Dr. Jennifer Crittenden, Ph.D., MSW

Dr. Jennifer Crittenden is an assistant professor of social work at the University of Maine and also serves as the Associate Director for Research at the University of Maine Center on Aging. She has over eighteen years of experience in professional and community education, program evaluation and program planning. Nearly all research projects and grant-funded programs under her management entail the translation of academic research into professional and public education programs, events and dissemination activities. Dr. Crittenden has been involved in implementing and evaluating a wide range of research, training, and community service initiatives including serving as the Program Manager for Encore Leadership Corps, an innovative volunteer leadership program for Mainers 50+ and serving as Project Manager for the National Institutes of Health-funded Balancing Act Clinical Trial, a research study testing a falls prevention program among older adults with visual impairments.

Dr. Crittenden’s current research focuses on volunteerism among older adults and how organizations and programs catalyze and support volunteerism. With funding from the AmeriCorps Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE) and AmeriCorps Seniors, Dr. Crittenden has conducted research exploring how life role intersections impact older adult volunteerism. She is currently conducting a study examining virtual volunteerism among older adults and its related benefits and challenges. In addition, she serves as the principal investigator for an AmeriCorps-funded study examining the use of training and volunteer service as a pathway to employment for older adults via the AmeriCorps Workforce Development Senior Demonstration Program. In addition to community engagement and volunteerism, she is currently conducting research focused on older adult oral health, patient education, and kinship caregiving.

Dr. Crittenden is a member of a number of organizations and professional groups including the Maine Gerontological Society, the Scholars Strategy Network, and the Gerontological Society of America where she has served as the co-chair of the Rural Aging Interest Group and, in 2024, was awarded Fellow status.  She currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Tri-State Learning Collaborative on Aging and the Maine Age-Friendly State Advisory Committee.

Dr. Crittenden teaches at the undergraduate and graduate level within the UMaine School of Social Work’s practice, research, and policy sequences. She is an affiliated researcher with the UMaine Institute of Medicine, the Downeast Rural Health Collaborative Research Institute, and the Elder Family Financial Exploitation (EFFE) Research Network.


M.S.W. from the University of Maine

Interdisciplinary PhD in Gerontology from the University of Maine