Changing the Conversation Topic: The Story of Aging in our Communications
Recorded On: 04/19/2023
Changing the way we talk about aging begins at home with our own communications. This portion of the Changing the Conversation Toolkit reviews how we can all tell a more complete story of aging when crafting presentations, press releases, academic papers, letters to the editor, websites, publications, consumer materials, speeches, and other communications.
Betty Bofinger Brown Distinguished Professor of Social Policy
Washington University in St. Louis
Nancy Morrow-Howell is an international leader in gerontology, known for her work on productive engagement of older adults. Her research contributes to knowledge about programs, policies and organizational arrangements that maximize the productive engagement of older adults while promoting positive outcomes for the individuals themselves. Her research documents outcomes for individual, families, and communities associated with work, volunteering, and caregiving by older adults. Her interests include the development of the Next Move initiative, now a part of WashU for Life, where older adults are facilitated in transitions to new roles in employment, volunteering or education.
At the Brown School, Morrow-Howell teaches gerontology courses. She also teaches a freshman course on aging, aimed at increasing young people’s understanding about long life and the need for social transformation. As director of the university’s Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging, she promotes gerontological research and education across disciplines and schools.
She has received Washington University Distinguished Faculty Award and the Brown School’s Outstanding Faculty Award. In 2008 and 2011, she was given the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award by Washington University. She was the recipient of the 2011 Career Achievement Award from the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work and of the 2013 Distinguished Career Achievement Award from the Society for Social Work and Research.
Joellen Leavelle joined USAging in July 2017 as Communications Director. In addition to being USAging's liaison with the media, Joellen is responsible for ensuring that all USAging publications, social media properties, websites and collateral materials reflect the organization’s mission of building the capacity of its members to assist older adults and people with disabilities so they may live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities.
Joellen comes to USAging from the Pension Rights Center where she was Communications and Outreach Director. While there Joellen promoted the Pension Counseling and Information Program and worked with retirees on communications strategies to help them secure their rightfully-earned pension benefits.
Joellen holds a bachelor’s degree in English from James Madison University and received a Master of the Arts degree in Communications from Trinity University.