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.