Assistant Professor of Practice and MPH Distance Education Program Director
Jennifer Perion, PhD, CHES enjoyed a career in the technology field, working as a Network Administrator and IT Manager for businesses in the private sector before entering the field of public health. She enjoyed her job but wanted to find a new challenge, so she first earned a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies and then a PhD in Health Education from the University of Toledo.
Her previous experiences as an IT professional and a non-traditional student strongly influenced her interest in online education. As a doctoral student she earned a Master Online Instructor Certificate and became a Certified Higher Education Course Reviewer for Quality Matters. Prior to joining the University of Tennessee as an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Online MPH program, she taught public health and aging courses to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Toledo and Indiana State University.
She has a Graduate Certificate in Contemporary Gerontological Practice and her research interests are focused on aging, especially the needs of family and professional caregivers and the social experiences of older adults with dementia. She has studied the importance of friendship among older adults with dementia and was awarded a Pilot Research Project grant to study the experiences of adolescents who provide caregiving support for family members with dementia. Currently, she is investigating a multi-sensory technology designed to deliver engagement opportunities for older adults with moderate or severe dementia.