Anne Barrett and Miles Taylor, both Faculty Affiliates of the Institute for Successful Longevity, are among the eight Florida State University faculty members who have earned grants from the Fulbright Scholar Program this year.
Anne Barrett, professor of sociology and director of the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant to conduct research at the University of Trento in Italy.
Barrett, who has frequently taught at FSU’s Florence, Italy, academic program during summers over the past eight years, will conduct research focusing on how Italy’s rapidly aging population — now among the oldest in the world — has affected the health networks providing paid and unpaid care to older Italians.
“Traveling around Italy, I was constantly struck by signs of the country’s demographic transition: the boarded-up elementary schools, the eerily quiet playgrounds and the shrinking hill-towns where older residents remain,” Barrett said. “I wondered what these trends meant for older Italians. Who was around to provide care when they needed it? How did they feel about these new arrangements?”
Barrett said her international teaching experiences have given her a more global perspective on aging issues.
“Most countries are aging, a trend propelled by shrinking family size and lengthening lives,” she said. “Many are responding in ways that are different and sometimes better than the United States. I see the Fulbright award as an exciting opportunity to begin a new, more globally focused stage of my research career.”
Miles Taylor, associate professor in the Department of Sociology, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant to teach and perform research at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
She will work with Professor Amélie Quesnel-Vallée, an expert on international health care systems and health inequality. The research, using secure data from Canada’s National Population Health Survey, will compare health and aging in Canada and the United States.
Taylor wants to investigate why health inequality develops over a person’s lifetime based on education and income in Canada. That data will help show whether Canada and the United States share similar trends.
“If you look over people’s life spans in the U.S., the health gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ widens considerably, even to very old ages,” Taylor said. “These health disparities impact Americans in a variety of ways, such as rising health insurance premiums or how people voted in the last presidential election. It’s not clear if this pattern is unique in the U.S., and it is also unclear what drivers cause health inequality.”
Taylor met Quesnel-Vallée in graduate school and learned the pros and cons of the Canadian and U.S. approaches to health care. Taylor said their respective expertise and interest in gerontology and health care will make for a “great meeting of the minds” on this research project.
Read about all eight FSU Fulbright Scholars: http://news.fsu.edu/news/2018/07/11/fsu-produces-a-record-eight-fulbright-scholars/.