Caroline Cicero, PhD, MSW, MPL

Instructional Associate Professor of Gerontology
Director, USC Age-Friendly University Initiative Co-Director, USC Emeriti Center

Pronouns: She/Her
Expertise: Policy, Housing, Sociology


  • PhD, Gerontology, University of Southern California
  • MPL-Planning, University of Southern California
  • MSW-Social Work, University of Southern California
  • BA, Anthropology and Sociology, Davidson College


  • Age-friendly communities: built environment and service delivery
  • Visual gerontology: aging artists and the portrayal of aging
  • Attachment to place: the importance of home across the lifespan
  • Fall prevention and home modifications
  • Policy advocacy in the gerontology sector


Caroline Cicero, PhD, MSW, MPL is an Instructional Associate Professor in the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology where she teaches undergraduate and masters level courses. She is the Co-Director of the USC Emeriti Center, which serves retired and pre-retired faculty and staff, and is the Director of the USC Age-Friendly University Initiative. As a gerontologist, social worker and urban planner, she is committed to fighting ageism in society and making local communities better places to grow old. One of her favorite teaching and research methods is visual gerontology—an analysis of aging’s portrayal in popular media, fine art, and the public square. Prior to earning her PhD in Gerontology and her teaching career, Cicero’s professional work included senior care management, affordable housing development, fall prevention, environmental design, and policy planning in public, private, and nonprofit settings. She is a trained USC Culture Network Facilitator and has a certificate in Death Midwifery for supporting patients and their caregivers at the end of life. She was named Professor of the Year in 2022 by the Student Gerontology Association and received the Faculty Teaching Award from the Leonard Davis School. Additionally, Cicero is a co-associate editor of the Gerontological Society of America’s newsletter, Advancing Age-Inclusivity in Higher Education and served four years on the American Society on Aging Public Policy Committee.

Email: cicero@usc.edu

Office Location: GER 231c

Publications and links: Curriculum Vitae