Department of Social Work

Ana Herrera Turpin

Ana Herrera Turpin graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Gerontology in 2014. She received a Masters in Gerontology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2017. She now works at Rufty-Holmes Senior Center in Rowan County as the Aging Transitions Manager. Her passion is connecting seniors to resources and helping them age successfully.

Hunter Ledford

I graduated from UNCG in May, 2017 with my Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. I planned on going to graduate school to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. However, during the last semester of my senior year I took GRO 201 – Envisioning Your Old Age and developed a passion for the field of gerontology.

As a result, I enrolled in the PBC for Gerontology and after only one semester I changed over into the Master of Science program since I loved it so much. I graduated with my Master of Science in Gerontology in December, 2019. I currently work at Wake Forest Baptist Health as a Financial Counselor. While this role doesn’t specifically pertain to the aging population I do get to work with several older adults, their friends and family. Recently, I have interviewed for a new position as Lead Oncology Patient Financial Navigator. I will begin this new position within approximately six weeks and look forward to working with the oncology population that is made up of approximately 80% older adults. In this new role I will evaluate new oncology patients for financial toxicity and provide financial services (grants, scholarships, new insurance plans…etc) as they make their way through the oncology service line. I will also serve on the interdisciplinary team which includes the Oncologists, Nurse Navigators, Social Workers, Dietitians, and Financial Navigators. The team will ensure that the treatment plan that is decided upon is the best for the patient from all perspectives to ensure the patient receives the highest qualify cancer care possible!

Dana Graefe

Dana Graefe graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Business Fundamentals in May 2015. She’s now pursing the Master’s in Gerontology with a concentration in Aging and Business.

During her four years at UConn, three were spent working part-time at the physical therapy clinic on campus, where one of her tasks was helping with the Parkinson’s exercise group that met weekly. Her interaction with the older adults in that class, and classes at UConn led her to pursue the Master’s in Gerontology.

“With my Master’s, my goal is to work for a company, organization, or at a continuing care community on the administrative side. I have interests in servicing older adults in understanding the financial side of aging, providing necessary knowledge of the aging population to the company I work for, and in developing and implementing new policies for older adults. Overall I hope to help older adults age successfully.”

Dana Graefe — entered August 2016.

Jennifer Shore

Jennifer Shore is pursuing a Minor in Gerontology at UNCG, planning to graduate in May 2018.

“Majoring in Social Work, I was thrilled when UNCG began offering the Gerontology minor! This allows students to become knowledgeable about older adults; realizing they are fun, diverse, and a blast to be around!

Working in the aging adult field for many years — currently with the NC Baptist Aging Ministry — I see so many elderly population needs unmet. The first step in creating new resources is awareness through education.

By the year 2025, one in five North Carolinians will be age 65 or over. Help is needed in every field imaginable. What great job security… and opportunities! “

Stephen Simpson

Stephen Simpson graduated from Eastern Illinois University obtaining a B.A. in Psychology with minors in Business Administration as well as Communication Studies May 2016.

Born and raised in Chicago, IL Stephen moved 11 hours away from home to further his education here at UNCG. His passion for older adults is due to his late grandfather who had Alzheimer’s Disease. Stephen currently holds an interest in Advocacy. “I hope one day my voice can inspire individuals to support elders all around the world.”

Stephen Simpson — entered August 2016

Ronqeiya Luther

Ronqeiya Luther “chose to pursue a degree in Gerontology because of my love for the elderly. My first job was a certified nursing assistant in the memory care unit.”

“After working with Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients and their families for a few moments I knew that I wanted to work with them for the rest of my life. I am interested in serving underrepresented populations affected by Alzheimer’s disease. My future goal is receive my PhD in Public Health Education. One day I plan to open my own memory care facility.”

She is the first recipient of the Nancy Edmunds Hannah Award in Gerontology, which supports a gerontology student who interested in working with persons with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Ronqeiya Luther — entered August 2016

Elizabeth Jordan

Elizabeth Jordan graduated from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Child, Youth, and Family Development and also a minor in Psychology in May 2017. Then she began the Masters in Gerontology program at UNCG and graduated May 2019.

While in undergraduate school she worked one on one with older adult volunteers and low income individuals in the Winston Salem area as well as the activities assistant at the Greensboro Senior Center for a while. In graduate school she also worked part-time at North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM); assisting aging adults 65+ in all 100 counties of North Carolina in ways that help them maintain their independence and enjoy quality of life.

After graduating from the Gerontology program she moved to Cary NC and began working at The Center for Volunteer Caregiving. A nonprofit volunteer organization that serves aging adults 60+ and adults with disability with one on one volunteer services. As a program coordinator, the goal is to help aging adults, caregivers, and adults with disabilities remain healthy and safely in their homes.

Rachel Pennington

Rachel Pennington graduated in May 2018 with an M.S. in Gerontology and a Certificate in Business Foundations from the Bryan School of Business. She is currently the director of an adult day health center which provides activities and health services for many older adults and adults with special needs.

“I came to the UNCG Gerontology program knowing that I wanted to work with the older adult population, but my peers, instructors, and internship opportunities really helped me to establish a plan and clear goals for my career. I was able to take courses that covered not only gerontology but social work, nonprofit management, business, and entrepreneurship. This education provided me with tools in my tool-belt that have been invaluable in my work linking older adults to home and community based services. It is also a great privilege to support family caregivers and provide care for people living with dementia through my work in adult day services.”

Cynthia Wilkerson

August 2017 Cynthia G. Wilkerson graduated with an M.S. in Gerontology.

“I received my BSW from Winthrop University and have worked across the healthcare continuum in a variety of roles. I grew up immersed in a multi-cultural educational environment. My interests are varied, and include coastal conservation, equal rights, animal welfare, and the transdisciplinary nature of gerontology.”

Angela Boles

May 2017 Angela Boles graduated with a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Gerontology.

“I received my BA in Psychology from St. Andrews University in May 2016 and completed my Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Gerontology from UNCG in May 2017. Growing up, my grandmother played an active role in my life. Her inspiration and outlook on life led me to pursue a career in Gerontology. The UNCG Graduate program helped fulfill that career through coursework and internship placement. Thanks to the program and the support and encouragement of the professors, I am now a Care Manager with AOS Care Management in Southern Pines.”

Christina Peoples

I am a Long-term Care Ombudsman at the Piedmont Triad Regional Council in Kernersville, North Carolina. I enjoy discussing topics related to aging and I have a blog titled Gero-what. I am passionate about encouraging people to have a positive perspective towards aging and providing resources to help throughout the aging experience.
Christina graduated from the program in 2017.

Kaitlin Reid

December 2016 Kaitlin Reid graduated with a dual degree M.S. Gerontology/MBA.

“UNCG alone presented me with the unique opportunity to merge both of my core interests — business and older adults. Soon after my acceptance into the UNCG MBA/MS Gerontology dual degree program in 2014, I was offered and accepted a job as Executive Assistant at the prestigious Well-Spring Retirement Community. I was able to complete both of my two required gerontology internships conveniently at Well-Spring. After both internships were fulfilled, I eagerly accepted a promotion as Well-Spring Assistant Director of Retirement Relocation.” In 2017 Reid became a Hospital Administrative Fellow at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

“The UNCG MBA/ MS Gerontology dual degree allowed me to gain invaluable knowledge in my specialty areas and fostered — through internships and the Graduate Dean’s Scholarship — the ability to simultaneously work a full time job to pursue my career goals, complete two internships, attend evening classes and receive my Masters degrees in 2 years!

UNCG’s advisors and professors worked consistently and patiently with me to make this possible. Without the flexibility of UNCG’s professors and advisors, the nature of the advanced programs, the boldness of the idea to interweave business and gerontology, the requirements of the internships and the intensive classes, I would not be where I am today. My success and my future successes all can be attributed to my experiences at UNCG. For that I am forever grateful.”

Hanjong Cho

August 2016 Hanjong Cho (Hanjo) graduated with an M.S. in Gerontology with a Non-Profit Management Concentration.

Cho came to UNCG to learn advanced practical principles of gerontology and to prepare for his encore life! Already a columnist, researcher, adjunct professor and consultant regarding age-friendly welfare and business in South Korea, Cho consulted about age-friendly government welfare policies. Now he has launched global senior-friendly business strategic planning, senior home care services entrepreneurship, and Registered Financial Gerontologist programs in South Korea. Cho currently is working as Director of Educational Planning and Operations at the Seoul 50 Plus Foundation.

Leslie Harris

May 2016 Leslie Harris graduated with a M.S. in Gerontology.

Her earlier degree from UNCG was a B.A. in Psychology and minor in American Sign Language. As a C.N.A. she worked with older adults for five years while expanding her interests in dementia and Alzheimer’s. While earning her M.S. in Gerontology, Harris was a Graduate Assistant in Gerontology, received the UNCG Health and Human Sciences Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society Award, and the UNCG Health and Human Sciences Outstanding Gerontology Student Award. While a graduate student, in November 2015.

In 2017 Harris accepted the position of Operations Manager for Home Care at Well-Spring. “This service offers an aging population help in accomplishing daily tasks that otherwise challenge their feeling of living independently. In clients’ homes, Home Care will handle such things as bathing, dressing and grooming, meal prep and feeding, transportation, exercise, laundry, light housekeeping and more.”

Kristin Spence

May 2016 Kristin Spence graduated with a M.S. in Gerontology.

Spence’s goal was “to work in a retirement community in an administrative-level position.” While pursuing her M.S. in Gerontology, Kristin received the UNCG Health and Human Sciences Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society Award and the UNCG Gerontology Student Portfolio Award. In January 2016 Spence accepted a position as Home Care Specialist at Well-Spring Home Care in Greensboro, NC.

Holly Sluder

May 2016 Holly Sluder graduated with a M.S. in Gerontology.

Her previous education includes a 2010 degree in Sociology from Appalachian State University. Sluder enjoyed a Graduate Assistantship while working toward her M.S. in Gerontology at UNCG. Soon after graduation, Sluder accepted employment as Aging Program Planner for the Piedmont Triad Council of Governments Area Agency on Aging in central NC.

April Franklin

May 2015 April Franklin graduated with a dual degree M.S. Gerontology/MBA.

Franklin “has a strong passion for addressing the needs of older adults and their family caregivers. As a student in the Dual Degree program, she worked on a project through her internship with AARP to develop a Community Group focusing on family caregiver issues, within Mount Zion Baptist Church, Inc. Upon graduation, this project continued to grow and April utilized her knowledge of the aging and senior market to work as a consultant with Mount Zion Baptist church to assist in establishing and developing the community group into a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization named “Caregiver Connect”. April was instrumental in identifying and developing programming for the three core areas in which this organization serves family caregivers:

1. Training- Providing family caregivers with access to training and workshop opportunities to better equip them with their caregiver duties.
2. Resources- Connecting caregivers to agencies and community resources that may be beneficial to them or their loved one.
3.Support- Holding regularly scheduled support group meetings to help caregivers to connect with other caregivers and share their thoughts and concerns in a safe environment.

April believes that addressing the issues impacting our older adults and their caregivers is necessary for maintaining healthy communities in the future and will continue to serve as an advocate in this field by working to create solutions to address these issues.”

Katie Thompson

May 2015 Katherine (Katie) Thompson graduated with an M.S. in Gerontology after completion of her internship at Greensboro’s Smith Senior Center and a UNCG Gerontology Graduate Assistantship.

Thompson is on the Administrative Support staff for the CEO, Operations Manager, Social Worker and Program Director at Circle Center Adult Day Services in Richmond, VA. Among other responsibilities, she updates marketing publications, Medicaid documentation, and compiles statistics for USDA reports.

Susan Brand

May 2014 Susan Brand graduated with an M.S. in Gerontology.

“Prior to completing my M.S., I was employed as a Social Worker in a skilled nursing facility, then completed Certification as an Assisted Living Executive Director. Experienced in working with adults with mental illness and developmental disabilities, I focus on caregiver support when volunteering and advocating within the community.

My future goals include offering professional development training and mentoring for those aiming to join our growing profession, consultation with nursing home social workers, and employing my entrepreneurial spirit to franchise a senior living community with a more personal, individualized approach of caring for our Seniors.”

Elise Eifert

December 2014, Elise Eifert received a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Gerontology while pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Health Education at UNCG.

Eifert received her Bachelor’s degree in Health Education from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and her Master’s degree in Health Promotion from Indiana University. After graduation, she spent 4 years in Florida working as an Alzheimer’s disease educator before returning to school to pursue her doctorate. Her research focus is on increasing family caregiver’s utilization of support services. Specifically, Eifert is interested in the transition to the caregiver role and caregiver identity.
Eifert is now the Graduate Program Director for Gerontology at UNCG.

Lynda Charles

May 2014 Lynda Charles graduated with a Master of Science degree in Gerontology.

“As a result of the experiences I acquired through volunteering and internships — in particular at the City of Greensboro Smith Senior Center — I was hired a month before graduation as the newest and youngest Senior Center Manager for Galveston Parks and Senior Services in La Marque, TX. Responsible for managing programs and operations for the Senior Center, I supervise two full-time employees and work closely with the Senior Services Supervisor. ”

“Receiving the UNCG Gerontology Program Phelps Family Award restored confidence in my abilities. I am eternally and especially grateful for professors Dr. Janice Wassel and Dr. Rebecca Adams for awakening my inner Gerontologist and providing me with the guidance and support I needed throughout the duration of the program. Jennie Matkins and Teania Jackson were the best preceptors I could have possibly had for an internship. And I will forever be in debt to the Smith Senior Center because of the positive work environment I encountered there each day. As I wrote in my personal statement upon entrance to the UNCG Gerontology Program, ‘Aging is inevitable, yes, but how and what we do to facilitate the process makes all the difference’.” Visit Lynda Charles Google site at

Bryceton Proctor

May 2014 Bryceton Proctor graduated with a M.S. in Gerontology.

“Older adults have given so much to me through their life accomplishments that I in turn should work to help them age in the best possible manner. My interests in gerontology are health care policy and long term care financing.” Proctor began work toward his Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts in August 2014.

Jessica Stafford

May 2014 Jessica Stafford earned her Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Gerontology.

Promptly after graduation Stafford was hired as Well-Spring Retirement Community Marketing Assistant. By 2016 Stafford became Director of Resident Services for independent living at the Remington Club in San Diego, CA. On the management team, Stafford is the “go to person” for all resident related questions and needs. “The best part of working for a retirement community is the relationships built with the residents. I enjoy every minute!”

Stafford anticipates pursuing additional UNCG Gerontology degrees online, while advancing her profession in California!

Tarik Glenn

May 2013 Tarik Glenn graduate with a M.S. in Gerontology.

“I chose the dual MBA/MS to refine my knowledge of complex global business operations, expand and build upon core leadership competencies, learn how to skillfully manage resources to remain competitive, and become aware of how to effectively recognize and address the needs of aging and older consumers. Upon completion of the program, I focus on project management, performance and quality measures, training and assessment of employees, and the management of service delivery standards. I will continue to use the knowledge gained through the gerontology program to broaden my consciousness as it relates to opportunities for universal product and service design, inclusiveness of all communities, and collaborating to successfully care for aging adults.”

Rachel Wonderlin

May 2013 Rachael Wonderlin graduated with a M.S. in Gerontology.

Since graduation she has enjoyed several employment opportunities and in April 2014 accepted a position as Memory Care Program Coordinator at Clare Bridge of Burlington in Burlington, NC. Wonderlin manages CNAs, plans events for the Clare Bridge residents, and provides tours to prospective families.

Sarah Johnson

May 2012 Sarah Johnson graduated with a M.S. in Gerontology.

During her summer of 2011 Johnson enjoyed a practical experience at Carol Woods, a CCRC noted for it’s promotion of inclusivity allowing residents to experience their independence, even with a diagnosis of dementia. “A strong team mentality exists by working in the ‘homes’ of the residents, rather than at a facility, which made Carol Woods a fantastic learning environment.” Johnson worked primarily with the Life Enrichment team including a Gerontologist, a Recreational Therapist and an Activities Professional, all of whom designed and implemented creative activities that residents enjoyed. Johnson previously earned a B.A. in Recreational Therapy from UNCG.

Soo Hyung Kim

December 2011 Soo Hyung Kim graduated with a Master of Science in Gerontology with an Aging and Business Concentration.

His previous experiences included responsibilities for operating educational programs, organizing aging seminars, participating in research projects, and publishing about aging issues in Korea. Kim currently is working as Research Associate at the Seongnam Senior Experience Complex. As a Gerontologist, he contributes in developing aging convergence models into Korea, the fastest aging country in the world.

Kimberly Miller-McDowell

May 2011 Kimberly A. Miller-McDowell graduated with a M.S. and a Certificate in Gerontology.

Miller-McDowell is a Nutrition and Outreach Director for Randolph County Senior Adults (RSCA), the organization with which she performed her internship among leaders who value her many contributions. This organization aims to minimize confusion, reduce the number of agencies a consumer must contact to receive services, enhance individual choice, support informed decision-making, and increase the cost effectiveness of long-term support systems. Miller-McDowell is excited about her opportunity to work with the RSCA to accomplish these goals.

Brittany Singhas

May 2011 Brittany Singhas graduated with a dual degree M.S. in Gerontology/MBA.

After graduation she accepted a position as Davidson County Tennessee Regional Coordinator and also served as Service Coordinator at the Mid-Cumberland Human Resource Agency. Singhas now serves as Project Manager at the MedStar Institute for Innovation in Washington, DC

Toyosi Adeykeye

May 2010 Toyosi Adeykeye graduated with a Certificate in Gerontology and a Masters in Public Health from UNCG.

He promptly accepted a Health Policy Leadership fellowship at The Satcher Health Leadership Institute in Atlanta, Georga. Adeykeye is also a faculty member in the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. Prior to his graduate studies at UNCG, Adeykeye was a Research Associate with the North Carolina Health Literacy Counci, an Intern with Smoke Free Guilford Coalition, Medical Director at a Federal Low Cost Clinic and Medical Officer at a Nigerian Airforce Hospital.

Amanda May

August 2010 Amanda May graduated with a M.S. in Gerontology.

Today she is Director of Access to Services for Senior Resources of Guilford, ensuring older adults and their caregivers obtain community services. She coordinates the Family Caregiver Support Program and supervises the Social Work Case Assistance Program and the SeniorLine Information and Referral Program.

Jill Yesko

May 2009 Jill Yesko graduated with a Certificate in Gerontology.

She is a Program Coordinator with Community Health Integrated Partnership (CHIP) in Maryland. CHIP is a non-profit that provides essential business services and support to nine federally-qualified health care centers throughout Maryland. At CHIP, Yesko is managing the Community HealthCorps of Maryland, the largest health-focused national AmeriCorps program that promotes health care for America’s undeserved. She is also managing CHIP’s social media and participating in its web and online communications development.

Misty Wolfe

May 2007 Misty Wolfe’s graduated with a M.S. in Gerontology.

Administrators with the Randolph County School system (her employer and placement site for her first internship on grandparents raising grandchildren) were so impressed by Wolfe’s internship accomplishments and passion for community outreach, they hired her as a counselor. Wolfe’s other interests include faith community outreach to older adults. For her second internship, she taught an inaugural course in ministry to older adults at John Wesley College in High Point.

Pat Cleary

December 2006 Pat Cleary graduated with a Certificate in Gerontology.

Today Pat engages his skills as Program Director at River Landing within the Adult Center for Enrichment, a non-profit adult day health center serving 50 people from age 27 to 95. Sixty percent of their clients have dementia. Forty percent have other frailties such as mental impairments, developmental disabilities or are recovering from stroke.

Erin Russell

December 2006 Erin Russell graduated with an M.S. in Gerontology.

Today she is Senior Research Associate with the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services (NC DAAS). While working in community services for a continuing care retirement community in Chapel Hill, she began work on an MS in Gerontology which she completed in December 2006. Her interests in policy and advocacy led to her successful application for a Somers Internship in Long Term Care with the National Academy of Social Insurance for the summer of 2006. She was placed with the Institute for the Future of Aging Services in Washington, DC. As part of Russell’s current work with NC DAAS, she has substantial responsibilities for preparation of the state aging services plan and related planning documents.

Syble Solomon

May 1990 Syble Solomon, Founder of Lifewise, graduated with a Certificate in Gerontology.

In 2001, she returned to teach Life Planning for the Third Age, a graduate course to prepare students for a future of successful aging for themselves, their employees and their clients.
Solomon is Founder/Speaker/Consultant with LifeWise and creator of Money Habitudes. While at UNCG, Solomon received the Association of Higher Education in Gerontology Award, and in 2006 she was honored with the Mary Ellen Edmundson Educator of the Year Award from the Association of Financial Counseling and Financial Planning. Read what Solomon is up to at