Institute On Aging Report

In this Issue:

- From the Director
- Grand Challenges for          Social Work
- BCTA Module IX
- Grand Challenges  Book
- Aging & Work Update
- Faculty and Student          Funding Opportunities

From the Director


As the fall weather finally arrives, I hope you might take a moment for a few Institute on Aging updates.

We are pleased to report on the involvement on BCSSW faculty in the Grand Challenges for Social Work led by the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. If you haven't already, I encourage you to learn more about the groundbreaking initiative.

Also included in this newsletter are updates on our BC Talks Aging series and IOA funding opportunities for BC faculty and students.

Enjoy the rest of the semester.


James Lubben
Director, Institute on Aging
Louise McMahon Ahearn Professor in Social Work


Prof. James Lubben


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BCSSW Faculty Play an Important Role in American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare Grand Challenges for Social Work Initiative

BCSSW faculty have played an important role in the formation and promotion of the Grand Challenges for Social Work initiative. The Challenges with the most significant aging focus are Eradicate Social Isolation and Advance Long and Productive Lives. IOA Director James Lubben and Erika Sabbath co-lead the Eradicate Social Isolation challenge while Christina Matz-Costa and Jacqueline B. James co-lead the Long and Productive Lives Grand Challenge. SSW faculty are also providing strong leadership for two other Grand Challenges. Stephanie Berzin is a co-lead for the Harness Technology for Social Good Grand Challenge. Rocío Calvo and Ruth McRoy are co-leads for the Achieve Equal Opportunity and Justice Grand Challenge.

In addition to providing leadership, the BCSSW faculty members have been involved in training and education on the Challenges, encouraging other educators to include these important topics in their curriculum. In August, James Lubben joined leading researchers in the fields of medicine, science, and social work for a joint meeting of the AARP Foundation and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to discuss conducting a consensus study on social isolation in Older Adults. Christina Matz-Costa, Jacquelyn B. James, and Marcie Pitt-Castouphes hosted a talk titled “Equipping Social Workers to Promote a Social Development Response to Population Aging” at the Grand Challenges Teaching Institute at the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE) Annual Conference. James also participated in a September webinar hosted by the American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare titled “Advancing Long & Productive Lives,” which is available on YouTube.

Learn more about the Grand Challenges for Social Work »

BC Talks Aging Screenshots

SSW doctoral student, Addie Wyman Battalen (third from left), presents “Eradicate Social Isolation: Teaching and Learning Strategies for Generalist and Advanced Curriculum” at the Grand Challenges Teaching Institute at the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE) Annual Conference.

Newly Released BC Talks Aging Module IX focuses on Workplace Exposures

Erika Sabbath presents BC Talks Aging Module IX

The ninth module in the video series BC Talks Aging provides a look at the affect workplace exposures can have as we age. BCSSW Assistant Professor Erika Sabbath presents on the topic in the video titled “Workplace Exposures Can Affect Us as We Age.”

Additional modules available for viewing include Social Isolation; Social and Productive Engagement; Long-term Effects of Sexual Abuse on Men; Delirium, Depression, and Dementia; End of Life Planning; Sleep During Hospitalization and Poor Sleep; Manipulating Biological Pathways to Extend Lifespan; the Effect of Work Place Exposures on Aging; and the Happiness of Older Adults.

Watch BC Talks Aging: Module IX »

Grand Challenges for Social Work and Society Book Cover

BC Faculty and Staff contribute to Grand Challenges for Social Work Book

Grand Challenges for Social Work and Society, a new book on the Grand Challenges Initiative, is available for pre-order and will ship on 15 December 2017. Many BC faculty and staff members with an aging-related focus are contributors including: James Lubben, Erika Sabbath, Christina Matz-Costa, Jacquelyn B. James, and Carrie Johnson, in addition to several other BCSSW faculty members whose research focuses on topics other than aging. IOA Director James Lubben is a co-editor of this new book.

In Case You Missed It

On November 1st, the Center for Aging & Work released a letter in support of paid family leave signed by over 100 academics, titled "More Than 100 Aging and Work Experts Call on Congress to Address the Nation’s Caregiving Crisis with a Strong Paid Leave Plan." The Center’s co-director Jacquelyn Boone James and Jennifer Crane Greenfield have written an op-ed about the letter, titled “Considering a national paid leave policy” featured on


IOA Call for Proposals: Faculty and Student Funding

The IOA has a variety of grant opportunities for Boston College faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates with an interest in the field of aging. Available grants include:

  • Aging Research Incentive Grants (ARIG) // Deadline: February 16, 2018
  • Dissertation Grants // Deadline: December 15 & April 13
  • Student Travel Awards // Deadline: Rolling Basis

If you are interested in applying, or know of a colleague or student who would qualify for one of these grants, please visit for more information.

Most recently, travel grants have been awarded to Antonia Diaz Valdes Iriarte, Julie Miller, and Yihan Wang for attending the 21st IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics held this past July in San Francisco; and Ana Paola Campos for her travel to the Aging & Society Seventh Interdisciplinary Conference recently held in Berkeley, California.

Learn more about our grants » 

RALI Boston Call for Proposals

RALI Boston logo

The Boston College Institute on Aging would like to share the 2018 CALL FOR PILOT PROJECT PROPOSALS from the Boston Roybal Center for Active Lifestyle Interventions (RALI Boston). Please submit applications online at by the deadline of January 22, 2018. Selections will be made by March 2, with funding to begin on June 1, 2018. RALI Boston is dedicated to improving health in middle-aged and older adults by fostering an active and engaged lifestyle. The Center involves a collaboration among researchers with specialized expertise in healthy aging from five Boston-area institutions: Boston College, Brandeis University, Boston University, Northeastern University, and Hebrew Senior Life, a Harvard Medical School Affiliate.

Please contact James Lubben if you have any questions regarding the RALI Boston or the Pilot Project program.

Institute on Aging at Boston College -