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.