Aging and Older Adults
Department Chair, Political & Social Sciences
Ph.D. Wayne State University
M.A. Wayne State University
Master of Public Health & graduate Specialist Certificate University of Michigan
M.A. University of Detroit Mercy
Dr. Denise Brothers has been a faculty member of the Aging Studies Department since 2013. She holds a M.S. in Exercise and Health Studies and a Ph.D. in Social Gerontology, both from Miami University of Ohio. She also earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Michigan, School of Business Administration.
Dr. Brothers teaches the introductory course in aging studies, psychology and aging, global aging, educational program planning, and programs and services for older adults. Her professional interests include understanding how race, class, and gender impact later-life outcomes, such as health, wealth, and social networks. Her research has included exploring how changing demographics and marital patterns are altering the ways in which older men and women are forming and maintaining new relationships in later life.
Earlier in her career, she assisted with a number of research projects on long-term care services and support in the state of Ohio. This research included a qualitative study on the experiences of consumers and caregivers receiving home-and-community based services as well as identifying current and future capacity needs for long-term care. She also engages in public scholarship through her participation on advisory groups within Michigan’s aging network.
Sue-Anne M. Sweeney
Ms. Sue-Anne Sweeney has been a faculty member of the Aging Studies Department since 2005, and Chair since 2009. In addition to her academic credentials, she is certified as a senior human resources professional with both national HR certification bodies.
Ms. Sweeney teaches courses in physical aging, psychology and mental health of older adults, care management, and professional development for aging services. Her professional interests include negotiating the psychological challenges of later life, positive aging, family caregiving, later life family dynamics, the interrelationship of mind and body in promoting health or illness, and organizational development and change management.
Her research has focused on institutional concerns such as academic advising and faculty research. She also engages in public scholarship through her participation on non-profit boards and advisory groups, and community and professional education. She maintains the Madonna gerontology blog at madonnaugerontology.wordpress.com
She teaches a variety of undergraduate political science and cross listed history courses and also selected graduate classes in the Master of Arts History program. In addition to her love of teaching, her research interests include political engagement, political discussion, political interest and knowledge and political tolerance with a particular focus on gender differences. She regularly presents papers at the Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference in Chicago, IL as well as other political science conferences. Her research has been published and she is actively engaged in ongoing research projects including a current study examining the effect of conversation format on political discussion, comparing the frequency and intensity of debate among university students in an online environment versus a face-to-face environment.