• Professor, College Of Nursing
  • Adjunct Professor, Health and Kinesiology
  • Professor Emeritus, 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

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 an Executive Committee member of the Consortium for Families and Health Research (C-FAHR).  He also is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation.

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 was the principal investigator on a  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 was 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 designed and tested 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. Currently, he is the co-investigator in a 5-year NIA-funded study that is designing and testing a virtual time-use coach to help family caregivers use respite care most effectively for intended benefits.

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.