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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 14, 2006

Rowles To Deliver Parkin Lecture On Aging Oct. 3

Graham D. Rowles, Ph.D., social geographer and director of the University of Kentucky Graduate Center for Gerontology, will address, "The Meaning of Home in Rural America," at the University of Iowa Joe L. Parkin Memorial Lecture on Aging.

The lecture will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, in the Dr. Prem Sahai Auditorium of the Medical Education and Biomedical Research Facility (MERF). A welcome reception will be held at 4 p.m. before the lecture in the MERF atrium. The event is free and open to the public.

Rowles will discuss the changes in the traditional meaning of "home" as experienced by long-time resident elders. He will propose that the trend toward an increasingly mobile society reduces the stability of individuals' lives and complicates their ability to establish a sense of being at home. Rowles will also contend that residential change and rapid community involvement fosters alienation from place in individuals' lives.

Rowles is an associate at the Center for Rural Health at Kentucky and a fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. He is the president-elect of the Southern Gerontological Society, and he serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences.

Rowles is the author of more than 60 book chapters and articles. His publications include, "Prisoners of Space? Exploring the Geographical Experience of Older People" and four co-edited volumes including, "Aging and Milieu," "Qualitative Gerontology," "Long-term Care for the Rural Elderly," and "Qualitative Gerontology (second edition)."

For the past 30 years, Rowles has focused his research on the geography of aging and the aged. His studies emphasize exploring the changing relationship between elders and the environment. He also focuses his research on aging in rural environments, elderly relocation and migration, long-term care and nursing home environments, and the meaning of "place."

The Parkin lectureship was endowed by a gift from the Retirement Research Foundation of Chicago in memory of Joseph Parkin, former president of the foundation who attended the UI. Parkin was born on a farm outside of Derby, Iowa in 1923 and attended the UI from 1940 to 1943 when he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps. He served as an aerial navigator until 1945 and again from 1950-1952.

For more information or if you need an accommodation to attend this event, contact Julie Bobitt in advance at the UI Center on Aging at 319-384-4222 or

The UI Center on Aging fosters and supports interdisciplinary research, education and service throughout the campus and state to improve understanding of the aging process and the health and well-being of older people.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, 319-335-8032, Writer: Krystal Loewe

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