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Katherine "Katy" Abbott, Ph.D. named Executive Director of Scripps Gerontology Center

Katy AbbottKatherine "Katy" Abbott, Ph.D., MGS was named Executive Director of Scripps Gerontology Center, effective July 18, 2022. In this role, she is responsible for successful leadership, management, and strategic actions that align with university goals and support the organization’s mission to conduct research, provide service, and support education that makes a positive difference in the lives of aging people, their families, and their communities.

“Having worked as a graduate assistant for our two prior Executive Directors—Drs. Bob Atchley and Suzanne Kunkle—it feels surreal to step into these very large shoes,” Abbott said. “It is through the experience I had while working on my Master of Gerontological Studies (MGS) degree on Scripps research projects that my interest and desire to conduct applied research was born. I’m especially interested in this position because my personal goals align closely with the organization’s mission, vision, and values.”

In addition to Executive Director of Scripps, Abbott is a Professor of Gerontology. She teaches graduate courses in Qualitative Research Methods and Organizations and the Aging Enterprise along with undergraduate courses in Social Network Analysis and Social Policy and Programs in Gerontology. Her research and teaching focuses on preference-based person-centered care and the social networks and health of older adults receiving long-term services and supports. 

Abbott is the co-founder of Preference Based Living, whose mission is to conduct studies that build understanding of individual preferences and test innovative methods to honor preferences for people receiving long-term services and supports.