Michael Caserta PhD

Curriculum Vitae

  • Adjunct Professor, Health Promotion & Education
  • Professor, College Of Nursing
  • Robert L. & Joyce T. Rice Presidential Endowed Chair in Healthy Aging



  • BA, Sociology, College of the Holy Cross
  • MS, Sociology (Medical Sociology), University of Utah
  • PhD, Health Education, University of Utah

Honors & Awards

  • Nominee – Calvin S. & JeNeal N. Hatch Prize in Teaching. University of Utah, 12/2014
  • Excellence in Teaching Award. College of Nursing, University of Utah, 09/2014
  • Faculty Award – “For distinguished and exemplary service to students with disabilities”. Center for Disability Services – University of Utah, 05/2014
  • 2013 Pioneer Award. Utah Aging Alliance, 10/2013
  • Top 100 Nursing Professors in 2012. www.bsntomsn.org/nursing-professors/. 09/2012
  • Honorable Mention, Archstone Foundation Award for Excellence in Program Innovation (For Pathfinders Demonstration Project). Gerontological Health Section - American Public Health Association, 2000
  • Fellow. Gerontological Society of America, 2000
  • Excellence in Research Award. College of Nursing - University of Utah, 1998
  • Outstanding Alumnus Award. Dept. of Health Promotion & Education - University of Utah, 1998
  • National Honor Society in Gerontology. Sigma Phi Omega, 1989


  • Alliance for Healthy Active Ageing (AHAA), Member, 2010 - present
  • Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC), Member, 1993 - present
  • American Association for Health Education (AAHE), Member, 1992 - present
  • Gerontological Society of America (GSA), Member/Fellow, 1985 - present
  • American Society on Aging (ASA), Member, 1984 - present

In the Media

  • Quoted in NY Times article about some of the unique experiences of grief when experienced by men who lose a spouse or partner. 07/25/2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/26/health/26grief.h...
  • I was quoted in the Washington Post in an article about how older adults adapt to loss. I particularly spoke about how bereaved individuals adapt over time and arrive at a level of functioning. 08/10/2010.
  • Article in Salt Lake Tribune regarding my appointment to the Rice Endowed Chair in which I was interviewed about my perspective on Healthy Aging. 03/15/2010.


  • English, fluent.

Career Highlights

Michael Caserta, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program and holds the Robert L. and Joyce T. Rice Presidential Endowed Chair in Healthy Aging.  He is an associate of the University of Utah Center on Aging and Hartford Center of Excellence in Geriatric Nursing and a member of the Huntsman Cancer Institute's Cancer Control and Populations Sciences group.  He also is an Adjunct Professor of Health Promotion and Education.

Dr. Caserta earned his BA in Sociology (1976) from the College of Holy Cross (Worcester MA), an MS in Sociology (1984) and PhD in Health Education (1992) at the University of Utah. He has been a member of the Gerontology Faculty at the College of Nursing since 1989. 

Dr. Caserta has published widely in the areas of spousal bereavement, family caregiving, and health promotion and self-care. His recent work has focused on ways to improve the self-care practices and daily living skills of older widows and widowers.  Dr. Caserta is the principal investigator on a recently completed 5-year study (funded by the National Institute on Aging) that tested a bereavement intervention based on Stroebe and Schut’s (1999) dual process coping model.  He is now a project leader on a program project grant (P01 mechanism) funded by the National Cancer Institute that addresses ways to enhance end-of-life and bereavement outcomes for cancer caregivers in hospice settings. This project provides an individually tailored intervention approach centered on bereavement support and education related to self-care and daily living challenges posing the most difficulty in the daily lives of the bereaved caregivers.

He teaches courses in research design and health promotion and coordinates the student practicum experiences for the Gerontology program. In addition to his teaching and scholarship activities, he is active in several professional organizations including the Gerontological Society of America (where he co-convened an interest group on death, dying, bereavement and widowhood), Association for Death Education and Counseling, and the American Association for Health Education. Dr. Caserta also is a founding member of the Utah Gerontological Society (now the Utah Aging Alliance), serving as its president in 2000.  In 2013, he was the recipient of the Alliance's Pioneer Award, in recognition of his contributions to the aging field.

Dr. Caserta received the College of Nursing Excellence in Research Award in 1998 and Excellence in Teaching Award in 2014. In addition to his own work, he regularly reviews manuscripts for professional scientific journals and has served on several editorial boards.