Social Work Dean Cheryl Waites named fellow of the Gerontological Society of America

Cheryl Waites, dean and professor at the Wayne State University School of Social Work, has been named a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA).

Waites was awarded GSA fellowship – the highest class of membership – through the Social Research, Policy, and Practice Section in acknowledgement of her outstanding and continuing work in the field of gerontology. GSA is the world’s oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. Waites’ fellowship was unanimously approved by GSA’s Council after review and recommendations by the GSA Fellowship Committee.

Waites is a Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar and a fellow of the Institute on Aging and Social Work Research. Her research areas include healthy aging, health equity, intergenerational relationships, and culturally appropriate and responsive practice; she has also studied promising practices for enhancing gerontological social work and interprofessional education as well as workforce development. Waites is a recipient of the Outstanding Dean in Aging award from the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education, Social Work Leadership Institute of the New York Academy of Medicine.

Waites joined the faculty of the School of Social Work in 2007 and held the roles of acting and interim dean for the school before becoming the school’s seventh dean in 2012. Since then, she has worked with faculty, staff, students, the board of visitors and other critical constituencies to develop and implement the school's vision, mission and strategic goals.

Waites’ leadership in the areas of research, interdisciplinary education and practice has included scholarship on healthy aging and development and support for a number of gerontological initiatives. These include a dual-title doctoral degree in social work and gerontology, curriculum enhancement through an interdisciplinary older adult home visit program, and the School of Social Work Urban Aging and Health Affinity Group, which aims to strengthen the geriatric workforce through the development and dissemination of cutting edge educational and training programs, research, and community engagement.

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