Leadership & Faculty

Stockton Center on Successful Aging


David C. Burdick, Director
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SCOSA Director David Burdick is professor of psychology, gerontology, and sustainability studies. He joined the Stockton faculty in 1984 after receiving his BA in psychology and environmental studies from Alfred University (1977), and his PhD (1983) in geropsychology from the University of Notre Dame. His community-focused career was cultivated as a staff member of Notre Dame’s Center for Gerontological Education, Research, and Services and strengthened by a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Applied Gerontology with the Gerontological Society of America in 1984. In 2005 he and Professor Linda Wharton led Stockton and community partners through a year-long “Journey Towards Democracy” project funded by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, designed to increase Stockton’s intentionality and focus upon civic engagement and community partnerships. He serves on the advisory committee of the Stockton Center for Community Engagement and on the Stockton Foundation's Scholarship Selection Committee, where he recently stepped down as co-chair after a decade in this position.

A regular contributor to several community efforts as a board member, trustee, consultant, or volunteer, he has held leadership positions for various state and national organizations. Selected by Governor Christine Todd Whitman in 1995 as a Delegate to the White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA), he facilitated a day-long session on “Quality of Life” for the NJ Delegation prior to the WHCoA. At the WHCoA he led an issues resolution development session on "Providing Incentives for Volunteerism by Older Adults" . A former president of the Society on Aging of New Jersey, he received the Society's Gerontologist of the Year Award in 1997. His scholarly interests center on intergenerational relationships and technology and aging. His scholarly work/publications include a co-edited book entitled Gerotechnology: Research and practice in technology and aging (Springer, 2005), guest editor of a Special Issue on Accreditation in Gerontology for the Journal of Gerontology & Geriatrics Education (2012), and co-authored chapters on technology and long-term care in two books: (Furphy, K., Lindstrom-Hazel, D., & Burdick, D. (2013). Assistive technology and older adults. In Barney, K. F. & Perkinson, M. A. (Eds.). Occupational Therapy with Aging Adults: Enhancing Quality of Life through Collaborative Practice. London, San Diego: Elsevier, Inc.; Kutzik, D. & Burdick, D. C. (2015). Use of technology in long-term care. In Yee-Melichar, D, Cabigao, E. P. & Flores, C. M. (Ed.s). Long-Term Care Administration & Management: Options, Issues and Trends in Eldercare. NY: Springer.

Dr. Burdick served two terms on the Executive Committee of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education where he is currently co-chair of the Advancement Committtee, managing the Founders 3.0 project for which he obtained funding through the Retirement Research Foundation. He is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education and  serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Gerontology and Geriatrics Education and the Journal of Intergenerational Relationships.

Research Initiatives - Lisa Cox, Chair
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Dr. Cox, Professor of Social Work received her Ph.D. in Social Work and Social Policy and a graduate Certificate in Aging Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Social Work and School of Allied Health. Her research interests include the intersection of health issues with gerontology, spirituality, and family.  


Education Initiatives - Christine Ferri, Chair 
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Dr. Ferri, Education Chair for the Stockton Center on Successful Aging, and Coordinator of Gerontological Studies, is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Stockton University. She joined the Stockton faculty in 2005 after earning a B.A. in Psychology from Rutgers, a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Duke University and completing a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Geropsychology at the UMDNJ School of Osteopathic Medicine. She served as Co-Vice President for Education of the Society on Aging of New Jersey from 2008-08, and has been faculty advisor to Stockton’s Chapter of the Psi Chi Honor Society in Psychology.

Service Initiatives - Christine Gayda-Chelder, Chair
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Dr. Gayda, Service Chair for the Stockton Center on Successful Aging, is an Assistant Professor of Psychology.  She earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a subspecialty in Neuropsychology from Drexel University. Christine is a New Jersey Licensed Psychologist in private practice who specializes in health psychology and neuropsychological assessment. She began teaching at Stockton in 1998 as an adjunct instructor.  Areas of research include coping with grief, caregiver burden, and the neuropsychological assessment of dementia. 


Gina Maguire

Gina Maguire, Program Assistant & Coordinator of SCOSA Older Adult Programs in Ocean County
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 Gina earned her Masters in Social Work from Monmouth University and her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology & Anthropology from Stockton.  Gina is a Stockton Gerontology Adjunct Instructor. Her areas of expertise include: Counseling, Research, Community Outreach, Biopsychosocial Assessments, and HIPAA Compliance. 



An Advisory Board of approximately 12 members will play an integral role in planning and operating the Center. Commitments to serve on this board are currently being obtained.

The current Board consists of:


GERO Faculty

  • John Bulevich, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • David C. Burdick, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, SCOSA Director
  • Elizabeth G. Calamidas, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Public Health
  • Merydawilda Colón, Ph.D., L.S.W., Associate Professor of Social Work
  • Lisa E. Cox, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., Professor of Social Work, SCOSA Research Chair
  • Elizabeth A. Elmore, Ph.D., Professor of Economics
  • Christine V. Ferri, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, SCOSA Education Chair
  • Jessica Fleck, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Christine Gayda-Chelder, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology, SCOSA Service Chair
  • Janice O. Joseph, Ph.D., Professor of Criminal Justice
  • Marcello Spinella, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology

Associated Faculty

  • Cheryl R. Kaus, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Dean, Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Dee McNeely-Greene, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Student Affairs


SCOSA joins Stockton’s Gerontology Program in honoring and thanking four faculty members retiring this year who have supported gerontological education, Stockton’s gerontology program and the establishment of SCOSA.  Linda Aaronson (Associate Professor of Nursing) and Nancy Davis (Professor of Pathology and former Dean of Professional Studies) both began teaching Introduction to Gerontology and Aging and Health in the mid-1980s and continued for nearly 20 years until teaching and administrative needs in Nursing forced them to curtail their GERO teaching.  Will Jaynes (Professor of Social Work and African American Studies and former Acting Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences) taught Aging and the Family for over 20 years, and Ralph Werner (Associate Professor of Biology) has taught Biology of Aging for nearly a decade.