Mary Ann Erickson

Associate Professor, Gerontology


Introduction to Aging Studies is a course that gives an overview of the aging process and what it means for both individuals and society.  The first section of the course gives students several ways of looking at aging - as a social construct that varies by time and place;  as a demographic phenomenon;  and as a component of diversity, intersecting with race, gender, disability, and sexual orientation.  Subsequent units raise issues of work and retirement, physical aging, healthcare, mental health, and social policy.  I plan special classes to focus on older drivers and older athletes, as well as several classes devoted to coping with Alzheimer's disease.  My goal is to have every student, regardless of their motivation for taking the class, take away valuable lessons that change how they think and feel about aging.