REBECCA L. UTZ portrait
  • Co-Director, Consortium for Families & Health Research
  • Director, Health Society & Policy
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, College Of Nursing
  • Adjunct Professor, Family And Consumer Studies
  • Professor, Sociology Department
  • Faculty Associate, Center on Aging

Research Summary

I am a lifecourse sociologist, studying health and aging in America. My current work centers on questions about how families manage end-of-life and chronic disease care transitions. I am PI on an NIA-funded project to develop and test an intervention that maximizes the benefits of respite time use for caregivers to persons with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias. I am committed to doing applied research that meets the needs and interests of the communities being served.

Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN ANN ARB
  • Master of Arts, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN ANN ARB
  • Master of Science, MIAMI UNIVERSITY OXFORD CAMPUS
  • Bachelor of Arts, MIAMI UNIVERSITY OXFORD CAMPUS

Biography

Professor Utz completed her PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan in 2004.  Before that, she completed a Master degree in gerontology (long term care administration) from Miami University, and worked as an applied research associate in Washington DC.  She has been a faculty member at the University of Utah since 2004.  She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and has an adjunct appointment in the College of Nusing.  She also serves as Director of the 'Health Society & Policy' program (an interdisciplinary undergradaute degree), Co-Director of the Consortium for Families & Health Research, and senior faculty associate for the "Family Caregiving Collaborative."

In the classroom, she teaches both undergraduate and graduate students how to be better consumers and producers of researchers (research methods).  She also teaches courses related to epidemiology, population studies, and families & health.  She has mentored countless students, and takes great pride in providing hands-on advising so students can learn to be independent researchers.

Current research interests center around her broad interdisciplinary interests in the health and aging of the American population.  She is most interested in how families manage end-of-life and chronic disease care transitions.  This includes work in the areas of both bereavement/widowhood and family caregiving.  Her current research interests are focused on the development and testing of a self-administered, online intervention for caregivers to persons with Alzheimer's Disease & Related Dementia aimed at maximizing the benefit of respite time use.   

She enjoys living in Utah, with her husband and two daughters.