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College of Human Ecology

Gayle Doll named Director of K-State's Center on Aging

Thursday, April 10, 2008

MANHATTAN -- Gayle Appel Doll has been an elementary art teacher, a YMCA fitness leader, a professional quilter and a Kansas State University Research and Extension project manager.

But, when she trained to teach an older adult exercise class, she found her niche. She became a gerontologist.

Doll, who has been promoted to assistant professor, has been named director of the Center on Aging in K-State's College of Human Ecology. The appointment becomes effective June 15. Doll had previously served as the center's interim director and was appointed to the director's position after a nationally competitive search.

As director, she will coordinate and develop educational and training programs in aging, stimulate aging research, coordinate outreach activities and guide the center to become the top referral center for information on aging resources in Kansas.

"I'm more excited about the field now than the day I started. I get to be a teacher, a connector, a communicator, a leader. I get to teach students to change their perceptions about aging processes. I get to awe-inspiring examples of successful aging," Doll said.

"Perhaps one of the best things about my chosen field: I will only get more credible the older I get," she said.

"Our focus is primarily on the range of care giving services, both informal and formal, for frail elders in Kansas. We try to help people find the opportunities that afford the best quality of life possible as people age," Doll said.

According to Doll, in the Midwest, 82 percent of the counties exceed the U.S. proportion of population 65 and above.

"Aging has a number of socioeconomic implications both at the national and local levels of social organization, including its impact on further demographic change, elderly well-being and poverty, community development and economic growth," she said.

Undergraduate students can get a secondary major in gerontology at K-State. "It compliments nearly every career focus offered on campus," Doll said. Faculty in disciplinary departments throughout the university teaches most gerontology courses.

Source: Gayle Doll, 785-532-5945, gdoll@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Jane Marshall, 785-532-1519, jpm2@k-state.edu

This article was posted on Thursday, April 10, 2008, and is filed under College News.