Dr. Aday’s teaching interest include a variety of gerontology topics, social policy, and program evaluation. He currently directs the Graduate Certificate Program in Gerontology and publishes research on positive aging topics and older prisoners. Dr. Aday is retired, but remains active with the consortium.
Dr. Vaughn W. Barry is an associate exercise science professor at Middle Tennessee State University. He received his PhD from the University of South Carolina in 2011 studying Health Aspect of Physical Activity. He received his Master’s from Ball State University in Clinical Exercise Physiology. Dr. Barry’s professional background includes monitor validation and sedentary and physical activity assessments and interventions in multiple populations. His current interests include maintaining and improving overall health by assessing and improving sedentary behaviors and physical activity levels in clinical and older adult populations.
Cynthia Chafin, is an MTSU alumna with a BBA in accounting from MTSU and a Master of Education in Health Promotion from Vanderbilt University. She currently is enrolled in the MTSU Health and Human Services Ph.D. program and comes to higher education from a public health background having worked with the Tennessee Department of Health and other non-profit health-focused organizations for several years. She has been with MTSU's Center for Health and Human Services (CHHS) since 2002. Through past and current research, programs, and projects, her work and interests have focused on population health in multiple areas that address current and emerging needs.
Research interests include inflammatory and cognitive conditions that impact quality of life and well-being. Specifically interested in intervention strategies that will greatly enhance life. Currently conducting a walking intervention study using an underwater treadmill that targets knee osteoarthritis.
Hanna Counts has an educational background in aging studies as she received her MA degree in Sociology with a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology from MTSU. She currently works for the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability as a program coordinator for the Tennessee Person-Centered Music Program which offers therapeutic music intervention to residents in Tennessee’s nursing homes. Ms. Counts has a background working in long term care and doing research in that setting as well. For her master’s thesis, she evaluated an intergenerational program at MTSU called the Aging Health and Development Program (AHeAD) and assessed student’s attitudes toward older adults.
Vicki Dodson was named Senior Vice President, Patient Services on June 1, 2019. She joined NHC in 1984 and has previously held the title of Assistant Vice President, Patient Services since 2017. She began her career with NHC as a Home Care staff nurse and then served as a Director of Nursing and Regional Nurse. In 1996, Vicki came to the corporate office as a clinical user analyst to assist with the development and support of electronic patient assessments. Vicki earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Austin Peay State University.
Kevin Fehr is the President & CEO of Amada Senior Care in Murfreesboro. He has led multiple home care companies in both Tennessee and Pennsylvania for the past seven years. Kevin is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP). He founded a local nonprofit organization in Rutherford County three years ago called CommuniServe. CommuniServe provides complimentary home care to indigent US Veterans. Kevin serves as Chairman of the Board for CommuniServe. He also serves as Chairman for the Rutherford County Healthcare Council through the Chamber of Commerce. Kevin has been a Diplomat in the Chamber of Commerce for the past 4 years and is a graduate of Leadership Rutherford, Class of 2019. He has a BS in Biochemistry from Grove City College and attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Prior to leading Amada Senior Care, Kevin spent 16 years in the pharmaceutical industry working for both Pfizer and Merck & Co., Inc.
Keith Jacks Gamble is the Chair of the Department of Economics and Finance and a Professor of Finance at MTSU. His research interests include financial decision making, investor behavior, and aging. His recent research focuses on the financial decision making of seniors, including the impact of cognitive decline and financial fraud. Prof. Gamble earned his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and his B.A. in Economics from Harvard.
Laura Grissom is the Health and Wellness Education Program Coordinator at St. Clair Street Senior Center. Her role at the center includes helping seniors stay or become physically, emotionally, and socially healthy. She leads exercise classes, fall prevention programs, and health-related sessions. Mrs. Grissom works with the community, bringing in guest speakers to educate St. Clair’s participants on topics that are relevant to this population, including medical, social, and mental health. Previously, she worked in St. Clair’s Adult Day Service with seniors who needed supervised care and was also the Nurse on Duty. She received her LPN from Tennessee Technology Center, is a Certified Dementia Practitioner, and is also certified as a Senior Fitness Specialist and Fitness Nutrition Specialist.
Brandon Grubbs received his doctorate in Exercise Physiology from Florida State University in 2017. His doctoral training allowed for a mastery of measuring muscular and functional performance in older adults with extensive experience in exercise therapies that combat aging and disease. Dr. Grubbs is a co-founder and steering committee member of the Positive Aging Consortium. Dr. Grubbs has published his research in the International Journal of Exercise Science, Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, and Experimental Gerontology.
Dr. Harden’s research interests include addressing health disparities in rural communities, particularly access to behavioral health care and issues related to the impact of substance use disorders across rural Tennessee. She is involved with a number coalitions and initiatives related to rural health from a lifespan perspective.
Dr. Houston teaches coursework in human development, aging, personality, and statistics. His research focuses on the fundamental mechanisms underlying cognitive aging, the neural mechanisms underlying age-related differences in cognitive and affective processing, and understanding the role of the cerebellum in cognitive function through the study of Chiari malformation syndrome. Visit Dr. Houston’s website for additional information.
Dr. Johnson is interested in taking a proactive approach to prolong independence and minimize the risk of falling in older adults by means of exercise interventions. In addition, she is working with a team of colleagues to gain a better understanding of the physical changes encountered by older adults as they progress from community-living to long-term care. Eventually, this knowledge will lead to further investigations of effective interventions to enhance quality of life and independence in a variety of settings.
Sandra Connell Jones teaches psychology and gerontology classes including Death and Dying and Introduction to Gerontology. Her interests include grief, caregiving, positive aging, Alzheimer’s disease/dementia, coping with terminal illness, hospice care, and helping family and professional caregivers cope with grief and stress. A former hospice director, Ms. Jones holds a Master of Arts degree in clinical psychology and graduate certification in gerontology.
Barbara Whitman Lancaster is a Doctorally prepared women’s health nurse practitioner and assistant professor in the School of Nursing at MTSU. Dr. Lancaster is also a Nationally Certified Menopause Practitioner through the North American Menopause Society. Her research interests focus on the Development of a Community Based Menopause Workshop and Menopause Re-Imagined for the Women of the Upper Cumberland Region of TN. She has a passion for the health of “older women.”
Dr. Lee established, and now directs, the Positive Aging Consortium. Her work at MTSU is focused on opportunities to bring multidisciplinary faculty together for research, education and service opportunities for faculty and community partners, particularly focused in the area of aging and older adults. Her research interest is self-care and building stress-resilience for nurses and other health care workers. She received her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master's degree in nursing from Emory University and an associate and bachelor's degree in nursing from Western Kentucky University.
Dr. Moore received a baccalaureate degree in nursing from the State University of New York in 1981 and a Master’s in nursing administration in 1987 from Barry University, Miami Shores, FL. In 2013, Dr. Moore obtained a PhD in Health Sciences with a concentration in international health education and research from Trident University, Cypress, CA. Dr. Moore’s research interests include: staff nurse work environment, student nurse learning environment, critical thinking, student empathy and willingness to work with older adults and those with dementia, and effects of simulation on teamwork.
Dr. Don Morgan is a Professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). An applied exercise physiologist, Dr. Morgan is a Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology and the American College of Sports Medicine. Over the past decade, Dr. Morgan’s research and public health promotion efforts, which have focused on enhancing mobility and physical function in persons with disabilities and increasing activity and fitness levels across the lifespan, have been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Morgan is retired, but remains active with the consortium.
Don Roy is a Professor in the Department of Marketing, Jones College of Business. Dr. Roy earned his PH.D. from the University of Memphis. His research focuses on marketing strategy, brand management, personal branding, social media, and consumption behavior among generational groups. Dr. Roy has published research articles in journals such as Journal of Advertising, Psychology & Marketing, Journal of Services Marketing, and Sport Marketing Quarterly. He is co-author of a sports marketing textbook and author of three self-published books on personal branding.
Dr. Smith’s research interest areas include: improving fruit and vegetable intake and factors that affect consumption/ improvement of nutrition choices/ and food insecurity. Currently she is examining fruit and vegetable consumption in older adults and determining the effects of bi-monthly nutrition educational classes on carotenoid scan scores using a non-invasive BioPhotonic Scanner.
Dr. Kahler Stone earned his DrPH from Texas A&M University in 2018 after working in the field as an epidemiologist for five years in different settings. He is an Assistant Professor at Middle Tennessee State University in the Public Health program where he teaches epidemiology and a variety of public health courses. He conducts disaster epidemiology and public health capacity research primarily. In his research, vulnerable populations have been a focus, including aging adults.
Dr. J. Brandon Wallace is Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Director of the Aging Studies Program. His research interests are in social gerontology with recent work focusing on quality of care in nursing homes and food insecurity among Tennessee's older population.
Ms. Weir’s content area focuses on preparing students to work with families and individuals around issues in later life. One approach is through an intergenerational program, Aging Health and Development, a class in the Human Sciences Department, where students meet with residents at a local assisted living facility weekly to implement activities that add enrichment into their daily lives.