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Gerontology Department Faculty

Amber Dallwig
For more than 30 years, Amber Dallwig has been a RN and worked with many populations. However, she loves working with the older adult and their well-being the most. She is committed to teaching and helping students grow to their full potential. The Area Agency on Aging 1-B is her primary worksite with older adults while teaching Gerontology at Madonna and Community Health Nursing at U of M.
B.S N., Mercy College of Detroit; M.S.N., Wayne State University
Jean Barnas-Haratsaris
For more than 15 years, Ms. Barnas has worked with persons with dementia and their care partners. She is committed to improving living environments and the quality of life for older adults by training staff who work with residents with dementia living in long-term care communities. In addition to her University teaching responsibilities, Ms. Barnas is the Education Manager at the Alzheimer's Association – Greater Michigan Chapter and an adjunct faculty member at Eastern Michigan University.
B.S., Michigan State University; M.A., Notre Dame de Namur
Christine Foster
Ms. Foster has worked in health care and human service settings for more than 10 years. In an effort to better assist persons with dementia and their families, Ms. Foster was inspired to further her own education. She wishes to facilitate thought provoking discussions as well as insight building with her own teaching. Ms. Foster’s first passion remains working therapeutically with persons with dementia individually or in groups.
B.S., Michigan State University; Graduate Certificate in Dementia, Eastern Michigan University; M.A., Michigan School of Professional Psychology; Michigan Limited License Psychologist
Carole Galea
Ms. Galea is passionate about maintaining quality of life across the care continuum and about promoting excellence in long-term care. With 22 years of management experience, she is well versed in compliance and financial issues related to operating a publicly regulated organization. Ms. Galea has sought out direct care and volunteer opportunities to gain a first-hand perspective on the line-worker's concerns.
B.S., Madonna University; Michigan Nursing Home Administrator License
Roger Meiller
Reverend Meiller has over 35 years experience in the senior service and long-term care arena.  A former nursing home administrator, he currently serves as Director of Religious Services for Evangelical Homes of Michigan, where he helps cultivate an environment of spirituality and wellness within the organization, as well as community relations and outreach. He is a Certified Spiritual Eldering Leader.
B.A., Defiance College; M. Div., Chicago Theological Seminary
Sharon Miller
Admin 2212
Dr. Miller has devoted much of her legal career to advising and representing older individuals. She has broad experience training legal professionals in aging and has served on boards of community programs that assist the elderly. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Dr. Miller continues to provide mediation and alternative dispute resolution services to public organizations.
B.A., Oakland University; M.A., Oakland University; J.D., University of Detroit School of Law; Specialist in Law and Aging Certificate, Wayne State University
Maggie Ouellette
Ms. Ouellette has nineteen years of experience in the field of gerontology. Her work history includes positions in hospice, long term care, dementia care, and the sub-acute rehabilitation. Ms. Ouellette's passion is empowering older adults to maintain their dignity and uphold their rights. She currently serves as Director of Social Work and Activities for a local long term care facility.
B.S., Gerontology, Madonna University; M.S.W., Wayne State University
Sharon Schikora
Ms. Schikora's professional career includes 33 years of experience as a registered nurse working with the elderly in the areas of acute care, long term care, home care, and community sites. Along with this direct care work, she has taught in nursing education at Madonna University for the past 20 years.  Ms. Schikora most enjoys meeting and working with her elderly clients, and hearing their life stories. She brings this information to her students to help them understand the experiences and challenges of older adults.
B.S.N., Mercy College of Detroit; B.S., Gerontology, Madonna University; M.S.N., Madonna University; board Certified Gerontological Nurse-American Nurses Association Credentialing Center
Sue-Anne Sweeney
Admin 2209
Ms. Sweeney’s professional career includes 12 years in health care and human services settings and 15 years in business. Her academic interests include human growth and development across the lifespan, interpersonal and family dynamics, and human values. In addition to her professional roles, Ms. Sweeney has spent more than 22 years performing family eldercare.
B.A., M.P.H., Specialist in Aging, University of Michigan; M.A., University of Detroit Mercy; Michigan Limited License Psychologist; Senior Professional in Human Resources Certification
Patti Wachtel
Gerontology Management GER 4850
(313) 595-1611
With her enthusiastic spirit and limitless energy, Ms. Wachtel works to enhance the lives of seniors at all levels of care. With her experience in long term care for over 12 years, she provides future leaders and staff the necessary skills for strong, ethical leadership.  She has been involved in the not for profit sector for over 30 years, which has provided her opportunities to teach development and fund raising.  She is currently involved with active seniors and committed to leading them to their maximum potential both physically and mentally through creative senior center programs.
B.S. William Tyndale College, Michigan Nursing Home Administrator License, Madonna University
Diane Zide
Ms. Zide is committed to addressing the needs of people with dementia through person-centered approaches. During the course of her 20 years in healthcare, she has developed four nursing home dementia units that employ this model of care. Ms. Zide is preapproved to teach the Modular Education Program for Activity Professionals (MEPAP), Parts 1 and 2, though the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals and the National Association of Activity Professionals.
B.S., Eastern Michigan University; Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, Activity Consultant Certified; Michigan Nursing Home Administrator License; M.S. Eastern Michigan University; Certificate Teaching in Health Care Systems, Eastern Michigan University

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