Nancy Morrow-Howell completed her Ph.D. in Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley and has been on the faculty at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University since 1987. She was named Bettie Bofinger Brown Distinguished Professor of Social Policy in 2014. In 2012, she was appointed Director of the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging at Washington University. Dr. Morrow-Howell is a national leader in gerontology, widely known for her work on productive and civic engagement of older adults. She is editor of the book Productive Aging, published by Johns Hopkins University Press. With support from Retirement Research, the Metlife Foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, and the National Institute on Aging, she explores strategies to maximize the engagement of older adults in productive roles.
Her research has contributed to understanding about programs, policies and institutional arrangements that maximize the productive engagement of older adults while promoting positive outcomes for the individuals themselves. Her research has documented outcomes for individual, families, and communities associated with expanding work, volunteering, civic service, and caregiving by older adults. Her work has received international attention as societies across the globe are responding to population aging.
At the Brown School, she teaches gerontology courses as well as research methods. She has held many leadership positions, including directing the Master’s gerontology curriculum and chairing the PhD program. At Washington University, she is the McDonnell International Scholars Academy Ambassador to the University of Hong Kong. As Director of the University’s Center for Aging, she promotes gerontological research and education across disciplines, schools, and departments.
Dr. Morrow-Howell is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), past chair of the Social Research, Policy, and Program (SRPP) section of the GSA, and past-vice president of the Association for Gerontological Education in Social Work (AGE-SW). She was actively involved with the John A. Hartford Geriatric Social Work Initiative. She has served as editor of the Practice Concepts section of The Gerontologist under two different editorships; and she is on the Editorial Board of several top journals in gerontology. She received both the Washington University Distinguished Faculty Award and the Brown School’s Outstanding Faculty Award. In 2008 and 2011, she was given the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award by Washington University. She was the recipient of the 2011 Career Achievement Award from the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work and of the 2013 Distinguished Career Achievement Award from the Society for Social Work and Research.