Joanne Tompkins, Ph.D.

Research Associate


Joanne is a health and social scientist with expertise in aging who uses research to understand individual experiences in a broader social context. She uses this knowledge to identify and recommend innovative and effective ways to improve public policy and quality of life. Her research for the Center focuses on determining the social and financial costs associated with the need for guardianship and creating accessible tools to help decision-makers navigate legal and healthcare systems.

Joanne’s research is inspired by her personal journey and the lack of resources available to those making decisions for others. She has conducted research across a variety of fields, including education and healthcare, providing clients with the tools and analysis needed to understand the impacts of their work.  She is a published author and has taught university level courses in aging, sociology, research methods, and statistics. 

Joanne earned her PhD in Sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo where she completed a dissertation titled “A Quantitative Analysis of Ethnoracial Differences in Planning for End-of-Life Care Among Older Adults.” She earned a MSEd in Health Science and a BS in Sociology from the State University of New York at Brockport. 

When she is not conducting research, Joanne enjoys books, film, and traveling, and as a newcomer to New England, she is looking forward to exploring local museums, food, and theatre.