UCF Initiative on Aging and Longevity

The UCF Initiative on Aging and Longevity was approved in July 1994, by the Provost's Office as part of the Strategic Planning Initiative Awards Program. These special awards are to foster activities that address UCF's five strategic goals:

The purpose of the UCF Initiative on Aging and Longevity is to establish infrastructure to raise the visibility of gerontology at UCF, to coordinate the existing activities occurring across campus, stimulate new applications in teaching, research a nd service, and forge important partnerships with the Central Florida health services and business community.

The UCF Initiative on Aging and Longevity has a dual mission:

The UCF INITIATIVE ON AGING AND LONGEVITY has multiple components in teaching, research, and service:


Certificate in Gerontology
This program is coordinated by the Department of Social Work and consists of a 15 semester hour program of four advanced undergraduate courses and a minimum 150 hour practicum/internship. This program is open to all undergraduate majors and post-bacc alaureate students. For more information on course schedules, contact: (407) 823-2114.

Learning Institute for Elders (LIFE) at UCF
This program was established in 1990 to provide non-credit classes and lectures at UCF for elders in the greater Orlando area. Affiliated with the Elder Hostel Institute Network, LIFE at UCF is self-directed by members and offers interesting, provoca tive lectures on varied, stimulating topics. For more information on membership, programs, and benefits, contact: (407) 823-5433.

Continuing Gerontology Education for Professionals
The Initiative is in the process of assessing needs and interests of area professionals for continuing education in gerontology. These activities will be coordinated through the Division of Continuing Education in cooperation with participating acade mic departments. For further information and/or to indicate your interest in such programs, contact: (407) 423-6935.

University Lecture Series on Aging
Arrangements are being made to bring nationally known speakers to UCF during the 1996-97 academic year to present topics of interest both the academic and the broader Central Florida community. Funding for this series will be provided by the Initiati ve in cooperation with area agencies. For further information, contact (407) 823-2566.


A key component of the Initiative will be the establishment of multiple research projects in conjunction with a variety of "partners" in Central Florida and the State. The Partnership Starter Grant Program on Aging would identify projects of mutual inter est to the identified agencies and UCF faculty with funding for these efforts coming from the agency and the Initiative. It is expected that these initial efforts would serve as pilot projects for eventual external funding. There will be three focus are as of research and development:

Initiative on Aging and Technology
At the same time as America is graying, many technological innovations can help older adults maintain their functional independence and reduce the need for caregiving. Electronic technologies can be used to provide computer-assisted health informatio n, monitor and signal medication compliance, and control "smart" environments in the home and work settings. Furthermore, with the progressive aging of the work force, the need for training older computer-literate workers is bound to become more prevalen t in office and factories of the near future. Activities will involve various academic units, including Psychology, Computer Science, College of Engineering, Institute for Simulation and Training, and the Center for Applied Human Factors in Aviation.
For further information on research possibilities in this area, contact: Dr. Janan A. Smither, Department of Psychology, (407) 823-5859.

Initiative on the Older Worker, Retirement, and Leisure
With increased longevity, more workers will face re-training issues while others may seek early retirement and the pursuit of second careers. "Retirement" may now extend for more than 25 years, presenting challenges and opportunities. With increased affluence of the nation's elders, new marketing and consumer issues need to be addressed by the business community of Central Florida. For further information about projects in this area, contact: Dr. Warren McHone, College of Business Administration, (407) 823-2118.

Initiative on Elder Health, Wellness, and Human Services
The traditional approach to elder health and human services has focused on treating existing disorders. While treatment and intervention will remain important, for home-based and institutionalized care, this Initiative will also focus on prevention t hrough life-style modification. Many of the disabilities associated with "aging" are found to be associated, at least in part, with "secondary aging." This Initiative will emphasize exercise, nutrition and behavioral change to prevent the premature onse t of morbidity. For further information on projects in this area, contact: Dr. Frank Rohter, College of Education, (407) 823-2049.


As Central Florida's public university, UCF is committed to extending its knowledge beyond the classroom into the community. The teaching activities are designed to inform and train individuals and provide opportunities for applied experience in the comm unity. Research projects will focus on applied, community-based issues. Thus "service" is integral to the UCF Initiative on Aging and Longevity.


The following community/state agencies have indicated an interest in being partners with the Initiative:

If your are interested in becoming a partner with the Initiative, and/or you desire further information, contact:

Richard D. Tucker, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Psychology
Director, Initiative on Aging and Longevity
University of Central Florida
Howard Phillips Hall 302-D
Orlando, FL 32816-1390
Phone - (407) 823-2566
Fax - (407) 823-5862

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