diabetes education and development of an exercise video for older clients. Data analysis from this work (pre-post Hgb A1c, knowledge test, etc) is ongoing. Dr. Willoughby is co-investigator with Dr. Cheryl Dye on a project funded by the federal DHHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). In this project, “Helping Rural Elders Transition From Home Health to Chronic Disease Self Management Through Paraprofessional Outreach”, community members are trained as Health Coaches to mentor older adults in rural areas to manage their diabetes, cardiovascular disease and congestive heart failure.

Vivian Haley-ZitlinDr. Vivian Haley-Zitlin

Dr. Haley-Zitlin’s research activities include examination of 1) the influences of food intake & exercise on an aging population, especially on the initiation and progression of chronic disease, 2) the relationships between nutrient intake, food choices and nutrition knowledge on type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular (CV) risk and 3) the role of protein (soy vs. casein) and/or isoflavone intake on obesity, diabetes and CV risk factors. Her training includes a NIA Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Nutritional Gerontology Program, Departments of Physiology and Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, 1991-1994. She is the 2004-2005 USDA Panel Manager for the ‘Bioactive Food Components for Optimal Health’ Study Section.

Dr. Lingling ZhanDr. Lingling Zhang

Dr. Lingling Zhang has research interests in promoting equitable access to care and improving the quality of care for the frail elder from the perspective of both care receivers and caregivers. She has worked on the comparison of aging challenges internationally, and would like to particularly examine the equitable access to geriatric mental health services and its implications for financing, human resources, and education. She also has interest in researching community-based long-term care such as evaluating the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).