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Associate Dean to be named a fellow by Gerontological organization

Zhen Cong, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs
Zhen Cong, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs

Zhen Cong, associate dean for research and faculty affairs in the School of Social Work, has been named a fellow of an international society of scholars who research aging issues.

The Gerontological Society of America’s governing council approved Dr. Cong as a 2019 fellow on May 8 after her credentials were reviewed and she was recommended by a peer committee.

The Gerontological Society of America is comprised of biological, behavioral and social scientists such as economists, sociologists, epidemiologists and social workers from around the world, including Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and Australia.

The organization’s members study the experiences of aging adults throughout the world, their adversities and their relationships and interactions with families and communities, according to the society’s website.

Dr. Cong, who is also the Social Work Ph.D. Program Director, has published research for more than a decade on aging adult concerns, including depression among Mexican American grandparents.

She called the recognition by the Gerontological Society one of her “most inspiring achievements.”

“It is a recognition of my past achievements,” she said, “and a motivation for me to follow the steps of those great leaders in the area of aging to continue my devotion to promoting social justice and the well-being of vulnerable populations.  

In one of her most recent studies, Dr. Cong is seeking to understand the vulnerability and resilience of older adults who are exposed to natural disasters. Specifically, her research will provide information on how best to communicate tornado warnings to older adults using emerging technology.

Dr. Cong will be formally recognized during the Gerontological Society’s 71st Annual Scientific Meeting Nov. 13-17, in Austin. The meeting will draw 4,000 scientific professionals to review trends and research on aging challenges. UTA Social Work Assistant Professor Ryon J. Cobb will also give a presentation at the same annual meeting.

Scott Ryan, dean of the School of Social Work, congratulated Dr. Cong in a departmental email and called the recognition a “wonderful achievement.”

“The SSW is so very proud to have her as part of our team!” he said.

News Topics: Faculty, Awards, General