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Jessyna M McDonald, PhD

Executive Director, Institute of Gerontology

Department of Education
jmcdonald@udc.edu; Tel: 202.274.5533

Research Interests:
Accomplishments include the completion of a National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Aging/ Postdoctoral Fellowship in Social Gerontology and a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Gerontological Society of America in Applied Gerontology. Research foci and interests include (1) the examination of factors influencing health disparities among diverse aging populations; (2) evidenced-based health promotion strategies for ethnic minorities with emphasis on chronic conditions. I am seeking to establish Research Communities of Practice in Gerontology at UDC, (Please refer to survey sent to faculty). I shall also continue collaborative efforts with faculty from various universities in the US and Canada. While on sabbatical at the World Health Organization in Switzerland my research focus was on aging among First Nation People in developed countries. I have presented over 55 International and national presentations on gerontology and aging; published 14 book chapters and referred articles in aging and one book and received approximately $3,500,000 in grants and contracts. The Vision Statement for the Institute of Gerontology (IOG) will be a premier national academic research-driven HBCU which addresses health disparities among diverse older populations through various interventions, evidence based practices, community outreach and academic certification at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Selected Honors and Awards:

  • Faculty Excellence Award, Clemson University Board of Trustees, 2001;
  • RTA Distinguished Heroine Award, The Roundtable Associates, Inc. 2000; RTA
  • Distinguished Leadership Award, The Roundtable Associates, Inc., 1999;
  • Clemson University President’s Award, Black Faculty and Staff Association, 1998;
  • Service Award, National Institutes of Health Minority Mentor's Program, 1993

Highest Degree

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Social Gerontology, National Research Service Award
    National Institute on Aging 1987-89
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Applied Gerontology, The Gerontological Society, 1987
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Recreation Administration, University of Maryland (1981)

Career in Brief:

  • Executive Director, Institute of Gerontology, University of the District of Columbia 2008-
  • Director, Youth Programs – Opportunities Industrialization Center of DC 2006-2007
  • President & CEO, Carolina Capacity Networks Inc. 2005-2006
  • Associate Dean, Public Service Activities and Program Director, Economic and Community Development, Division of Public Service and Agriculture, Clemson University 2001-2006
  • Associate Professor, Clemson University 1993-2004
  • Chairperson and Associate Professor, Howard University, 1990-1993
  • Associate Professor, Indiana-Purdue University, 1988-89
  • Chair and Assistant Professor, Recreation and Leisure Studies Program, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. 1982-88