Meika Loe, Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology and Women’s Studies, will serve as the Director of the Upstate Institute for the 2011-2012 academic year. She takes over from Ellen Percy Kraly, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Geography, who has served as the director of the Upstate Institute since 2006.
Meika Loe joined the Colgate faculty in 2002 in a joint appointment between the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Women’s Studies Program. She was promoted to Associate Professor in each of these academic units in 2008. Loe has been awarded a faculty research grant from the Upstate Institute to conduct research on “aging in place” in upstate New York. Her project analyzes diverse community-based efforts to build social capital or support networks around community, aging and health. Specifically, this three-year longitudinal research project tracks and analyzes efforts around social capital and elder support in Albany and Hamilton concerning gender housing, health, community work, social life, and policy. She describes her interests in how community-based institutions are adapting to serve their aging populations as well as grassroots efforts on the part of residents to ensure their needs are met.
Loe’s research has been featured on National Public Radio. In the spring of 2011, Loe convened a forum on health and aging in rural communities which included scholars from regional universities and was open to the public. She has also been a leader among faculty at Colgate in incorporating community based learning into her teaching.