2016 Researcher of the Year
Aloen L. Townsend, PhD
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences
Case Western Reserve University
(Dr. Townsend with Diane Ramey)
Dr. Townsend’s primary research interests are in adult development and aging, family relationships, mental and physical health, and the interface between families and formal service systems. Her research projects have focused on multiple roles of middle-generation caregiving women, benefits to families of using adult day services for older relatives with dementia, and physical health and depression in middle-aged and older married couples. Her current research investigates the impact of cancer and comorbidities on psychosocial quality of life of middle-aged and older married couples.
In honoring her for this award, OAGE noted, “Dr. Townsend is a dedicated researcher and first-rate research mentor. Those who know her speak of her ability to move seamlessly from the conceptualization of research questions, to the research design, to the implementation of primary data collection procedures, to the analysis and reporting of results. Dr. Townsend exemplifies excellence in research and shares her substantive expertise about gerontology and longitudinal research methodology by mentoring others. Beyond this, she is always willing to share helpful advice to support graduate students and early career researchers in efforts to successfully navigate personal and professional challenges. For many, Dr. Townsend is a role model for excellence in research through hard work, academic integrity, and compassion. She is clearly regarded as a leader in aging, family caregiving, and more recently end-of-life research. Dr. Townsend is extremely highly respected by her colleagues in both gerontology and social work, and she is most deserving of this award.”