Sue V. Saxon, PhD, is a Professor Emeritus, School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida. She received her PhD in Developmental Psychology and Counseling from Florida State University and had additional graduate work at the University of Wisconsin in Physiological Psychology. She was a Research Psychologist for the National Institutes of Health and the Laboratory of Perinatal Physiology, University of Puerto Rico Medical School before joining the faculty in Behavioral Sciences at the University of South Florida. As a charter faculty member in the Aging Studies program she developed and taught numerous courses in aging as well as presenting workshops, in-service training, and authoring a number of books and chapters in books on aging. She has been designated a Gerontological Pioneer for outstanding achievement and exemplary contributions to the field of Gerontology by the Southern Gerontological Society.
Mary Jean Etten Ed.D has been a Tenured Full Professor in the College of Nursing at St. Petersburg College where she taught nursing, gerontology, thanatology, and developed innovative curriculum teaching hospice care and gerontological nursing. She is currently an adjunct lecturer in Thanatology in the School of Aging Studies at the University of South Florida. Dr. Etten attained a Doctoral degree in Education at Nova Southeastern University, an M.A. in Gerontology, M.A. in Counseling and an M.S. in Nursing from the University of South Florida and is a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner. She is a Fellow in Thanatology and is Board Certified as a Music Practitioner. She has authored several books and manuals as well as journal articles and lectures throughoutthe United States. Dr. Etten helped found Suncoast Hospice 33 years ago, and is active on several boards and committees in leadership roles in Hospice and with the Institute for Healing through Sound and Music. She was named Florida Nurse Educator of the Year in 2002, and also received the National Association of Gerontology in Higher Education Part-time Faculty Recognition award. In 2004 she received the Sue V. Saxon Outstanding Teaching Award, School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, for her outstanding teaching in Thanatology.
Elizabeth Perkins Ph.D(c), RNMH, is a Doctoral Candidate in the School of Aging Studies at the University of South Florida, where she also completed a BA (summa cum laude) in Psychology. In addition, Ms. Perkins is an RNMH from the Hereford and Worcester College of Nursing and Midwifery, England - a registered nurse who is trained specifically to care for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). Her clinical nursing and managerial experience spans both the general aging population, and persons with IDD in nursing home and residential long-term care settings. She has taught the Physical Change and Aging undergraduate course for several years at the University of South Florida, where she has twice received awards for her outstanding teaching.
Ms. Perkins' national leadership activities include being the current President of the Gerontology Division of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. She is also the present Co-convener of the Formal Interest Group on Developmental Disabilities for the Gerontological Society of America. Her research is focused on quality of life issues for aging adults with IDD and their caregivers. In 2006 she was awarded the Mattie J. T. Stepanek Caregiving Scholarship, cosponsored by Johnson & Johnson and the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving, in recognition of her work in this area.