George Shannon, PhD, has a Master’s and a PhD from the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California (USC). He is an active member of Phi Kappa Phi, the All-University National Honor Society and Sigma Phi Omega, the National Gerontology Academic Honor Society. In 2006, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the VA Greater Los Angeles Center of Excellence leading the Quality of Life (QoL) section of the Minimum Data Set (MDS 3.0) Evaluation Project as part of a multidisciplinary team of investigators from the VA, the RAND Corporation, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and Harvard University. Shannon currently teaches classes in Program Evaluation, Social Policy and Aging, Economics and Aging, and Society and Adult Development at the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California.
In addition to his work in gerontology, Shannon worked as an actor for nearly 30 years. He studied acting at Second City in Chicago and with Lee Strasberg in his private classes and at the Actor’s Studio in New York and Los Angeles. His experiences as an actor have served to enhance his teaching and presentation skills. He has performed more than 50 plays in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, along with half a dozen films and contract roles on five daytime TV shows, as well as teaching improvisation (five years in Los Angeles), and directing theater. Now, he is merging these seemingly disparate careers to promote optimal aging among adults of all ages, including “baby boomers” and others who prefer to remain active and vital for as long as possible. For some, optimal aging may mean finding a new career path, one that is both interesting and meaningful. It should include finding time for relaxation and physical exercise routines, and maintaining a healthy diet to keep one’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being in optimal condition to enjoy what can be the most rewarding time of life. Shannon is married and lives in Los Angeles with his wife of almost thirty years. He has four daughters from his first marriage, three of whom live in the Chicago area. He has nine grandchildren.