Posted by Julia Martin
Associate professor and Chair of the Social Work Program Crystal Dea Moore received the 2013 Mit Joyner Gerontology Leadership Award at the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Director's annual conference on March 8 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The award recognizes leaders in the field of gerontology who have inspired undergraduate students through scholarship, best practices and community connections. Moore was nominated for the national honor by colleagues from the University of West Virginia and the University of Portland, and letters of support were submitted by numerous students and faculty members.
The purpose of the Mit Joyner Gerontology Leadership Award is to advance leadership in the field of gerontology, the study of the social, psychological and biological aspects of aging, for undergraduates. It was created in honor of Mildred "Mit" Joyner, a professor and chair emeriti of the undergraduate social work department at West Chester University. The award pays tribute to Joyner's leadership and vision in the work of gerontology social work.
Moore earned her B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Behavioral Sciences from California State University, and went on to earn a Master of Social Work and PhD in Social Welfare at the University of Albany. In 2005 Moore published the award-winning book: Palliative Practices: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Moore has also received the National Community Action Award from the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council, a fellowship from the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education, and the Anita Rosen Award for Best Practices in Gerontological Infusion in Baccalaureate Social Work Curricula from the Council on Social Work Education Gero-Ed Center. Moore recently worked as a visiting professor in Sweden and serves on the Advisory Committee of Saratoga Vital Aging Network.
Moore's research and work with elders primarily focuses on family care-giving and communication among elders, family members and health care professionals. One of her most recent studies examined alcohol consumption patterns among American and Swedish elders.
When asked what first inspired her to study gerontology, Moore said, "it seems as though I have always been interested in gerontology. I was primarily raised by my father who was an older man-people often thought he was my grandfather-and my maternal grandmother. So, I was always around older people and felt comfortable and at home with them."
Moore also cited her doctoral work at the University of Albany, where she studied with several prominent gerontologists, as the moment her personal interest in the elderly developed into a professional passion.
Although Moore is a nationally recognized expert in gerontology, much of her work and achievements are felt closer at home.
"Crystal is very inspiring and her research within social work is remarkable. She is very hard-working and is passionate about her students and the individuals she serves. I am thankful that I was able to attend the ceremony at the BPD conference because I was able to see my role model be recognized for her hard work. It was very encouraging and it also excited me. It re-emphasized how lucky I am to have her as my professor, mentor, and friend," Ashley Reynolds '14 said. Reynolds attended the conference with Moore.
"I hope to spark an interest in my students in working with older people either while at Skidmore or beyond," Moore said. "There are definitely social work opportunities with this population, it's one of the fastest growing segments of the profession-and one of the most rewarding."