The Center for the Study of Aging


Welcome to McDaniel’s Center for the Study of Aging!

Locally and around the world, population aging is one of the most pressing issues of our time. According to the US Census Bureau, more than one in five Americans will be aged 65 or older by 2030. Moreover, an unprecedented 350% increase in the population aged 85 and older is expected during the first half of the 21st century.

Though the uncharted waters of living in an aging society will present some challenges, they will not be insurmountable. Opportunities are emerging in business, education, recreation & leisure, mental & physical health and wellness, government services, research, public policy, academia and other areas supporting our aging population and their families at the individual, organizational, and societal levels.

Recognizing and embracing these opportunities begins with becoming age-educated. Committed to “learning by doing,” our academic programs, which include an undergraduate minor, an 18-credit hour post-baccalaureate certificate program, and a 36-credit hour Master’s program, offer students unique opportunities for training and research that supplement classroom learning, some of which can be presented in the community and at regional and national conferences. This application of theory to practice, along with the interpersonal and professional skillset developed along the way, empowers our graduates to fulfill essential roles in the public and private sector requiring gerontology knowledge and expertise. As an institutional member of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), our programs are designed to cultivate Gerontologists, defined by AGHE as persons who:

…improve the quality of life and promote well-being of persons as they age within their families, communities, and societies through research, education, and application of interdisciplinary knowledge of the aging processes and aging populations (

In addition to our academic programs, the CSA is also a regional leader in providing seminars, workshops, and programs related to the processes of aging and our rapidly aging society. We have programs and events that provide continuing education units (CEUs) for a variety of professionals, including social workers, psychologists, and senior advisors. We are also committed to providing quality educational programs designed for elders and their families, direct care workers, and professionals in the long-term care industry.

I hope our website will inspire you to learn more about McDaniel’s Center for the Study of Aging and how we can help you to meet your goals of making a difference in an aging society!

Dr. Diane Martin
Director, McDaniel’s Center for the Study of Aging


The Center for the Study of Aging (CSA) at McDaniel College was established in 2006 to address specific unmet needs related to professional development and community resources regarding the care of and services for older adults. We believe that all people who work with and on behalf of older persons should understand aging and its affects so that they have the knowledge and tools to maximize the quality of life for older persons.


The Center for the Study of Aging at McDaniel College is a comprehensive entity that will serve as the central location for all members of the Carroll County community and the region to work together in support of the aging population. The CSA will be the clearinghouse in the community for the study of aging issues and the source for innovative educational opportunities.


The Center of the Study for Aging at McDaniel College will serve as the primary regional resource to promote successful aging in a community responsive approach.

Core Values: (Derived from McDaniel’s Core Principles)

  • Honesty and Respect
  • Honoring Critical Thinking about and Intellectual Interaction with the World
  • Engendering Knowledge and Skill Acquisition across the Liberal Arts
  • Promoting Personal Growth to Maximize Each Individual’s Potential
  • Social Responsibility

CSA Administration:

  • Director: The director of the CSA, working under the direction of the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies, provides leadership for the Center in order to maintain excellent academic programs that support the needs of students, older adults, and the community.
  • Leadership Advisory Council: The LAC is composed of directors and administrators of agencies/bureaus of aging; continuing care retirement communities; senior centers; assisted living facilities; academic institutions; and medical and non-medical home care agencies; as well as McDaniel College faculty and students, all who possess a strong interest in better serving our rapidly aging population.

Current Members:

Diane Martin, Director
Bill Murphy
Annie Morrison
Gary Toth
Charles Wheatley
Charlotte Wheatley
Laura Gillen
Steve Berry
Yvonne Aasen
Barbara Leasure
Bonnie Caton
Owen Long

Education and Training

Undergraduate Education:

The interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in Gerontology is designed to provide students with a scholarly and experiential understanding of aging and later life. The minor is open to all undergraduate students at McDaniel College and educates about the physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and vocational changes that occur in people as they age. Although the primary focus is on age 65 and older, students will develop an appreciation of the diversity of this age group through examination of aging process influences over the life course.

Undergraduate Minor (Catalog) »

5-year program »


Graduate Education:

The Graduate Programs in Gerontology combine scholarly and professional perspectives to foster a deeper understanding of the aging process, issues relevant to older adults and an aging society, and the impact of aging on a variety of disciplines.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificates »

M.S. in Gerontology »


Professional and Workforce Development:

Gerontology Specialist:

  • This non-credit certificate is designed and specifically for individuals with less than a high school education who presently care for older adults or have a desire to do so. Through a series of six 90-minute seminars, participants gain personal and job-related knowledge regarding elder care… (more)
    • These workshops help provide families and para-professionals knowledge about aging and behavioral health issues, and impart skills to develop and enable community-based teams of providers to prevent, assess, and intervene or manage a variety of age-related concerns that arise when caring for older persons in their homes or in long-term care communities. Topics addressed include ageism, ethics, biological, social, and psychological changes of aging, dementia, and effective communication strategies.

The objectives of the program are aimed to:

  • Reduce staff turn-over rates by providing information specifically related to aging processes that impact providing care to elders;
  • Improve employee morale and compassion toward elders;
  • Improve attitudes toward aging and older adults; and
  • Improve communication with elders and their families.

Senior Gerontology Specialist:

  • This 18-contact hour non-credit program is designed specifically for individuals with at least a high school education or equivalent. It is appropriate for anyone who has a personal or career interest in the field of aging… (more)
    • The course work includes a total of 18 hours (six 3-hour sessions) of classroom instructions designed to prepare a community workforce knowledgeable about aging and behavioral health issues, and impart skills to develop and enable community-based teams of healthcare workers and families. Instruction topics include exercise and balance, physical health & nutrition, ethical treatment of elders, public policy, communication, and mental & behavioral health for older adults. Participants can choose to attend individual sessions or to complete the entire program. Program offers CEUs for several professions. Contact the CSA for more information.

The objectives of the program are:

  • Understand the needs and wants of the one of the fastest growing segments of society, the population of adults over the age of 65;
  • More fully understand the physical, cognitive, and emotional aspects of aging and related challenges;
  • Improve intergenerational communication and attitudes toward aging and older adults; and
  • Improve compassion toward elders.


  • The CSA at McDaniel College is an authorized sponsor of CEUs for Social Workers, Psychologists and Counselors in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Additionally, we periodically offer CEUs for other professionals. The eligible offerings include the graduate-level Gerontology courses, as well as many of the non-academic programs (including the 18-contact hour Senior Gerontology Specialist program described above), workshops and conferences presented by the CSA. Contact the Director of the CSA for more information. CEU certificates indicating the number of hours earned are distributed at the conclusion of each eligible offering.

Community Education

Upcoming Events

We're currently on hiatus. Please check back shortly for events.


Past Events


Focus on Aging: Matters of the Soul
Hospice and Palliative Care

Regina Bodnar, Executive Director at Carroll Hospice

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 4th
Time: 4:45pm-7:30pm
Location: Decker College Center – The Forum


Focus on Aging: Matters of the Community
(5th annual Alzheimer’s Symposium)

Shannon Hammond, Esq., Lawyer, Hammond Law, LLC. An Estate & Long-Term Care Planning Firm
Diane Martin, Ph.D., Director, Center for the Study of Aging at McDaniel College

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 6th
Time: 4:45pm-7:15pm
Location: Decker College Center – The Forum



4th Annual State of Aging Conference: Promoting Well-Being through Person-Centered Care
Keynote Address: Karen Love, Executive Director, Dementia Action Alliance
Date: Tuesday, August 14th
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Decker College Center - The Forum



Check back to see student and faculty research, involvement in the community, and more! 

2017 Past Events


3rd Annual State of Aging Conference: Maximizing Quality of Later Life
Keynote Address: Erwin Tan, MD, Director of Thought Leadership, AARP
Date: Tuesday, August 8
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Decker Center Forum


Focus on Aging: Matters of Health
Nancy Hart, Audiologist- Healthy Hearing & Balance
Adam Decker, MS, Director, Wellness Center Fairhaven
Date: Tuesday, September 5
Time: 4:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Location: Decker Center Forum


Focus on Aging: Matters of the Brain
Nicole Absar, MD; Medical Director of the Senator William and Ellen Proxmire Memory Clinic 
Date: Tuesday, October 10
Time: 4:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Location: Decker Center Forum

10th Annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s
Date: Saturday, October 14
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Location: Gill Stadium


Focus on Aging: Matters of the Community
Topic: Cancer Screenings
Date: Tuesday, November 7
Time: 4:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Location: Decker Center Forum


Focus on Aging: Matters of the Soul
Kim Burton, Director- Older Adult Programs, Maryland Coalition on Mental Health and Aging
Cindy Richard, Director- Suicide Prevention of York, Southern Community Services
Date: Tuesday, December 5
Time: 4:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Location: Decker Center Forum

Current Research Opportunities

Carroll County Aging-in-Place Survey

The Center for the Study of Aging at McDaniel College, on behalf of the Carroll Commission on Aging & Disability, is surveying residents of Carroll County, Maryland age 60+ to identify the resources needed to help them to age in place for as long as possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define aging in place as "the ability to live in one's own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level. "The survey is divided into three parts: demographics, current health and functional status, and services that may be of interest. The anonymous survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. The responses will be used to develop a comprehensive Aging in Place needs assessment report for Carroll County.

Any questions can be directed to Bob Coen, member of the Carroll Commission on Aging & Disabilities at (410) 848-1095 or Dr. Diane Martin, Director of the Center for the Study of Aging at McDaniel College at (410) 386-4618. 

Click here to complete the anonymous survey »

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View the CSA Handbook »

Additional Resources:

Certificate and Master's Programs in Gerontology Learn more »

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