Karen A. Roberto of Blacksburg, director of the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Tech and Rosemary Blieszner of Blacksburg, associate director, have assumed leadership posts with the Gerontological Society of America.

Roberto was elected chair of the Behavioral and Social Sciences section, the largest section of the national society, with almost half the organization's 5,136 membership. The Behavioral and Social Sciences section is composed of national and international behavioral and social scientists from many disciplinary backgrounds, including anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. As chair-elect, she is responsible for putting together next year's program for the section’s national meeting.

Blieszner is the new editor of the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences -- sponsored by the Gerontological Society of America. With a circulation of more than 5,800, it is a premier journal in the field of gerontology, publishing articles on aging; including attitudes, cognition, emotion, neuropsychology, perception, personality, sensation, and many other topics. Blieszner will be editor for four years.

The Center for Gerontology serves as the orga¬nizational unit and focal point for aging-related research and education at Virginia Tech. The center’s primary mission is to foster and facilitate multidisciplinary research that enhances the quality of life of older adults, with the primary focus being family gerontology, health and aging, and elder rights. The center is composed of a core faculty and more than 70 faculty member affiliates.

Roberto also serves as interim director of the Institute for Society, Culture and Environment. She is professor of adult development and aging in the Department of Human Development at Virginia Tech and adjunct research professor of community medicine and geriatrics with the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She received her doctorate and master’s degrees from Texas Tech University in human development and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Blieszner is an Alumni Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech and professor of adult development and aging in the Department of Human Development. She received her doctorate from The Pennsylvania State University in human development with a minor in sociology; master’s from The Ohio State University in family and child development, and a bachelor’s degree from Mercyhurst College.


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