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TimMarie Williams

TimMarie Williams holds a doctorate in psychology (Ph.D.) focused on applied gerontology from the University of North Texas. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Sciences and Kinesiology at Georgia Southern University. She was also named a 2018-2019 Governor’s Teaching Fellow for the academic year symposium program. Williams was one of 18 faculty members across the state of Georgia that was selected after a highly competitive application and selection process.

Session Title: “Making Sense of Caregiving”

April Miller

April Miller is the founder of Brave Tomorrow Counseling and Consulting. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, Master of Education in school psychology, an Education Specialist degree in school psychology, and a Master of Education in counselor education with a clinical mental health emphasis. In addition to her education, she is also a licensed professional counselor in the state of Georgia, a registered play therapist, national certified counselor, and a certified school psychologist through the state of Georgia. She is also credentialed as an Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) Mental Health Provider.

Through her practice, Miller provides traditional counseling, equine-assisted counseling and play therapy for all ages—be it individuals, families or groups. She is playful and empathetic at heart, and loves to connect with other people and hear their stories. She considers it a high honor when she is invited to walk with a client on their journey. She is a firm believer in doing as well as talking and loves using play, art, visualization and other experiential techniques with her clients. She is very involved in the Statesboro and Bulloch County community and loves sharing her passion with those around her. She also values other professional resources in the community and believes that it is important to work with other providers to give her clients the most benefits possible so that they can reach their goals.

Session Title: “Using Experiential Techniques with Older Adult Clients”

Jordan Raulerson

Jordan Raulerson is a graduate of Georgia Southern University’s psychology program. During her undergraduate tenure, she spent two years as a research assistant focusing primarily on language barriers and language bias with older adults. She is currently a master’s candidate in the Counselor Education Program at Georgia Southern and an intern at Brave Tomorrow Counseling, where she is training to use play and experiential techniques with clients of all ages.

Session Title: “Using Experiential Techniques with Older Adult Clients”

Sarah Anklam

Sarah Anklam is currently a master’s candidate in the Georgia Southern University Counselor Education Program. She received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a minor in studio art from Mount Mary University in 2018. Sarah is an intern at Brave Tomorrow Counseling and Consulting and is training in play, art and experiential therapy techniques with all ages.

Session Title: “Using Experiential Techniques with Older Adult Clients”

Deb Blackburn

Deb Blackburn holds a Master of Science in sociology, a Master of Education in university administration and community counseling, and a Bachelor of Arts in art as well as coursework for a doctorate of public health. Her career goal is to address disparities in communities that impact the economy and stifle the potential of those affected. Her professional experience includes work with the Division of Family and Child Services (DFCS), nursing homes, home health and serving as executive director of a community-based HIV organization and a sexual assault center. She has been a board member with numerous agencies and on many collaborations and commissions/coalitions. She has won and managed over $2,500,000 in grants, from the proposal stage through reporting on compliance and financial issues. During her career, she has developed and managed non-profit and government budgets up to $1.2 million annual. She also has 24 years as an enthusiastic and effective trainer and instructor.

Blackburn’s specialties are grants, sensitivity and multicultural training, team building and social service mapping. Her other skills include program management, social work leadership, finding solutions for complex issues, impact and evidence-based programming, federal grants, supervision and evaluation of students, volunteers and staff, day-to-day operations to ensure accountability and efficient and effective use of available resources while maintaining good stewardship of funds and in-kind donations, fundraising, advocacy, counseling, research, policy and procedure development and implementation, strategic planning, facilities management, inspections and construction experience.

Session Title: “Volunteers Speak About What They Look for in a Volunteer Opportunity: Implications for Volunteer Programs to Improve Recruitment and the Volunteer Experience”

Peggy Luukkonen

Peggy Luukkonen has a Bachelor of Science degree in human development and the family from the University of Nebraska with a specialization in gerontology. She has over 35 years of experience in the aging field and has had the opportunity to work with seniors in many different settings. She began her career as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) while in college and feels grateful to have served the elderly in a variety of capacities since then.

Her experiences have included serving as a nursing home activities director, nursing home social worker, senior center director, AAA case manager, dementia care coach and an AAA program manager. She has found her career in gerontology to be both exciting and rewarding whether she was camping in the woods with a group of seniors, facilitating a life history writing group, helping a loved one cope with caring for a loved one with dementia or helping someone understand longterm care options. Peggy says, “It’s all just been a wonderful ride!”

Session Title: “Your Local Area Agency on Aging: Rockin’ the Ages”

Nadia Flanigan

Nadia Flanigan, Ph.D., has been a lecturer of child and family development at Georgia Southern University for eight years. She has taught courses in family science, adult development and aging, lifespan development, and child and youth development. Her research interests include adult development and aging, parent-adult child relationships, and the factors that influence exchanges of support between parents and adult children.

Session Title: “‘Shacking Up’ and Settling Down: Cohabitation in Middle and Late Adulthood”

Jennifer Zorotovich

Jennifer Zorotovich is an assistant professor of child and family development at Georgia Southern University. She teaches undergraduate courses on adult development and later life, death and bereavement across the lifespan, undergraduate research methods, and family services. Her research focuses on major transitions in adulthood, attitudes toward aging, social status and positive well-being. She also volunteers for Ogeechee Area Hospice, where she provides companion support to those living with advanced terminal illnesses.

Session Title: “‘Shacking Up’ and Settling Down: Cohabitation in Middle and Late Adulthood”

Jennifer Hogan

Jennifer Hogan is the disaster preparedness coordinator for the Georgia Division of Aging Services. She works with Division of Aging Services staff, the 12 Area Agencies on Aging, the Department of Public Health and other partners to coordinate disaster preparedness planning, response and recovery for older adults and people with disabilities. She is a member of the Georgia Emergency Preparedness Coalition for Individuals with Disabilities & Older Adults and serves on the Aging & Disabilities Resource Center State Advisory Council. She is also a certified mental health first aid trainer.

Hogan received her undergraduate degree in sociology from Emory University and her master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a volunteer usher with the Fox Theater in Atlanta and has started volunteering with Angels Among Us pet rescue organization. She is currently fostering two dogs, Joan Ellen and Jolly Goodfellow—no relation to each other, at least until they get adopted.

Session Titles: “Disaster Preparedness for the Medically At-Risk, Non-Institutionalized Population” and “Opioids and Older Adults: Is There a Problem?”

Pamela Worrell-Carlisle

Pamela Worrell-Carlisle holds a master’s degree with a double major in nursing and counseling psychology and a doctorate of psychology in educational psychology and human development. Her focus is on education, service and scholarship is a stigma toward vulnerable populations including those with mental health disorders and the elderly. She believes student nurses need experiences that promote seeing individuals as humans rather than their disease labels, and that happens when given the opportunity to engage with others and build relationships.

Session Title: “Pain Management for Senior Health”

Gwenyth Johnson

Gwenyth Johnson is the chief executive officer for Second Wind Dreams. She brings more than 10 years of experience with the implementation of state-wide programming for older adults with the Georgia State Unit on Aging. She also has more than 20 years’ experience working with the health and wellness of an aging population. This includes experience working in long-term care facilities and with community service providers.

Johnson holds bachelor degrees in communications and theater from Berea College and dietetics and food administration from Eastern Kentucky University as well as a master’s degree in nutrition science from Georgia State University. She believes that the perception and experience of aging should be intrinsically positive and has found the perfect organization to help make this happen. She works across all the programs within Second Wind Dreams to empower the staff to make this belief a reality. The idea of fun at every age is evident in all aspects of her life. As a hobby, Johnson teaches hula hoop, belly dance, tai chi and other types of movement and “play activities” for adults.

Session Title: “Turning the Intangibles of Person-Centered Care into Measurable Data”

Roger Smith

Roger Smith, a Savannah native, was involved in the community and deeply in love with his city by the time he graduated as class valedictorian from Calvary Day School in 1986. Without hesitation, he became an English major with strong minors in French and education, completing 245 quarter hours of coursework in four years and graduating in 1990. He then spent 10 years as a high school teacher of American literature and French at Savannah Christian Preparatory School, and as a museum educator at the Massie Heritage Center.

After six years as director of education for the Georgia Historical Society, he joined Senior Citizens, Inc. in 2006, in order to establish The Learning Center (TLC), a humanities-based, academically rigorous educational program for people ages 55 and over in coastal Georgia. He administers TLC’s programs, working with instructors and members to create unique educational opportunities. In only five years, the center has grown from a one-day-per-week program with 200 attendees to a five-day-per-week program with 500 members. Smith frequently lectures at TLC, combining his work in administration with his love for classroom instruction. Smith travels extensively with seniors, as well as with his life partner, Kevin Peek. He has served on boards of directors for organizations including the Friends of Massie Committee, the Savannah Council on World Affairs, and Historic Savannah Foundation.

Last updated: 8/14/2019