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UTSA demographer speaks at congressional briefing on aging trends

Joachim Singelmann

Joachim Singelmann

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(June 20, 2013) -- Joachim Singelmann, chair of the Department of Demography in the UTSA College of Public Policy, presented research in Washington, D.C., at a June 20 congressional briefing on "Aging in Rural America: 21st Century Trends."

The briefing was hosted by the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) and sponsored by several social science organizations from across the country. It drew from the book, "Rural Aging in 21st Century America," to which Singelmann and Marlene A. Lee of the Population Reference Bureau contributed. Singelmann and Lee researched and wrote the book chapter, "Place and Race: Health of African Americans in Non-metropolitan Areas," on which he was invited by COSSA to speak.

Singelmann and Lee presented their findings to congressional members, staffers and fellow social science experts. His research details the differences in disability among the white and African-American elderly in both metropolitan and rural areas. The aim of the briefing was to educate congressional advocates about the implications these findings have for public policy programs aimed at reducing disabilities in the aging populations of rural America.

Research by Singelmann and Lee found that geographical differences in disability rates for older African-American groups have major implications for the distribution of national and local health resources. According to their study, disability is much higher in non-metropolitan areas. Thus, programs to reduce disability targeting both black and white demographics are especially important for rural areas. Similarly, disability rates are much higher for blacks and whites in the South. Singelmann and Lee suggest that programs to reduce disability would do well to specifically target black and white southern populations to combat disability.

Secondly, Singelmann and Lee's analysis found support for the "weathering" hypothesis by A.T. Geronimus, which suggests that African-Americans have higher cumulative risk measurements than whites. Singelmann and Lee's work suggests that any future programs addressing disability should target younger ages for blacks than whites. Finally, in order to be successful, programs to reduce disability among southern black populations must recognize that there is a broader environment of education that seems to lower disability less for blacks than for whites.

"I hope that our demographic research group's findings educate these congressional staffers about aging and health trends in a way that they will consider closely our work as they implement public policies regarding health and disabilities," said Singelmann. "In the future, it will be necessary to understand the nuanced differences in these groups' disability rates to have any significant or lasting impact and close the rural-urban and black-white gap in health outcomes."

>> Learn more at the UTSA Department of Demography website and the Consortium of Social Science Associations website.



Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus

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UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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