Dr. Exten received her Master of Public Health (MPH) from Emory University and her PhD in Epidemiology from The Ohio State University. She is an infectious disease epidemiologist, with a focus on health disparities affecting sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ+) populations. Her program of research is focused specifically on disparities related to sexual health (e.g. HIV and sexually transmitted infections) and substance use. She has extensive experience in survey data collection, the application of advanced statistical methods, and working with high-risk populations. She is passionate about the examination of diseases in their entirety, including biological, sociological and epidemiological factors.
PhD – The Ohio State University (Epidemiology)
MPH – Emory University (Epidemiology)
BS – East Tennessee State University (Biology and Psychology)
Research Overview: I am interested in how stress, age, gender, and hormones affect immunity, inflammation, and health; also, the feasibility of different biomarkers (e.g., from blood, saliva, wound fluid) for predicting health outcomes.
Visit Dr. Engeland’s lab site:
Biological transitions as a period of vulnerability for
physical and mental health problems, specifically:
PhD, Nursing (Focus: Aging), University of Iowa
MSN, Adult and Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program, University of Iowa
BSN, Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan
Honors and Awards
|2021||Alzheimer’s Association Interdisciplinary Summer Research Institute.|
|2019||Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing Award, National Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence (NHCGNE).|
|2018-2020||Selected Faculty for the Distinguished Honors Faculty Program, Pennsylvania State University.|
|2015||Developing Behavioral Interventions Scholarship, Johns Hopkins Summer Research Institute.|
|2013||Myrtle Aydelotte Doctoral Education Fund in Nursing Award, University of Iowa|
|2013||Graduate College Summer Fellowship, University of Iowa|
|2013||Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence Travel Award, University of Iowa|
|2013||Etta Rasmussen Professional Development Award, University of Iowa|
|2012||International Programs Graduate Student Travel Award, University of Iowa|
|2010- 2011||Interdisciplinary Fellowship of Aging, Center on Aging, University of Iowa|
|2008||Inducted Member of the Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), Gamma Chapter, University of Iowa.|
Jao, Y.-L., Liu, W., Habib, C. Habib, Jyotsana, P., Holmes, S., & Galik, E. (2021). Function-focused person-environment fit for long-term care residents with dementia: Impact on apathy. Gerontologist. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnaa111
Liao, Y.-J. Parajuli, J., Jao, Y.-L., Kitko, L., & Berish, D. (2021). Non-pharmacological Interventions for Pain in People with Dementia: A Systematic Review Systematic Review on Pain in Dementia. International Journal of Nursing Studies. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2021.104082
Woods, D., Yuan, F., Jao, Y.-L., & Zhao, X. (2021). Social Robots for Older Adults with Dementia: A Narrative Review on Challenges and Future Directions. Social Robotics, 411–420. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-90525-5_35
Parajuli, J., Berish, D. E., Jao, Y.-L., Liao, Y.-J., Johnson, L. A., & Walsh, A. (2021). Prevalence and Health Outcomes in Individuals with Comorbid Cancer and Dementia: Longitudinal Analysis. Aging and Health, DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2021.2003298
Parajuli, J., Berish, D, & Valenti, K. G., Jao, Y.-L. (2020). Prevalence and predictors of depressive symptoms in older adults with cancer. Aging and Mental Health.
Parajuli, J., Aluem, T., Jao, Y-L., Hupcey, J. (2020). Barriers to Palliative and Hospice Care Utilization in Older Adults with Cancer: A Systematic Review. Journal of Geriatric Oncology,11 (1), 8-16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jgo.2019.09.017
Resnick, B., Kolanowski, A., Van Haitsma, K., Galik, E., Boltz, M., Zhu, S., Ellis, J., Behrens L., Eshragi, K., Viviano, N., & Jao, Y-L. (2020). Reliability and Validity Testing of the Assessment of the Environment for Person-Centered Management of BPSD and Assessment of Policies for Person-Centered Management of BPSD Measures. Journal of Housing for the Elderly. https://doi.org/10.1080/02763893.2019.1683670
Liu, W., Jao, Y.-L., & Williams, K. (2019). Factors Influencing the Pace of Food Intake for Nursing Home Residents with Dementia: Resident Characteristics, Staff Assistance and Environmental Stimulation. Nursing Open.6 (3), 772-782.
Jao, Y.-L., Liu, W., & Williams, K., Chaudhury, H., & Parajuli, J. (2019). Association between environmental stimulation and apathy in nursing home residents with dementia, International Psychogeriatrics, 31 (8), 1109-1120. doi:10.1017/S1041610219000589.
Parajuli, J., Berish, D, & Jao, Y-L. (2019). Chronic Conditions and Depressive Symptoms in Older Adults: The Mediating Role of Functional Limitations, Aging and Mental Health. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2019.1693971
Jao, Y.-L., Mogle, J., Williams, K., McDermott, C., & Behrens, L. (2018). Real-time observation of apathy in long-term care residents with dementia: Reliability of the Person-Environment Apathy Rating Scale. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 4 (44), 23-28. doi:10.3928/00989134-20180131-02
Williams, K., & Jao, -L. (2018). Supporting elders with cognitive changes and caregivers across community and long-term care settings. In M. Rizzo, & S. Anderson (Eds.). The Wiley Handbook of the Aging Mind and Brain. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
Jao, Y.-L., Epps, F., McDermott, C., Rose, K., & Specht J. (2017). Effects of support groups for individuals with early-stage dementia and mild cognitive impairment: An integrative review. Research in Gerontological Nursing, 10 (1), 35-51.
Williams, K., Perkhounkova, Y., Jao, Y.-L., Bossen, A., Chung, S. J., Starykowicz, A., & Turk, M. (2017). Person-centered communication for nursing home residents with dementia: Four communication analysis methods. Western Journal of Nursing Research. doi:1177/0193945917697226
Jao, Y.-L., Loken, E., MacAndrew, M., Van Haitsma, K., & Kolanowski, A. (2017). Association between social interaction and affect in nursing home residents with dementia. Aging and Mental Health. doi: 1080/13607863.2017.1304526
Liu, W., Jao, Y.-L., & Williams, K. (2017). The association of eating performance and environmental stimulation among older adults with dementia in nursing homes: A secondary analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 71, 70-79.
Kolanowski, A., Boltz, M., Galik, E., Gitlin, L., Kales, H., Resnick, B., VanHaitsma, K., Knehans, A., Sutterlin, J. E., Sefcik, J. S., Liu, W., Petrovsky, D. V., Massimo, L., Gilmore-Bykovskyi, A., MacAndrew, M., Brewster, G., Nalls, V., Jao, Y.-L., Duffort, N., & Scerpella, D. (2017). Determinants of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia: A scoping review of the evidence. Nursing Outlook. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2017.06.006.
Williams, K., Shaw, C., Lee, A., Dinneen, E., Kim, S., Turk, M., Jao, Y.-L., & Liu, W. (2017). Voicing ageism in nursing home dementia care. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 43(9), 16-20. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20170523-02
Jao, Y.-L., Williams, K. M., Mogle, J., Behrens, L., & McDermott, C. (2017). Assessing apathy in long-term care residents with dementia: Who should be the rater? Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice. doi: 10.1177/1471301217745104
Jao, Y.-L., Algase, D., Specht, J., & Williams, K. (2015). The association between characteristics of care environments and apathy in residents with dementia in long-term care facilities. The Gerontologist, 55 (Suppl 1), S27-S39. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnu166
Jao, Y.-L., Algase, D., Specht, J., & Williams, K. (2016). Developing the Person-Environment Apathy Rating for persons with dementia. Aging and Mental Health, 20 (8), 861-870. doi:1080/13607863.2015.1043618
Jao, Y.-L., Gardner, S., & Carr, L. (2016). Measuring weight-bearing activities in patients with previous diabetic foot ulcers. Journal of Wound Ostomy and Continence Nursing, 44 (1), 34-40.
Burgener, S., Jao, Y.-L., Anderson, J. G., & Bossen, A. (2015). Mechanism of action for non-pharmacological therapies for persons with dementia: Implications for practice and research. Research in Gerontological Nursing, 8 (5), 240-259. doi: 10.3928/19404921-20150429-02.
Gardner, S., Haleem, A., Jao, -L., Hillis, S., Femino, J., Phisitkul, P., Heilmann, K. P., Lehman, S. M., & Franciscus, C. L. (2014). Cultures of diabetic foot ulcers are not predictive of outcomes. Diabetes Care, 7(10), 2693-2701.
For more information about our projects, please visit https://remindlab.psu.edu/.
Education: Columbia University, Ed.D., Nursing Education; Ed.M., Nursing Education; M.S., Adult Nurse Practitioner; B.S., Nursing; The Pennsylvania State University, National Research Service Award Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Research Interests: Palliative and end-of-life care, family caregivers, heart failure, age-friendly health care, qualitative research
Dr. Wardecker received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 2016 and subsequently began training as an NIA-funded T32 Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Healthy Aging at Penn State. As an Assistant Professor of Nursing with multidisciplinary training in Psychology, Public Health, and Biobehavioral Health, she pulls from theoretical frameworks in these fields to investigate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) older adults’ psychological and physical health outcomes.
Ph.D. – University of Michigan (Psychology)
B.S. – The Pennsylvania State University (Psychology)