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International Day of Older Persons 2022

September 30, 2022, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm PDT

Flyer for International Day of Older Persons 2022: Women and Resilience with vector illustration of many women

Please join us in conversation about “Women and Resilience” as part of our International Day of Older Persons Event. Learn about resilience in caregiving, finance, community and more as leading experts share insights on the ability to withstand adversity and thrive at any age.

Event Schedule | September 30, 2022

10:00 a.m. – Registration, Gerontology Auditorium
10:15 a.m. – Tara Mastro – Opening remarks
10:20 a.m. – Dean Cohen – Welcome to the USC Leonard Davis School
10:30 a.m. – Shari Thorell – UN IDOP and the Meaning of Resilience
10:35 a.m. – Brett Anderson – Applied Resilience and the Lifecourse
10:45 a.m. – Mara Mather – Keynote: How Does Aging Increase Emotional Resilience?
11:10 a.m. – Session 1 – Sandy Gleysteen in conversation with Kathleen Gilmore & Mei-Lee Ney (Financial resilience)
11:30 a.m. – Session 2 – Sherri Snelling in conversation with Dr Donna Benton & Dr Jennifer Ailshire (Community & Caregiver resilience)
11:50 a.m. – Session 3 – Ryo Sanabria in conversation with Marisa Turesky & Sharon Rafael (LGBTQ resilience)
12:10 p.m. – Session 4 – Orli Belman in conversation with Zora Benhamou & Brett Anderson (Resilience in Life Transitions)
12:30 p.m. – Q&A
12:50 p.m. – Tara Mastro – Closing address
1:00 p.m. – Lunch in the courtyard


Professor Pinchas Cohen

Pinchas "Hassy" Cohen

Dean, USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology

Pinchas Cohen MD is the dean of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, executive director of the Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center, and holder of the William and Sylvia Kugel Dean’s Chair in Gerontology. He is an expert in the study of mitochondrial peptides and their possible therapeutic benefits for diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases related to aging. Cohen also holds joint appointments at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and in the Department of Biological Sciences at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
As dean, Cohen is leading several new initiatives at the USC Leonard Davis School, including a major focus on the creation of tools for “personalized aging,” an approach using technologies such as genomics towards individualizing healthy aging strategies, which has been featured in the Milken Global Conference and in the Bloomberg Longevity Economy Conference. He also leads the Ensuring Lifespan Health initiative at USC.

Headshot of Tara Mastro

Tara Mastro

Instructional Assistant Professor of Gerontology

Tara Mastro PhD is an Instructional Assistant Professor of Gerontology. She has a passion for facilitating active learning experiences for students. Mastro received her undergraduate degree in biological sciences with an emphasis in medical sciences from UC Riverside. Her PhD in molecular biology was completed at USC, where she studied DNA repair processes that underlie cancer progression and genetic disease. Later, she completed postdoctoral training at the California Institute of Technology in neuroscience and biochemistry. Her current research investigates the biochemical basis of learning and memory and how this is altered in genetic and aging-related diseases.

Headshot of Shari Thorell

Shari Thorell

Founder, ST Enterprises

Shari Thorell is Founder of ST Enterprises and is the Chair of the USC Leonard Davis School Board of Councilors. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from USC in 1965, she continued working for USC in several development, events and alumni relations roles, including Director of Development and Public Relations for the Andrus Gerontology Center and USC Vice President of Alumni Relations, until she retired from USC in 1992. After retiring from USC, Thorell spent 27 years as a strategic planning and development consultant to agri-business companies, universities, museums, and other non-profits ranging from San Francisco to New York. Additionally she trained business executives, attorneys, community groups, and volunteers for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee and the World's Cup in strategies for making effective presentations. She is a recipient of the USC Alumni Association's Half-Century Trojans Hall of Fame Award and the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Dean's Medallion.

Headshot of Brett Anderson

Brett Anderson

Associate Clinical Social Worker

Brett Anderson recently received a Master's of Science in Gerontology (MSG) from the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. She received a Bachelor's in Psychology from Stanford University in 2019, completing an honors thesis on time-use across the lifespan. In 2021, she received a Master’s in Social Welfare (MSW) from UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs. Anderson's first career started at age thirteen when she co-founded an all-female rock band that took her on a twenty-year journey writing and performing music around the world. Now pursuing a career as a licensed geriatric social worker, she hopes to integrate her creative and business experience with her gerontological knowledge to better meet the needs of our rapidly aging population.

Mara Mather

Mara Mather

Professor of Gerontology, Psychology, and Biomedical Engineering

Mara Mather PhD is Professor of Gerontology and Psychology at USC. Her research focuses on brain systems that regulate physiological and emotional arousal, how they affect attention, memory and decision-making, and how these relationships change in aging. She has received the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology from the American Psychological Association, a National Institutes of Health K02 Career Development award, an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship and a Max Planck Sabbatical Award. She received her PhD in Cognitive Psychology from Princeton University and completed her undergraduate degree and postdoctoral training at Stanford University.

Headshot of Sandy Glysteen

Sandy Gleysteen

Executive Producer of Content, Program and Special Projects, Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement at Cleveland Clinic

Alexandra (Sandy) Gleysteen is an award-winning television journalist and media executive with extensive experience in television and live event production. She is the Executive Producer of Content, Program and Special Projects for the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement at Cleveland Clinic and is Executive Producer at Shriver Media, a multi-platform media company that includes digital, television, film, live experiences and publishing entities. Previously, she served as Senior Producer for CBS News and Executive Producer for NBC News.

Kathleen Gilmore portrait

Kathleen Gilmore

President and Chair, Clifford Swan Investment Counselors

Kathleen Gilmore is Chairman of the Board and President of Clifford Swan Investment Counselors, an independent wealth management firm founded in 1915 and headquartered in Pasadena, California. Gilmore’s career with Clifford Swan began in 2002. She was elected Chair and promoted to President in 2020. A Pasadena native, Gilmore has enjoyed many years of volunteering with The Los Angeles Boys and Girls Club, Hillsides, Church of Our Savior, the USC Pacific Asia Museum, The Town Club, Pasadena Community Foundation’s Professional Advisors Committee and the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Board of Councilors.

Portrait of Mei-Lee Ney

Mei-Lee Ney

President, Richard Ney & Associates Asset Management, Inc.

Mei-Lee Ney is the president of Richard Ney & Associates Asset Management, Inc., a registered investment advisory firm which she joined in 1973. She was the business partner and wife of Richard Ney, author of three books on the stock market: “The Wall Street Jungle,” “The Wall Street Gang” and Making It in the Market,” the last two of which she edited. She also serves on the USC Leonard Davis School Board of Councilors, USC Pacific Asia Museum Board of Councilors, the Otis College of Art and Design Board of Trustees and is active in several other community, arts and education organizations. She is a recipient of the USC Leonard Davis School Dean’s Medallion.

Portrait of Sherri Snelling

Sherri Snelling

Founder and CEO, Caregiving Club

Sherri Snelling is a corporate gerontologist, author and founder/CEO of Caregiving Club, a strategic consulting and content creation firm. Her work focuses on helping employers and other organizations educate and support the 5 generations and millions of family caregivers who comprise the $20 billion caregiver health and wellness industry and play a key role in the $8 trillion longevity economy. She completed her Master of Arts in Gerontology and Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Political Science degrees at USC.

Headshot of Donna Benton

Donna Benton

Director, USC Family Caregiver Support Center

Donna Benton PhD is a Research Associate Professor of Gerontology at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. She received her graduate training in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology and was a gero-psychological postdoctoral fellow at USC/Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center. Benton is the Director of the USC Family Caregiver Support Center (FCSC) and the Los Angeles Caregiver Resource Center (LACRC). She has over 30 years of experience in providing direct service, advocacy and programs for families caring for persons with dementia. She was appointed to the CA Master Plan for Aging Stakeholder Advisory Commission and the CA Commission on Aging (CCOA). Her research focus is on the development of online evidence-based interventions for family caregivers to improve mental and physical health and well being and prevention of elder mistreatment. She also serves as a mentor to students interested in advocacy for caregivers.

Jennifer Ailshire Portrait

Jennifer Ailshire

Associate Professor of Gerontology and Sociology

Jennifer Ailshire PhD is an Associate Professor of Gerontology and Sociology at USC. Ailshire’s research addresses questions that lie at the intersections of social stratification, urban sociology, and the sociology of health and aging. In particular, her research focuses on the importance of the neighborhood environment and social relationships in determining health over the life course. A consistent theme throughout her work is an interest in gender, socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic inequality in health. Current projects include research on the links between air pollution and health in older adults, neighborhood determinants of racial and ethnic health disparities, and social factors associated with poor sleep.

Portrait of Ryo Sanabria by Stephanie Kleinman

Ryo Sanabria

Assistant Professor of Gerontology

Ryo Sanabria is an Assistant Professor of Gerontology at USC. Their research focuses on the intersection between stress and aging, how cells deal with stress by activating compartment-specific cellular stress responses, why stress response pathways breakdown as we grow older, and whether there may be ways to delay that breakdown and potentially promote healthier lifespans. Sanabria completed their BA and MA degree in Biotechnology at Hunter College and completed their PhD at Columbia University.

Marisa Turesky

Marisa Turesky

PhD candidate, Urban Planning and Development

Marisa Turesky is a PhD Candidate in Urban Planning and Development at USC, with a Graduate Certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies. She looks at how identity shapes historically underserved communities’ access to services and spaces, particularly across the lifespan. Turesky’s dissertation examines how older lesbians’ use of houses and home neighborhoods can inform more equitable housing and services.

Sharon Rafael

Sharon Rafael

Research Gatekeeper, Old Lesbians Organizing for Change

Sharon Raphael PhD is a retired Professor of Sociology (1970-2010) who coordinated a Master’s in Gerontology program at California State University Dominguez Hills. She has been active in gay & lesbian causes since 1971. Sharon has worked with the organization Old Lesbians Organizing for Change, fighting ageism & lesbophobia, since its inception. She lives & works with Jenny Wrenn & their dog Betty in Long Beach, California.

Headshot of Orli Belman

Orli Belman

Chief Communications Officer, USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology

Orli Belman has served as Chief Communications Officer for the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology since 2016. Previously, she was Public Relations Lead at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies and a Media Representative for USC University Communications. Prior to arriving at USC, she worked in television news, serving as an Associate Producer for NBC News and PBS Frontline.

Headshot of Zora Benhamou

Zora Benhamou

Founder, Hack My Age

Zora Benhamou received her Master of Arts in Gerontology in 2022. She is a gerontologist on a mission to disrupt ageist stereotypes in social media and is host of the Hack My Age podcast focusing on biohacking for women over 50. She is a 52-year-old digital nomad, traveled to over 50 countries, lived in 8, and speaks 6 languages. She founded the website, the Hack My Age podcast, and is the author of the Longevity Master Plan and cookbook Eating For Longevity. Her social media and podcast following reaches over 100,000 people and is growing quickly. She is also a member of the Gerontological Society of America. Benhamou is also a certified sports nutrition coach and breathing instructor.

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September 30, 2022
10:00 am - 2:00 pm PDT
Event Categories:
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USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
3715 McClintock Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90089 United States
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(213) 740-5156
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