Spotlight: Katy Zeltinger

Spotlight: Katy Zeltinger

Spotlight: Katy Zeltinger

Outside of graduate school, Sergeant Zeltinger (right) serves alongside Sergeant Kessler (left) and many others in the 122nd Ohio National Guard Army Band

In which program or department are you currently enrolled?
Adult Development and Aging PhD Program, Cleveland State University

What got you interested in gerontology?
Throughout my military career I’ve worked with both young and old service members and veterans who’ve experienced unique and sometimes traumatic events. There are times when incredibly difficult decisions must be made and existential problems can become very salient for soldiers. These experiences can impact the trajectory of their adult lives. I wanted to understand this and in order to do so, I needed to study adult development.

What are your research interests?
During my undergrad, my initial interest came from my military experience. I wanted to know how people in general view an existential fear such as death, what may be driving that fear and, more importantly how people cope with it.

As a graduate student, my interests include coping, dementia, and veterans. My current research examines how individuals with dementia are coping with their overall illness experience and how that may impact well-being.

In terms of the field of gerontology, who inspires you and why?
Linda Clare, a dementia researcher and professor in the UK. Her research highlights the massive variability of the subjective experience among individuals living with dementia in terms of well-being and coping. The first time I read her work I saw a connection to my initial interest of how people cope with an existential problem. Individuals with dementia must cope with an illness that threatens their sense of self-identity.

What are you academic or career aspirations?
My military service will always be part of my career aspirations. I’ve about 12 years so far and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. My career as a research psychologist will work in tandem with my military career by focusing my studies in the veteran population. My goal is to place emphasis on veterans living with dementia and promote care strategies and protocols that include them as active participants in their own care and in research. I also envision myself to be an advocate for individuals living with dementia and fighting the stigmas and stereotypes that follow such a diagnosis.

How did you first become aware of or involved with OAGE?
My first semester of grad school was a whirl wind and at some point a classmate asked me if I was going to OAGE. Being from North Dakota, I said “no? what’s that?” I asked my advisor about it and she said it’s something I should definitely put on my radar.

What has been your involvement with OAGE?
My involvement so far has been presenting a poster at the 2018 conference. I also submitted a paper for the student awards and won “best graduate paper” at the conference.

What is your favorite aspect of the OAGE conference?
There are people from a variety of professions such as research, nursing, administration, and legislation. When talking with others, I could always find where our specific interests overlapped and how our careers can work together in achieving a major goal. This was a way for me to ground myself and see the bigger picture of my future.

What do you wish other students knew who aren’t yet aware of OAGE?
You can treat OAGE as a hub for resources and opportunities that can help you shape your future career in gerontology.

OAGE Member Spotlights

Nominations

 

OAGE accepts nominations of individuals in Ohio to be recognized for their contributions in the areas of education, research, and practice. For more information, click on the links below.

 

As a graduate student, my interests include coping, dementia, and veterans. My current research examines how individuals with dementia are coping with their overall illness experience and how that may impact well-being.

Katy Zeltinger

Adult Development and Aging PhD Program, Cleveland State University

Spotlight: Dan Van Dussen, Ph.D.

Spotlight: Dan Van Dussen, Ph.D.

Spotlight: Dan Van Dussen, Ph.D.

My career has benefited by OAGE. I look forward to the conference every year and enjoy working with OAGE board members and the general membership to help our mission.

I invite members to work with OAGE to grow. We are a strong organization and will be able to continue to achieve our mission to “enhance education, research and practice in Ohio.” We work with our Area Agencies on Aging, the Ohio Department of Aging and many of our service providers and policy makers to help disseminate valid and thorough research and are seen as an authority in these endeavors. I enjoy research, teaching the next groups of gerontologists, and working with practitioners in aging. This made OAGE the perfect organization for me to be involved.

I have been involved with OAGE since 2007. The organization has been a great way for me to network in Ohio. I came in as a newly minted Phd in Gerontology when I took the gerontology director position at Youngstown State University. I was able to meet people in a friendly environment and network with several people in a short time. In 2008, I was nominated and joined the board. I was immediately able to start working with the board to achieve its mission.

My first committee assignment was on the newly created policy committee. I thought applied policy and research into practice were important aspects for OAGE. Having the research and expertise that OAGE board members possess help policy makers and practitioners with their mission of serving our aging population is one of my core values. One of my first tasks on this committee was to testify before the aging and disability committee in Columbus. As chair of the policy committee, I was invited to testify on behalf of OAGE at the hearings before the new director of Medicaid in 2011.

Then, I was able to become the treasurer in 2011. The position has allowed me to work toward maintaining a fiscally sound organization and expand into helping fund the Scholars in Aging program. It also gave me a sense of the importance of OAGE in the aging network.

The next phase of involvement was hosting the 2012 and 2016 Annual Conferences at Youngstown State University. We were able to have 269 and 249 attendees and host the conference for the first and second times in Youngstown.

Currently, I am the president of OAGE. My goal is to continue to grow our organization to help disseminate quality research, education, and networking opportunities for our members. My second goal is to help address workforce issues facing the aging network.

OAGE has allowed me to work in many capacities. I have been able to highlight my research, community partnerships and my students work at the conferences. Our students have been able to get great experience in attending conferences and network with OAGE members and board members.

Dan Van Dussen, Ph.D.

Dan Van Dussen, Ph.D.

President, OAGE

Nominations

 

OAGE accepts nominations of individuals in Ohio to be recognized for their contributions in the areas of education, research, and practice. For more information, click on the links below.