Phyllis A. Cummins, PhD

Phyllis Cummins

Senior Research Scholar
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology & Gerontology 

Phone: 513-529-2652
Office: Upham Hall, 370A

LinkedIn Profile

Phyllis's duties as a Senior Research Scholar include grant writing and research activities for her own work along with supporting and working collaboratively with Scripps Gerontology Center staff and Gerontology faculty in finding new research opportunities, convening meetings to respond to appropriate funding opportunities, reviewing details of the request for bids, reviewing proposals, and coordinating the required documentation that supplements the research narrative and budget.


PhD, Social Gerontology, Miami University
MS, Gerontology, Florida Gulf Coast University
MBA, Finance, University of North Florida
BS, Human Performance, Florida Gulf Coast University
BS, Marketing and Real Estate, The Ohio State University

Research Interests

Work and retirement transitions, education and training for older workers, publicly sponsored employment and training programs, the role community colleges play in education and training for older adults, skill development over the life course, and economic security in retirement

Biographical Sketch

Phyllis's research foci are workforce issues for older workers, including examination of the benefits of ongoing training and workforce development and the role publicly sponsored training programs and community colleges play in facilitating work at older ages. Transitions between full-time employment and retirement have become increasingly complex and research to better understand these phenomena are of great interest to her. An important component of her research is gaining an understanding of the demographic characteristics of older workers, especially those who have experienced cumulative inequality over their life course and are at risk for economic insecurity in retirement. She is currently the lead investigator on two grants funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. She has also been involved in several research projects funded by the Ohio Department of Aging and received funding from the National Center for Educational Statistics for a commissioned paper to examine what types and intensities of adult education and training relate to labor force participation, employment status, and income level at older ages.

Selected Publications

Yamashita, T., Punksungka, W., Van Vleet, S., Helsinger, A., & Cummins, P. A. (2022). Experiences of older adults during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in the United States: An initial exploration of nationally representative data at the intersection of gender and race. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 41(3), 619-627. doi: 10.1177/07334648211048258

Cummins, P. A., Harrington AK, Yamashita T. (2021). Individual Learning Accounts: A Comparison of Implemented and Proposed Initiatives. Adult Learning. doi:10.1177/10451595211046971

Yamashita, T., Zhang, J. Sun, N., & Cummins, P. A. (2021). Socio-demographic and socio-economic characteristics, and basic skills of the non-formal distance education participants among adults in the U.S. Adult Education Quarterly.  Advance online publication.

Hicks, N., Millar, R. J., Girling, L. M., Cummins, P. A., & Yamashita, T. (2021). Conducting Virtual Qualitative Interviews with International Key Informants: Insights from a Research Project. The Qualitative Report, 26(9), 2857-2871.

Cummins, P. A., Bahr, P. R., & Yamashita, T. (2022). Living longer, working longer, learning longer. In E. F. Fideler (Ed.), Handbook on Aging and Work (pp. 327-347). Rowman & Littlefield.

Cummins, P. A., Arbogast, A., & Bahr, P. R. (2021). Barriers and facilitators for mid- and later-life community college students: The role of faculty. Community College Journal of Research and Practice. Advance online publication.

Sahoo, S., Millar, R. J., Yamashita, T. & Cummins, P. A. (2020). Problem solving in technology rich environments and cancer screening in later life. European Journal of Cancer Prevention, 29(5), 474-480. doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0000000000000570. PMID: 31972699

Yamashita, T. & Cummins, P. A. (2021). Jobs at risk of automation in the USA: Implications for community colleges. Community College Journal of Research and Practice. Advance online publication.

Yamashita, T., Smith, T. J., & Cummins, P. A. (2020). A practical guide for analyzing large-scale assessment data using Mplus: A case demonstration using the Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies data. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics. Advance online publication.

Dikhtyar, O., Cummins, P. A., McGrew, K., & Bahr, P. R. (2020). Strategies employed by Ohio community colleges to improve labor market outcomes for older students. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 1-12. doi:10.1080/10668926.2020.1738289

Cummins, P. A., Brown, J. S., Bahr, P. R., & Mehri, N. (2019). Community colleges and older learners in Ohio Higher Education. Oxford, OH: Scripps Gerontology Center, Miami University.

Yamashita, T., Cummins, P. A., Millar, R. J., Sahoo, S., & Smith, T. J. (2019). Associations between motivation to learn, basic skills, and adult education and training participation among older adults in the USA. International Journal of Lifelong Education. doi:10.1080/02601370.2019.1666927

Millar, R. J., Sahoo, S., Yamashita, T., & Cummins, P. (2019). Problem solving in technology rich environments and self-rated health among adults in the U.S.: An analysis of the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies. Journal of Applied Gerontology. doi:10.1177/0733464819829663

Cummins, P., Yamashita, T., Millar, R., & Sahoo, S. (2019). Problem-solving skills of the U.S. workforce and preparedness for job automation. Adult Learning, 30(3), 111-120. doi:10.1177/1045159518818407

Yamashita, T., Bardo, A. R., Liu, D., & Cummins, P. (2018). Literacy, numeracy, and health information seeking among middle-aged and older adults in the United States. Journal of Aging and Health. doi:10.177/0898264318800918

Cummins, P., Brown, J. S., Bahr, P. R., & Mehri, N. (2018). Heterogeneity of older learners in higher education. Adult Learning, 30(1), 23-33. doi:10.1177/1045159518812077

Yamashita, T., Cummins, P., & Arbogast, A. (2018). Adult competencies and employment outcomes among older workers in the United States: An analysis of the program for the international assessment of adult competencies. Adult Education Quarterly, 68(3), 235-250. doi:10.1177/0741713618773496

Cummins, P., Yamashita, T., & Arbogast, A. (2018). An examination of PIAAC data for unemployed adults aged 45-74. Commissioned paper for the Americans Institutes of Research.