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Costa Rican students take part in summer program

Sixteen students from Tecnologico de Costa Rica, a university in Costa Rica, recently spent three weeks on the Western Carolina University campus to take part in a summertime language and culture program offered through WCU’s Intensive English Program.

Expert Highlight

Turner Goins

Ambassador Jeanette W. Hyde Endowed Professor of Gerontological Social Work

Turner Goins, professor in the Social Work Department at Western Carolina University, provides expert commentary on issues involving gerontology (the study of aging), especially among the Cherokee people. She recently authored a report on aging in the American Indian population that was published by the nonprofit AARP Inc., formerly the American Association of Retired Persons. The report found that four out of five American Indians now live outside of tribal lands, and suggested strategies to better serve their needs.

Goins secured a federal grant to partner WCU's College of Health and Human Sciences and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to study the relationship between mental health issues and the management and control of diabetes. This research is an outgrowth of the Native Elder Care Study that she conducted from 2005 until 2011 while serving as associate director of the Center for Healthy Aging Research and associate professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University.

Goins grew up in Raleigh and earned her doctorate at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. She also studied at the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development in Duke University’s Medical Center in 1997-98 through a National Institute on Aging Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in epidemiology.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Bill Studenc, director of communications and public relations, at 828.227.3083 or bstudenc@wcu.edu; or Randall Holcombe, director of news services, at 828.227.3086 or rholcomb@wcu.edu.