Older adults have become the fastest-growing demographic in the nation, and changes in health care and technology are required to meet the needs of this diverse group. But Lesley A. Ross, Clemson’s new SmartLIFE Endowed Chair in Aging and Cognition, says scholarship and research in the area of older adults can’t just be about a number.
“Longevity is easy to quantify, but older adults don’t focus as much on age as they do on quality of life,” Ross said. “My research, and the work of this position, focuses on keeping older adults happy and independent as long as possible while fighting the negative stereotypes associated with aging.”
The new endowed chair has been created specifically to research aging and its effects on issues related to brain function. Ross, who comes to Clemson from Penn State, will be a tenured faculty member in the Department of Psychology and will work collaboratively across the University on research related to aging and cognition. She will serve as associate director for the Clemson University Institute for Engaged Aging. SmartState centers were formed in 2002 as one of a series of legislative acts intended to accelerate South Carolina’s knowledge economy transformation.