In this new role, Carpenter will work with the Friedman Center to develop and implement programs that will support education and professional development at Washington University focused on older adults, aging, and society. This will include identifying opportunities to maximize existing curricula for students, support faculty teaching in aging, promote connections between current student groups, and develop grants to offer new or expanded resources for students, faculty, and other professionals in aging.
After working with Carpenter for many years, Nancy Morrow-Howell, MSW, PhD, director of the Friedman Center, knew he would be a perfect fit for working with the center. “Brian has been a long-time faculty partner with the Friedman Center for Aging and has strong connections on both sides of campus. He is very committed to educating students about aging issues—for their own lives and for their professional careers. I look forward to working with him to strengthen Washington University’s capacity to respond to the challenges and opportunities of population aging.”
Carpenter is in his 16th year as a faculty member in Washington University’s Department of Psychology. He teaches undergraduate courses in psychology, serves as a faculty mentor for doctoral students in clinical psychology, and has been a co-collaborator on interdisciplinary courses in aging at Washington University, one for graduate students and the other for first-year students.
In addition to his service in teaching, Carpenter directs a research laboratory that studies communication and family relationships in later life. Projects have focused on planning for later life among middle-aged children and their parents, older patient and physician interactions, knowledge about Alzheimer’s disease, and mental health issues at the end of life. In the community he serves on the Board of the Gateway Alliance for Compassionate Care at End of Life.
“Washington University has a strong network of faculty who focus their teaching, research, and clinical care on older adults, and there is great potential for that network to grow,” Carpenter said. “I’m eager to work with the talented staff at the Harvey A Friedman Center for Aging to expand educational opportunities across campus. Washington University can be a global leader in developing innovative educational strategies and preparing our students to address the many challenges and opportunities presented by an aging population, in St. Louis and beyond.”