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Melissa Stone

Melissa Stone, Doctoral Candidate


Melissa Stone chose to pursue a Master’s of Science in Gerontology (MSG) at UMSL because of its interactive and experiential approach to aging education.  She was drawn to an environment in which she could engage in discussion and build a practical skillset. In addition, Melissa found a deep sense of community in the Gerontology program.  The individualized support she received from faculty and staff was invaluable. She reported that, “…there was a personal connection that I hadn't experienced with the other universities.”  Furthermore, UMSL Gerontology allowed her to maintain strong local connections.  In particular, Melissa cherished her ability to be close to family and continue her work as an activities coordinator for people with dementia.

Today, Melissa is a doctoral student at Saint Louis University’s experiential psychology program studying older adult abnormal cognition. UMSL’s Gerontology program has allowed her to approach cognitive science and neuroscience through an aging-specific lens.  In addition, she shared that her education not only gave her a foundation of knowledge but the tools to make a difference.  Moreover, Melissa feels that her practicum experiences as a Gerontology student built a vital professional network.  These relationships have opened doors that she, “never could have imagined.”

Melissa has dedicated her life to Gerontology.  Moving forward in her career, she plans to teach new generations of students about gerontology and cognitive psychology.  Furthermore, she intends to influence public policy through research that can develop science-based legislation.