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Social gerontology doctoral students receive grants, fellowship


Two doctoral students in Miami's social gerontology program recently received national honors for their dissertation research.

Maricruz Rivera-Hernandez was named a Fahs-Beck Scholar and Phyllis Cummins was awarded the 2012 James Jacobs Scholarship Award.

Rivera-Hernandez, a third-year doctoral student, conducts research on health among middle-aged and older diabetics in Mexico. The award provides a stipend to assist in covering expenses related to research. She was also awarded the 2012 dissertation fellowship from Miami’s department of sociology and gerontology for her work.

Concerning her research, Rivera-Hernandez said, “The findings could significantly improve the understanding of health-promoting behaviors and provide important information to develop culturally-specific programs (for older adults in Mexico).

She added, “The findings from this study should also serve to inform current policies on interventions to improve health outcomes for people with chronic non-communicable diseases.”

Rivera-Hernandez earned her undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from the Instituto Tecnologico de Culiacan, Mexico and went on to get a master’s degree in Environmental Science at Miami University. Her future goals include aiding in the development of new programs for Hispanic people that encourage healthy aging and to increase media coverage of issues for elder Hispanics in Mexico and Latin America.

Phyllis Cummins, also in the social gerontology program, was recently recognized by the National Council for Workforce Education (NCWE) for her doctoral research. The award supports doctoral research in the areas of career pathway, workforce development, adult and continuing education, and career/technical education.

Cummins’ doctoral research focuses on unemployed older adults and issues related to re-entering the workforce. As a part of the award, she will present her work at the NCWE annual conference in Long Beach, California in October.

Cummins comes to Miami after a successful career with a large financial institution. She has earned a bachelor of science in business administration and one in human performance. She earned a master’s degree in business administration and in health science.

Written by Matt Cable, Scripps Gerontology Center, An Ohio Center of Excellence


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