Rajean Paul Moone

Q&A with Rajean Paul Moone, PhD, LHNA, FGSA, from Twin Cities, Minnesota.

mooneMeet Rajean.

“As a student and emerging scholar, GSA has been absolutely vital to my development. During my doctoral studies, I was a Hartford Pre-Dissertation Awardee and a Doctoral Fellow. Post-doctorate, I served as a Health and Aging Policy Fellow. These opportunities were a direct result of my involvement in GSA. Each year I actively participate in the annual scientific meeting to maintain connections and build new ones.”

Q: How long have you been a GSA member? What GSA member benefit do you like best and why?
A: I’m proud to say that 2019 is my 20th anniversary of being a GSA member! With the support of a mentor, I presented my undergraduate McNair Scholar research project as a poster at the 1999 GSA conference in San Francisco and have been to every conference since! The annual conference is, for me, an integral part of my membership. The quality of research and networking is unsurpassed.

Q: How does GSA assist with your professional development?
A: As a student and emerging scholar, GSA has been absolutely vital to my development. During my doctoral studies, I was a Hartford Pre-Dissertation Awardee and a Doctoral Fellow. Post-doctorate, I served as a Health and Aging Policy Fellow. These opportunities were a direct result of my involvement in GSA. Each year I actively participate in the annual scientific meeting to maintain connections and build new ones.

Q: How did you get interested in the field of aging?
A: I get asked this question frequently. Looking back, I’m not sure there was any other field for me. As a young child living in the Twin Cities, I would go back to my birth hometown on the Canadian border, International Falls, and spend time with my grandmother. My grandmother was a vital, independent woman surrounded by retired friends who shaped my positive attitudes towards aging. In addition, during my undergraduate studies, I attended the College of Saint Scholastica. On this campus is a nursing home where I started to volunteer and work. All of these experiences shaped my interest in the field.

Q: Why is it important for other individuals to join GSA?
A: GSA leads the nation in supporting multidisciplinary scientific research in gerontology. Researchers in aging interested in collaboration and the most up-to-date information need to be members of GSA. If nothing else, the membership access to the journals is worth it!!

Q: Are you a member of a GSA Interest Group? If so, which ones?
A: Yes, I was a co-convener of the Rainbow Research Group and served on the SRPP Committee as a representative to the Interest Group Committee.

Q: What are your key responsibilities at your job?
A: I did not take a typical academic position after completing my PhD. Currently I have a consulting business and within that business I have key responsibilities for the following organizations:
• President & Executive Director, Minnesota Leadership Council on Aging
• Faculty Director, Long Term Care Administration, University of Minnesota
• Board Member, MN Association of Geriatrics Inspired Clinicians (AMDA affiliate)
• Board Member, Care Providers of MN Foundation (AHCA/NCAL affiliate)
• Executive Committee Member, UMN Robert Kane LTC Chair

Q: What has been your most memorable experience in gerontology and aging research?
A: While it’s difficult to select a most memorable research experience, what I can note is the satisfaction of seeing applied research impacting policy and practice. Researchers are often driven because of an interest to make lives better. Being able to translate research into policy and practice is always a memorable experience.

Q: Do you have any tips for emerging gerontologists?
A: Network…network…network. Meeting new people can be tough for some, but GSA makes it easy through GSA Connect, ESPO, and the Interest Groups.

Q: Tell us a little about your most recent activities/accomplishments.
A: Probably one of my favorite recent accomplishments is receiving Fellow status in GSA in 2017. Even more recent was acceptance of a presentation at IAGG-Europe Region which will occur over my birthday in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2019.

Q: Have you had an important mentor in your career? If so, how did s/he make a difference?
A: I have had several mentors in my career. My mentors have genuinely directly and indirectly shared their experience and knowledge in a way that has helped shape my professional work. Mentors have included faculty advisors and professional colleagues. I still call upon these individuals when I am faced with questions about my professional and personal lives.

Want to ask Rajean a question? Contact him on GSA Connect!