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Faculty Associates

Dina BattistoDr. 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."

Dr. Kaileigh Byrne Dr. Kaileigh Byrne

Dr. Kaileigh Byrne is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at Clemson University. Her research broadly investigates the effect of aging on goal-directed and habit-based decision-making. She is working to develop methods that promote positive goal setting and maladaptive habit breaking. In particular, she examines how aging affects health-related and financial decisions strategies, cognitive biases, susceptibility to misinformation, and responsivity to feedback. Current research endeavors in my lab seek to (1) characterize neurophysiological markers of age-related adaptive decision-making, (2) identify mechanisms of how and why decision-making changes across the lifespan, and (3) improve goal-directed decision-making across the lifespan by employing decision aids and biofeedback techniques.

Kelly CaineDr. Kelly Caine

Dr. Kelly Caine is Dean’s Professor in the Human-Centered Computing Division of the School of Computing at Clemson University. This academic year (2019-2020), she holds the CURI fellowship, which has enabled her to spend the year at Clemson’s Charleston campus. Dr. Caine is the founder and director of the Humans and Technology Lab ( where she leads multidisciplinary research in human-centered computing, privacy, usable security, cybersecurity, health informatics, and human-computer interaction. Her work in these areas has been recognized with awards from the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, the National Science Foundation, the American Public Health Association, and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. She is co-author of Understanding Your Users: A Practical Guide to User Research (2015; with Catherine Courage and Kathy Baxter) and has published over one hundred academic manuscripts in venues ranging from ACM CHI to the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. Dr. Caine loves teaching students about science and has mentored over 60 students, ranging from undergraduates to post-doctoral fellows, as research assistants in her lab. Prior to joining Clemson, she was the Principal Research Scientist in the School of Computing at Indiana University and a UX researcher at Google. Dr. Caine holds degrees from the University of South Carolina (B.A.) and the Georgia Institute of Technology (M.S. and Ph.D.). For more see

Min CaoDr. Min Cao

Dr. Min Cao is an Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Coordinator for Microbiology in the Biological Sciences Department at Clemson University. Research in the Cao lab focuses on the inter-kingdom communications, i.e. the communications between bacteria and their hosts. Dr. Cao is also studying the effects of low concentrations of alcohol consumption on health span in the nematode model, Caenorhabditis elegans

Shelia CottenDr. Shelia Cotten

Shelia Cotten, a sociologist, is the Associate Vice President for Research Development and a Provost’s Distinguished Professor at Clemson University. She has joint faculty appointments in the Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice Department and the Department of Communication. Her research examines technology use across the life course, and the health, social, educational, and workforce impacts of technology use. Much of her research has focused on the digital divide and digital inequalities, with a special emphasis on helping older adults to successfully use emerging technologies to enhance their health and quality of life. Her current research focuses on perceptions, use, and impacts of emerging technologies – such as autonomous vehicles, wearables, and smart homes. Her research has been funded by the National Institute on Aging, the National Science Foundation, and other organizations. Before joining Clemson, Dr. Cotten was Michigan State University Foundation Professor and Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University.

Dr. Nicole DavisDr. Nicole Davis

Dr. Nicole Davis is an Assistant Professor and the Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner and MSN-Education Program Coordinator at Clemson University.  She is a board-certified Adult and Gerontological Nurse Practitioner with a career that spans 21 years.  Davis has expertise in urinary incontinence, geriatrics, and using health information technology to support family caregivers. She 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 Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing, which recognizes her commitment to gerontological nursing education and the care of older adults. Davis is a Faculty Associate in the Clemson University Institute for Engaged Aging, a Clemson University School of Health Research Faculty Scholar, an Embedded Scholar at Prisma Health-Center for Success in Aging, a member of the Board of Directors of Upstate Area Health Education Consortium, and a member of the SC Lieutenant Governor’s Alzheimer’s Resource Coordination Center Advisory Council. She has served as an expert consultant for the AARP and is a National Institute on Aging, Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research Scientist. She received a BS from New York University, MS from Duke University, and a PhD from Georgia State University.

John DesJardinsDr. John DesJardins

Dr. DesJardins is the Hambright Leadership associate professor in Bioengineering at Clemson University and the director of the Frank H. Stelling and C. Dayton Riddle Orthopaedic Education and Research Laboratory at CUBEInC. He has co-authored over 250 peer-reviewed conference or journal publications in the areas of biomechanics, tribology, engineering education and implant design. He actively engages in many professional societies and review panels, including BMES, ASEE, VentureWell, ORS, NIH and NSF. His multi-disciplinary research teams have been funded through NASA, DoT, NIH, DoD, NSF, the Gates Foundation, and numerous biomedical industry contracts. His work has been featured on TEDx and The Academic Minute on NPR. He directs the bioengineering senior capstone design program, leads a bioengineering study abroad program in bioethics to Spain each summer, and he directs the NIH funded Clemson-GHS summer needs-finding experience for bioengineering students called DeFINE. Much of his work focuses on rehabilitation processes, and the design and function of orthopaedic devices that enhance the quality of life for older adults.

Cheryl J. Dye

Dr. Cheryl Dye

Dr. Cheryl Dye, Professor Emerita of Public Health Sciences and Director of the Institute for Engaged Aging at Clemson University, has provided state and university leadership for several gerontology initiatives for the past 15 years.  Leadership positions have included: past chair of the SC Center for Gerontology, co-founder and past chair of the SC Aging Research Network, appointed current member of the SC Advisory Council on Aging, and invited current member of the state Alzheimer's Association Advisory Board. Since 2001, Dr. Dye’s research has focused on promoting quality of life of older adults, primarily through the use of community-based Health Coaches. She received two grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to develop a community health coach model for delivering one-on-one mentoring to discharged home health patients and to develop a community health coach model using small groups to promote hypertension self-management. The hypertension program, Health Coaches for Hypertension Control (HCHC), was designated in 2018 by DHHS as an Evidence-Based Program and since that time, Dr. Dye has disseminated HCHC in six states. In addition to her research in chronic condition self-management, she has also been funded to promote the health and quality of life of those with dementia and their family caregivers and to reduce fall risk of rural older adults.  She led efforts to establish two community programs providing enriching activities to those with early to mid-stage dementia which are ongoing in Oconee and Pickens counties.  Dr. Dye has received over $5.5M in funding as a Principal and Co-Investigator from agencies including National Institutes of Health (NIH), HRSA, the Kellogg Foundation, the Duke Endowment, USDA, Veteran’s Administration, and Administration for Community Living (ACL).  In 2020, she was invited to present at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging conference about her collaborations with Health Extension to promote older adult chronic condition self-management and also her establishment of the dementia day program, IEA Brain Health Club. 

Anjali JosephDr. Anjali Joseph

Dr. Joseph is Professor of Architecture, Spartanburg Regional Health System Endowed Chair in Architecture + Health Design and Director of the Center for Health Facilities Design and Testing at Clemson University. Dr. Joseph teaches in the graduate program in Architecture + Health at Clemson University where she trains Architecture students in designing healthcare environments to support patient, staff and organizational outcomes.  Joseph’s research focuses on multi-disciplinary systems approaches to improving patient safety and quality in high stress healthcare settings through the development of tools and built environment solutions. She has served as principal investigator on multiple grant funded projects from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Kresge Foundation, the California HealthCare Foundation and the US Green Building Council. She currently serves as PI on a multi-year patient safety learning lab funded by AHRQ focused on designing safer and more ergonomic operating rooms. Anjali’s work has been published in many peer-reviewed journals and she has spoken widely to national and international audiences. She was recognized as Researcher of the Year in 2018 by the Healthcare Design Magazine.

Dr. Karen A. Kemper, Associate ProfessorDr. Karen Kemper, Associate Professor

Dr. Kemper is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Science at Clemson University. Her research has focused on physical activity promotion, obesity prevention and chronic illness prevention and management. She has expertise in conducting research in community settings (schools, churches, housing projects, community centers, senior centers, afterschool settings, and a Historically Black College), conducting physical activity and functional mobility assessments, working with minority populations, and training student research assistants. Recently, Dr. Kemper co-authored a paper titled Merging Matter of Balance and Yoga: A Falls Prevention Pilot, published in OBM Geriatrics 2020.  She is a co-investigator on a grant from the Pete and Sally Smith Foundation with the goal of facilitating the environmental and system level changes needed to institutionalize a fall prevention screening, referral and intervention process in a small rural hospital. She is also the primary investigator for a subcontract funded by a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant to promote physical activity and health among children and families in the Monaview Elementary School afterschool program. Dr. Kemper is interested in the role that health fitness and functional fitness can play in protecting health, mobility and independence across the lifespan. Dr. Kemper is also the co-author of the book “If you have to wear an ugly dress, learn to accessorize: Guidance, Inspiration and Hope for women with Lupus, scleroderma and other autoimmune Illnesses”.

Dale Layfield

Dr. Dale Layfield

Dr. Dale Layfield, Associate Professor of Agricultural Education at Clemson University, uses Intergenerational Service-Learning in his course, Ag Ed 2000 (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 seniors in a unique setting where both groups mutually benefit beyond the traditional outcomes of Service-Learning. Most recently, Dr. Layfield’s students taught uses of digital scanning equipment at Clemson University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He presented this research at the 45th Annual National Research Conference of the American Association for Agricultural Education in Charleston, SC.

Dr. Ye Luo 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. Dr. Luo’s work examines how life transitions in old age, such as retirement, grand parenting, 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. Recently, Dr. Luo has observed how an individual’s neighborhood environment has an effect on cognitive decline among older adults and middle-aged people in China. She has been published in the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, Social Science & Medicine, and American Journal of Epidemiology.  Dr. Luo has recently received an NIA grant to further study the mechanisms and moderating factors in the effects of neighborhood environments and cognitive decline among older Chinese adults.

Dr. Kapil Chalil MadathilDr. 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 a 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. Dr. McCubbin 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. Dr. McCubbin 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. An NIH conference grant focused on cutting-edge research in cancer, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and other top chronic disease killers. He has published extensively on central nervous system control of blood pressure, pain sensitivity, and perception of emotion. Dr. McCubbin’s research has been featured in Psychosomatic Medicine. 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.


Dr. Winifred Elysse Newman

Winifred Elysse Newman is a Professor of Architecture and Director of iMSE. Her research concentrates on spatial perception in architecture, ecological psychology, responsive and smart environments and neuroaesthetics with active research in data visualization, mapping, STEM learning environments, aging and adaptive environments and histories of technology and science. She received funding from the National Science Foundation, FIU, UA, Harvard, the Graham Foundation and others. Dr. Newman was a Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin with additional fellowships from the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Susan O’Hara, PhD, MPH, RNDr. Susan O’Hara

Susan O’Hara, PhD, MPH, RN is a post-doctoral faculty member with the Schools of Nursing and Architecture, and is a Clemson University School of Health Research embedded scholar. A registered nurse for over 30 years, with clinical, education, leadership and management experience in critical care, outpatient, and home-care environments. Founder and principal of O’Hara HealthCare Consultants, LLC providing research, education, design and simulation modeling services for 24 years, Dr. O’Hara has led teams of computer simulation engineers and architects on numerous projects inpatient and outpatient healthcare design projects including preadmission testing, ambulatory surgery, prep and recovery and PACU departments and the National Nurses’ Time and Motion Study. She has published and presented nationally including guest lectures with team architects at the University of Massachusetts Graduate School of Nursing and NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing on the role of the environment and health impact assessments, as well as on nursing entrepreneurship. Her current research is focused on Macrocognition in the Health Care Built Environment (mHCBE) – how the layout of an ICU affects interprofessional cognitive adaptation to complexity, patient care quality and safety, and design. She holds Massachusetts and South Carolina registered nursing licenses.

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.

Richard PakDr. Richard Pak

Dr. Pak is an associate professor of psychology and director of the Clemson Human Factors Institute. His primary research interests center on the psychological factors surrounding the design and use of autonomous technology. Machines that exhibit autonomy will increasingly become prevalent in all facets of daily life and may have an unusually large impact on the daily functioning of older adults by assisting their health, transportation, or even employment. Thus, it is imperative that we design autonomous machines to be understandable and usable for people of all ages. Dr. Pak’s research has been funded for multiple years by GoogleX, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and John Deere. He was recently named a Fellow of the American Psychological Association for his contributions to the field of psychology. He received his PhD in Psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2005.

Michelle ParisiDr. Michelle Parisi

Dr. Michelle Parisi is the Director of the Nutrition and Health Extension Programs for Clemson University. She oversees a program team that is dedicated to improving the lives of South Carolina citizens through health-related initiatives that focus on health education, health access, and health care system navigation. An important component of these initiatives is related to meeting the need for services and education in our senior population, a particularly vulnerable population existing in our rural South Carolina communities. Dr. Parisi is researching the impact of Extension programs like hypertension and diabetes self-management education and fall prevention education on the senior population of our state. Her research has been featured in the Journal of Extension.

Dr. Zahra Rahemi, Ph.D, RNDr. Zahra Rahemi

Dr. Zahra Rahemi, Ph.D., RN, is an Assistant Professor at Clemson University in the School of Nursing. She has studied older adults from a variety of culturally and ethnically diverse populations, their treatment preferences and end-of-life care planning and decision making. Her current research interests focus on an interdisciplinary approach to enhance older adults’ quality of life and end-of-life care. End-of-life care and advance care planning among culturally diverse older adults are important topics in health research. Advance care planning is not a culturally accepted norm and practice among many immigrants and culturally diverse populations. Dr. Rahemi’s interest is to find culture-specific factors for enhancing advance care planning among these communities. In her studies, she seeks to explore flexible and culturally competent models of advance care planning, which can be applied to diverse cultural groups to reduce health disparities related to end-of-life care. Some of her most recent publications include “Does ethnicity matter—Cultural factors underlying older adults’ end-of-life care preferences: A systematic review”, “Planning ahead for end-of-life healthcare among Iranian-American older adults: Attitudes and communication of healthcare wishes”, and “Preferences regarding and communication about end-of-life care among older Iranian-American adults”. Her publications have been featured in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology and Western Journal of Nursing Research.

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. Mary Anne Taylor is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Clemson University. Her research involves understanding the incentives that lead white-collar retirees to return to work, the effect of financial factors in predicting a retiree’s retirement and financial satisfaction, changes in cognitive function and its effect on training an aging workforce, and recruiting and retaining older workers. She is also interested in understanding the needs of low-income older workers.

Dustin J. SoudersDr. Dustin Souders

Dr. Dustin J. Souders is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Clemson University. His research focuses on investigating issues around using advanced vehicle technologies to help older adults maintain their community mobility. In particular, he examines acceptance issues around advanced driver assistance (ADAS) and automated vehicle (AV) technologies, behavioral adaptations that might occur after adopting ADAS, and age-friendly interface design for both ADAS and AV systems.

Kathleen ValentineDr. Kathleen Valentine

Kathleen Valentine is director of Clemson’s School of Nursing 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. She received a graduate certificate in Gerontology from the University of Florida during her doctoral work in Rehabilitation Science. Her research focuses primarily on the use of yoga as a therapeutic intervention, and has been applied to individuals with Parkinson’s Disease, chronic pain, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, stroke, breast cancer, fibromyalgia, and informal caregivers. A secondary line of research interest includes health promotion, improving balance through exercise for older adults, and yoga for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 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, the National Institutes of Health, as well as a number of local agencies and foundations. Recently, she has given presentations at the American Therapeutic Recreation Association Annual Conference, International Conference on Disability and Diversity, the Symposium for Yoga Research, and the Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting. At Clemson, Dr. Van Puymbroeck serves as the Program Director of Recreational Therapy and as a Roy Distinguished Professor in Health Innovation Research. Dr. Van Puymbroeck also served as the President of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Recreational Therapists. Dr. Van Puymbroeck’s Fall Prevention Laboratory is set to open in Oconee Memorial Hospital in the upcoming months.

Julie VidottoDr. 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. Ian WalkerDr. Ian Walker

Professor Walker is a Fellow of the IEEE and a Senior Member of the AIAA. He has served as Vice President for Financial Activities for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, and as Chair of the AIAA Technical Committee on Space Automation and Robotics. He has also served on the Editorial Boards of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics, the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, the International Journal of Robotics and Automation, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, and the International Journal of Environmentally Conscious Design and Manufacturing. His research has been funded by DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NASA, NASA/EPSCoR, NSF/EPSCoR, the Office of Naval Research, the U.S. Department of Energy, South Carolina Commission of Higher Education, Sandia National Laboratories, and Westinghouse Hanford Company. Applications of Dr. Walkers work in Architectural Robotics are focused on assisted living and aging in place.

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).

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.