ISU Hilton Chair to discuss rural aging issues Sept. 30 at Gateway Center

AMES, Iowa -- John Krout, director of the Gerontology Institute in the Center for Health Sciences, Ithaca College, New York, will speak on "Aging in Rural America" at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30. The event will be in the Gateway Conference Center, Highway 30 and Elwood Drive South, Ames. It is free and open to the public.

Krout is the 2004-05 Dean Helen LeBaron Hilton Endowed Chair for Iowa State University's College of Family and Consumer Sciences. He is an internationally recognized scholar on aging in rural America, aging policies and programs, the sociology of aging and medical sociology.

Maurice MacDonald, professor and chair of the department of human development and family studies, said Krout will conduct four public lectures, visit classrooms, consult with faculty on research and extension projects, and present the keynote speech at an April 2005 conference on "Rural Aging in Iowa: Learning, Research and Engagement."

"A major goal for Krout's Hilton Chair service will be to develop a symposium on rural aging issues and policy development needs for public and professional presentations," MacDonald said.

Peter Martin, professor of human development and family studies and director of Iowa State's gerontology program, said rural aging is the program's current focus. A major research effort is planned on risk and resiliency in Iowa rural aging.

"Krout will participate in curriculum development to advance the graduate and undergraduate gerontology courses by incorporating rural aging content and developing service-learning opportunities for extension programs and research," Martin said.

In addition to his research, Krout has written more than 75 articles and book chapters, and has authored five books on rural aging. He earned his bachelor's degree in sociology from Denison University, Granville, Ohio, in 1970; master's degree in sociology from Bowling Green State University, Ohio, in 1973; and doctorate degree in sociology from The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, in 1977.

Prior to joining Ithaca College, Krout was director of the health care administration program and coordinator of the gerontology concentration at the State University of New York - College of Fredonia. He is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and a charter fellow of the Association of Gerontology in Higher Education.

Krout also will visit Iowa State in November and February 2005.

Established in 1995, the Hilton Chair was endowed by a gift of more than $1.3 million from the estate of Helen LeBaron Hilton, who served as dean of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences from 1952 to 1975.