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Pamela Teaster

Virginia Tech

Portrait of Pamela Teaster of Va. Tech

Current University
Virginia Tech

Research Areas

Mistreatment of elderly and vulnerable adults, public and private guardianship, end-of-life issues and decision-making, ethical treatment and human rights issues of vulnerable adults, and public affairs and policy.


Teaster is a professor of human development and family science at Virginia Tech and director of the Virginia Tech Center for Gerontology.

She is the co-author or co-editor of four books and more than a hundred peer-reviewed articles, reports, and book chapters.

Teaster is on the editorial board of the Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect. She is a fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

She is an active board member and former president of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. She also serves as secretary on the Board of Trustees for the Center for Guardianship Certification and secretary general of the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

Before joining the Virginia Tech faculty, Teaster served as director of the Center for Gerontology and chair of the Department of Gerontology at the University of Kentucky, where she also served as director of the Ohio Valley Appalachia Regional Geriatric Education Center, director of doctoral studies, and associate dean for research at the College of Public Health. 

She founded the Kentucky Guardianship Association and was its first president. 

She also founded the Kentucky Justice Center for Elders and Vulnerable Adults.

She holds a Ph.D. in public administration and public affairs, a graduate certificate in gerontology, a master’s in speech and theatre, and a bachelor’s in English education.

Alma Mater

Virginia Tech

University of Tennessee at Knoxville