Maroon and Gold Scholarship honors gerontological work

Monica Casalean has been named the Arizona State University Gerontological Social Work Maroon & Gold scholar. Casalean is an undergraduate in the School of Social Work and a student in Barrett, The Honors College.

Each year, the Gerontological Social Work Maroon & Gold Scholarship is awarded to a bachelor of social work student with a demonstrated interest in pursuing a career in gerontological social work. This endowed scholarship was established by Teri Kennedy in honor of her late parents, Stanley and Bernadine Knutson, and grandparents, Albert and Emma (Spurr) Berg and Selmer and Myrtle (Hyland) Knutson; in respect for older adults; and in recognition of the critical need for social workers prepared to address the service delivery and policy needs of an aging population.

“Monica exemplifies the spirit of this scholarship through her dedication to serving older adults,” said Kennedy.

In addition to pursuing her degree full-time, Casalean is working with social work professor Robin Bonifas on research exploring bullying among older adults. She participated in a presentation of research findings at the IAGG World Conference on Gerontology and Geriatrics in July 2017. This fall, she began work on a project to further explore bullying among older adults, through interviews with older adult tenants living in a low-income housing complex in Phoenix.

Casalean is an intern with the Area Agency on Aging Region One, where she is part of the Care Transitions Team, working with Medicare beneficiaries who have been recently hospitalized and are at high risk for readmission due to chronic disease, a history of multiple admissions and/or psychosocial risk factors.

In addition to her work at ASU, Casalean is a wife and mother of two small children.