Institute Structure

The Alabama Research Institute on Aging has created an administrative infrastructure to guide its activities, composed of a multidisciplinary Executive Committee of faculty members throughout the campus of The University of Alabama, a Community Advisory Board composed of consumers and representatives of the mental health provider community in Alabama, an External Advisory Board, and a Faculty Associate/Affiliate program.

A major goal of ARIA is to link University of Alabama faculty and graduate students, Alabama consumers and families of consumers of mental health services, and human service delivery organizations toward the goal of improving the quality of mental health and mental health services for older persons.

Members of each committee are listed below:

Executive Committee

  • A. Lynn Snow, Department of Psychology, ARIA Associate Director
  • Amy Ellis, Human Nutrition
  • Anne Halli, College of Community Health Sciences
  • Avni Shah, School of Social Work
  • Ellen Csikai, School of Social Work
  • JoAnn Oliver, Capstone College of Nursing
  • Kristi Crowe-White, Human Nutrition
  • Marcia Hay-McCutcheon, Department of Communicative Disorders
  • Pamela Foster, College of Community Health Services
  • Rebecca S. Allen, Department of Psychology, ARIA Director
  • Sheila R. Black, Department of Psychology

Community Advisory Board

The intent of the Community Advisory Board for the Alabama Research Institute on Aging is to build a strong network between the Institute and providers/consumers of mental health services. We value members’ advice on ARIA research plans, goals, and directions. The board anticipates meeting approximately three times yearly at the Institute’s offices on the University of Alabama campus.

  • Beverly Bell-Shambley, Associate Commissioner of ADMH’s Division of Mental Illness and Substance Abuse Services, Department of Mental Health
  • John Burchfield, Vice President, Northport Holding, LLC
  • Donna Easterwood, Director, Foster Grandparents, Focus on Senior Citizens
  • Rene’ Katsinas, Director of Residential Services, Capstone Village
  • Vicki Kerr, Executive Director, Caring Days
  • Francine Marasco, President, Osher Life Long Learning Institute, College of Continuing Studies, The University of Alabama
  • Mildred Switzer, Vice President for Programs/Arrangements, The University of Alabama Retirees Association
  • Janet Zeanah, Director, Focus on Senior Citizens

 External Advisory Board

Regional/state linkages have been promoted through the co-directors’ meetings with the Alabama Commissioner of Mental Health and Retardation, an association representing the directors of all community mental health centers in Alabama, and groups of social workers at the regional and state levels. Our interaction with national advisory board members at the Gerontological Society of America, the National Conference on Gerontology in Social Work, and other professional meetings has enhanced our national visibility.

  • Cornelia Beck, PhD, Director of Research, Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, University of Arkansas
  • William H. Haley, PhD, Professor, School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida
  • Mark Kunick, MD, MPH, Associate Director, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center; Associate Director, Research Training, South Central Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, (MIRECC); Baylor College of Medicine
  • Peter Lichtenberg, PhD, Director of both the Institute of Gerontology and the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute and the Founding Director of the Wayne State University Lifespan Alliance, Wayne State University
  • Leonard Poon, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Health Policy and Management; Director of Institute of Gerontology, The University of Georgia