E. Ayn Welleford MS,PhD.
Chair and Associate Professor
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Dr. Welleford received her B.A. in Management/Psychology from Averett College, M.S. in Gerontology and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has taught extensively in the areas of Lifespan Development, and Developmental Gerontology, Geropsychology, as well as Ethical Decision Making and Human Values. As an educator, researcher, and previously as a practitioner she has worked with a broad spectrum of individuals across the lifespan.
As Associate Professor and Chair of VCU's Department of Gerontology, she currently works to #DisruptAgeism while "Promoting Optimal Aging for Individuals and Communities" through her Teaching, Scholarship, and Community Engagement. Outside of the classroom, Dr. Welleford provides community education and serves on several boards and committees.Dr. Welleford is former Chair of the Governor's Commonwealth of Virginia Alzheimer's and Related Disorders Commission, as well as a recipient of the AGHE Distinguished Teacher Award. In 2011, Dr. Welleford was honored by the Alzheimer's Association for her statewide advocacy for person centered dementia care and work on Virginia’s Statewide Dementia Plan. In 2012, Dr. Welleford received the Mary C. Payne Leadership in Aging Award for her visionary leadership as a trailblazer in the field of aging. Currently, Dr. Welleford has been integral in carrying forward the Greater Richmond Age Wave collaborative which is responsible for making our region a great place to age. The VCU Department of Gerontology is a primary sponsor along with Senior Connections, Capital Area Agency on Aging. Dr. Welleford has the great honor of serving a co-lead of the Greater Richmond AgeWave Collaborative, with Senior Connections, Executive Director, Dr. Thelma Watson. In conjunction with these efforts, Dr. Welleford is deeply involved in carrying forward efforts to promote engagement and reduce social isolation in the Commonwealth. She has been known to say, “Let’s do something that does something.”