Baylor Professor Appointed by Gov. Bush to Texas Board on Aging

Aug. 5, 1999

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Dr. Ben E. Dickerson, professor of sociology and gerontology and director of Baylor University's Institute of Gerontological Studies, took the oath of office today, officially beginning a six-year term on the Texas Board on Aging. Texas Gov. George W. Bush announced Dickerson's appointment in July.

The Texas Board on Aging administers the Older Americans Act which provides funds for senior centers, Meals on Wheels and other programs benefiting senior citizens.

"I'm extremely pleased and very excited about the opportunity to serve older Texans, who represent one of our best natural resources," Dickerson said. "The aging population in Texas will increase 127 percent in the next two decades, exceeding what the rest of the U.S. will experience, so we have significant challenges before us.

"Baylor has been a pioneer in the field of gerontology, so this appointment is built on Baylor's investment in the study of aging and the belief that the second 50 years of life are just as important as the first 50 years," he said.

Dickerson is a charter fellow of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education and a member of the Gerontological Society of America, the American and Southwest Societies on Aging, the National Council on Aging and the Texas Counseling Association. He is also actively involved in a variety of civic and community organizations, serving as a lifetime member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, a member of the Reserve Officers Association, the Coalition on Aging at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center and Governor's Conference on Aging Planning Committee. Dickerson earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Texas A&M University and his doctorate from Louisiana State University.

Baylor's Institute of Gerontological Studies, created in 1978, has expanded into the centerpiece of Baylor's response to individual, societal and global aging, preparing gerontology professionals to help each individual realize and maximize their full potential in the second 50

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years of life. The institute is actively involved in local, state, regional and national level government agencies and also participates in the White House and Texas Conferences on Aging. Degrees offered through the program include a master of science in gerontology, a master's degree in clinical gerontology, undergraduate and graduate certificates in gerontology, and a graduate certificate in clinical gerontology. Gerontology is also offered as an undergraduate minor at Baylor. The institute also houses the Herbert H. Reynolds Academy, an annual summer school where persons 50 and older have the opportunity to attend and participate in lectures and seminars led by outstanding Baylor faculty and guest specialists.

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