Plenary Speakers

Aging and Society: An Interdisciplinary Conference will feature plenary sessions by some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the field, as well as numerous parallel presentations, by researchers and practitioners.

Myrna L. Armstrong
John L. Graham
Steven E. Rubin
Tony Yang

Garden Conversations

Plenary Speakers will make formal 30-minute presentations. They will also participate in 60-minute Garden Conversations – unstructured sessions that allow delegates a chance to meet the speakers and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Please return to this page for regular updates.


The Speakers

Myrna L. Armstrong
Myrna L. ArmstrongDr. Myrna L. Armstrong has a long career as a RN, having worked in Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Anchorage hospitals, as well a nursing faculty at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, El Centro College (Dallas), and University of Texas at Arlington. She retired as a full professor and Regional Dean for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. She also served 29 years in US Army Reserves, was activated for the Desert Storm conflict, and achieved the rank of Colonel.

John L. Graham
John L. GrahamJohn L. Graham is Professor Emeritus at the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine. His areas of expertise include international consumer behavior and negotiation; and both topics are prominent is his book Together Again: A Creative Guide to Successful Multigenerational Living (with Sharon Graham Niederhaus, M. Evans, 2007). The book offers positive commentary and solutions based in part on interviews with over 100 people nationwide now involved in extended family living relationships. There are now some 50 million Americans (greater than 16%) living in such households around the country. Topics covered include the financial and emotional benefits of living together; proximity and privacy; designing and remodeling your home to accommodate adult children or elderly parents; overcoming cultural stigmas about independent living; financial and legal planning; and making co-habitation agreements. John, a Berkeley PhD, has four other books and more than 60 academic articles in print. John also writes for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USAToday, the Harvard Business Review, and several other publications. His research has been featured on the NBC Nightly News, ABC Good Morning America, and in the Chronicle of Higher Education and Smithsonian.

Steven E. Rubin
Steven E. RubinSteven E. Rubin MD is a board-certified Adult Psychiatrist specializing in adult and senior medical and mental health care. He provides assessment and management services in inpatient, outpatient, and extended care clinical and private settings. His work also involves caregiver stress management and elder-law forensics.

He has served on the Nevada Medicaid Drug Utilization Review Board for six years, and is an associate professor for the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine. Dr. Rubin is a national lecturer on aging-related health issues and is author of Autumn Leaves: Aging, With and Without Dementia.


Tony Yang
Tony YangTony Yang, Sc.D., M.P.H. is a principal investigator on a Public Health Law Research grant that examines the effect of non-medical exemptions to state school immunization laws on vaccine-targeted diseases. This 18-month study is due to be completed in June, 2011. Tony’s research interests are medical malpractice, health care law, and patient safety and quality of care. He hopes that this study will advance our understanding of whether — and to what extent — use of non-medical exemptions is associated with changes in the annual number of vaccine-targeted diseases cases.

Tony holds graduate degrees in Public Health (Harvard), Health Policy (Harvard), and Law (University of Pennsylvania). Before joining George Mason, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Tony was the 2009-2010 CDC-NCHS/AcademyHealth Health Policy Fellow.

As graduate teaching and research faculty, he applies his background as a lawyer, policy analyst and health services researcher in his teaching and research endeavors. In addition to his PHLR research, he is also the principal investigator of a grant from INOVA Health system to study near errors in the perioperative setting.

Tony has presented his work at several professional venues including, AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting, Social Sciences Conference at University of Cambridge, and International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare. He has also served as a peer reviewer for Law & Society, BioMed Central Pregnancy and Childbirth, Health Affairs, Women’s Health Issues, and the Journal of Health Administration Education.