In August 2019, Dr. Paula Carder accepted the position of Director of PSU’s Institute on Aging. After the IOA’s former Director, Dr. Margaret Neal, retired in June 2018, Dr. Carder had served as the Interim Director.
Dr. Carder received her PhD in Public Administration & Policy in 1999 from PSU and joined the IOA team in 2007. She had been a graduate student in the IOA from 1990 to 1999, and then was a Policy Analyst at the NCB Development Corporation and a Research Associate at the University of Maryland.
Dr. Carder is excited about her appointment, and her colleagues, collaborators, and advisees are excited with her. While the Director position comes with added responsibilities, it allows Dr. Carder to continue leading federally- and locally-funded research projects on topics such as assisted living policy, home and community-based services, and affordable housing with services. She will continue to teach courses in qualitative research methods, health and housing, and long-term care policy.
"I am thrilled to have been entrusted with this leadership position," she said. "As the IOA turns 50 in 2019, my vision includes building on our strong foundation to expand gerontological education so that future PSU graduates can positively influence programs, policies, businesses, and communities as our population ages. We need to focus on population changes such as increasing diversity and global aging, while addressing disparities so that more individuals have the opportunity to grow old."
When she isn't researching, teaching, or managing the IOA, Dr. Carder enjoys kayaking, and she is a daily bike commuter (except when roads are icy!).
Meanwhile, Dr. Margaret Neal is starting a new chapter in her life. "After 44 years at PSU, most at the IOA but some at the Regional Research for Human Services, four as the founding director of PSU’s Survey Research Laboratory, and the last 15 serving as IOA’s Director, this is a big transition," she said.
"I plan to continue my engagement with IOA’s community partners and my professional networks in the field of aging, along with my research and advocacy for age-friendly communities, while increasing my involvement in our family’s specialty tree nursery, Oregon Small Trees, and traveling. The IOA is in excellent hands with Dr. Carder at the helm, and I look forward to seeing all that she and colleagues at the IOA will accomplish and contribute to the field of gerontology in the coming years."