Steering Committee Members

The NYU Aging Incubator is supported by a Steering Committee that works with the Co-Directors to make recommendations, provide resources, and review and support the NYU Aging Incubator activities.

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Joyce O'Connor

School of Global Public Health
Director of Public Health Nutrition
Director of Advanced Certificate in Public Health
Clinical Associate Professor of Public Health Nutrition

Dr. Joyce O'Connor has created innovative curriculum with a student-focused and faculty-driven approach. She enhances the classroom experience by incorporating online classroom modules and employing the limitless potential of learning management technologies.

While working at Staten Island University Hospital as the Administrative Director of Public Health Education and Research for the Department of Medicine, Dr. O’Connor resolved how to provide residents with community and public health training without reducing their clinic hours in the community. By developing an online training module, the Hospital successfully offered the courses to nurses and other healthcare professionals. Additionally, she developed a complete distance education curriculum for a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Science degree at Rutgers.

As a faculty facilitator for the Technology Enhanced Education Lab, she engages with graduate and undergraduate students to develop and adapt courses, programs, and research projects to utilize digital resources to support the educational goals of GPH and NYU. In this way, students gain practical, real-world public health experience in curriculum development, planning and implementation of pedagogical strategies, and hand-on application of instructional resources that utilize contemporary technologies and data sets to enhance teaching and learning.

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Tara Cortes         

Rory Meyers College of Nursing
Clinical Professor
Executive Director, Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing

Tara Cortes is recognized for her distinguished career spanning executive leadership, nursing education, research and practice.  She is currently the Executive Director of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, and a Professor in Geriatric Nursing at the New York University College of Nursing. Dr. Cortes has provided significant contributions to advance the health of people, particularly those with limited access to the health care system. Importantly, she has developed collaborative models with advanced practice nurses and physicians in traditional as well as nontraditional settings to enhance the care of the American elderly population.

Prior to joining the NYU College of Nursing, Dr. Cortes was President and CEO of Lighthouse International, a leading not-for-profit organization, dedicated to fighting vision loss and helping people prevent vision impairment. She mindfully transformed the organization to a health care provider from a social charity, and was recognized worldwide for her leadership in helping to move the field of vision loss to health care from that of disability. Dr. Cortes spent the initial phase of her career in nursing education at Hunter College, and then as the Head of Nursing Research and Information Systems at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. She was the Chief Nursing Officer at Rockefeller University Hospital and continued her career in nursing and hospital administration at Mount Sinai Medical Center and at Bridgeport Hospital, before assuming the senior leadership role at Lighthouse International.

Dr. Cortes was appointed as a 2013-2015 American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow and serves as a Senior Advisor at CMS in the Office of Medicare and Medicaid Coordination Office. In this role she has worked with multiple organizations in Washington addressing the needs of frail adults who are Medicare and Medicaid eligible. Dr. Cortes was also appointed by Community Catalyst as a geriatric consultant to the Medicare Rights Center to work with New York State on the implementation of the Fully Integrated Duals Advantage (FIDA) program, a CMS demonstration project.

Dr. Cortes is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. She is a Past Fellow of the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows Program. She received the Distinguished Alumni Award from New York University, where she completed her PhD and Masters degrees. Her BSN is from Villanova University, where she served on the Board of Trustees for 10 years. In 2011 she was awarded the Medallion for Outstanding Contributions to the Profession from the Villanova University College of Nursing. She was named one of the New York Women’s Agenda 2011 STARS for exemplifying the qualities embodied in NYWA’s mission to advocate and collaborate for the interests of New York women in public policy decisions. Dr. Cortes serves on several boards including Archcare: the Catholic Healthcare System of NY, Isabella Geriatric Center/ Metropolitan Jewish Home Services and Pacific College of the Health Professions. She was appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to the Advisory Committee for Primary Care Training in Medicine and Dentistry.

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Mary S. Mittelman   

NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Research Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Research Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine  

Mary S. Mittelman is research professor of Psychiatry and Rehabilitative Medicine at NYU School of Medicine and the director of the NYU Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Family Support Program, which was launched in 2016 with funding from New York State to provide comprehensive services to family caregivers of people with dementia. Trained in psychiatric epidemiology, she has been developing and evaluating psychosocial interventions for people with cognitive impairment and their family members for three decades. 

Dr. Mittelman was Principal Investigator of a randomized controlled trial of the NYU Caregiver Intervention (NYUCI), funded for 20 years by the National Institutes of Health, the results of which have been published widely. The study demonstrated that the NYUCI, a program that includes individual and family counseling, can improve the well-being of family caregivers and thereby help them to postpone nursing home placement of their relatives with dementia.  The NYUCI has been replicated in additional studies and community translations in the United States, England, Australia, France and Israel. A model of the potential cost savings associated with the NYUCI led directly to funding of caregiver support programs throughout New York State, including the one directed by Dr. Mittelman at NYU. More recently, Dr. Mittelman has expanded her research focus to interventions that include the person with dementia with the caregiver. She conducted an evaluation of the Meet Me at MoMA program, and is the founder of The Unforgettables, a chorus for people with dementia with their family members which rehearses and gives regular concerts in New York City. 

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Michael North 

Leonard N. Stern School of Business
Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations

Michael S. North joined New York University Stern School of Business as an Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations in August 2015.

Professor North’s research, rooted in social psychology, focuses primarily on challenges of, and considerations for, the aging and increasingly intergenerational workforce. He has published research in leading academic journals, including Psychological Bulletin, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and has authored articles for Harvard Business Review and The Society for Human Resource Management. Professor North’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, New Yorker, Washington Post, and TIME, among other outlets.

Prior to joining NYU Stern, Professor North completed a two-year postdoctoral position at Columbia University. He received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Policy from Princeton University.

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Lisa Sasson

NYU Steinhardt
Associate Dean for Global Affairs and Experiential Learning
Clinical Professor, Nutrition and Food Studies


Lisa Sasson is the Associate Dean of Global Affairs and Experiential Learning and a clinical professor at New York University’s Department of Nutrition and Food Studies. In this role, Lisa directs the graduate dietetic internship and NYU’s study abroad in Tuscany, Italy: Its Cuisine, and the Mediterranean Diet and The study abroad program in Tel Aviv: Exploring Israel through Food, Nutrition and Culture. She also teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses and works with the NYU dental faculty to advance nutrition and oral health in the dental curriculum.

In addition to her work at NYU, Lisa counsels private clients in healthy eating and weight management. She is a nutrition consultant to public affairs at Nickelodeon and frequent commentator in the media.

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Scott Sherman

NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Associate Professor, Department of Population Health, Department of Medicine and Department of Psychiatry

After receiving his MD from NYU School of Medicine, Dr. Sherman completed a residency in Primary Care Internal Medicine at Bellevue Hospital and then a research fellowship in General Internal Medicine at Boston University. Dr. Sherman joined the faculty at University of California, Los Angeles in 1991 and was a staff physician for the Veterans Health Administration (VA). In 2005, he transferred back to New York City, where he is currently Professor of Population Health, Medicine and Psychiatry at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and staff physician at the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System. Dr. Sherman is board-certified in Internal Medicine and in Geriatric Medicine. From 2008-2012, he was Interim Chief of the Section of Geriatric Medicine at NYU School of Medicine, and from 2008-2013, he was Program Director of the
NYU Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine.

Dr. Sherman’s main area of interest is how to redesign health care systems to better help people quit smoking. He is particularly focused on examining the effectiveness of interventions in routine practice, as well as how to disseminate and implement them. Dr. Sherman is currently leading eight major grants:

1) Engagement in Longevity and Medicine (NIH/NIA),

2) Financial incentive strategies for smoking cessation in high-risk, hospitalized patients (NIDA),

3) A behavioral economic intervention to improve psychiatrist adherence to tobacco treatment
guidelines (NIDA),

4) Virtual Care Consortium of Research (VA Health Services Research and Development
Service [HSR&D]),

5) Text messaging to engage and retain Veterans in smoking cessation counseling (VA

6) Comparing an opt-out to an opt-in approach for smoking cessation in VA primary care clinics

7) Center for Alternative Tobacco Product Studies (New York State)

8) NYU/Abu Dhabi Public Health Research Center (Abu Dhabi Institute)

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Louise Simon

NICHE, Rory Meyers College of Nursing
Associate Director of Operations

Louise Simon is the new associate director of operations at NICHE. She is a seasoned project manager and administrative professional experienced in overseeing the operations of diverse teams. Using six sigma principles, Louise has led teams, portfolios, and departments through successful process improvements.

Louise has held several positions at NYU including at Rory Meyers College of Nursing, NYU Aging Incubator, and in the Program Services Office. Before working at NYU, Louise worked for the City of New York, where she implemented the six-sigma program for the office of Citywide Purchasing. This six-sigma initiative led to significant time and financial savings for the City of New York.

She is also dedicated to improving aged care services. She brings with her aged care experience as a social worker and as a researcher. Louise is currently undertaking a PhD, a comparative study between Australia and the USA on aging in place policies and programs.

Louise holds a BSW in social work and graduate certificate in policy from the University of Sydney, Australia and Master of Law through the University of Liverpool, UK. She is completing her PhD through La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.

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Andy Teirstein

Tisch School of the Arts
Arts Professor


Since 2006, Dr. Teirstein has been doing volunteer work in the prison system, mostly at the Eastern Correctional Facility, a Maximum Security prison in Ulster County. Several of the participants in his songwriting workshop, incarcerated as teenagers, are now in their 70s and 80s. He finds their age and social standing in the group compelling.

Since 2016, he has been directing the NYU Global Institute for Advanced Study Working Group Translucent Borders, which explores the role of dance and music at global points of cultural juxtaposition. The concept of elder mentorship is a recurring theme in the artists we have worked with in Ghana, Israel/Palestine, and Cuba. Going forward, they will be focusing on elder mentorship across the arts. He has recently published an article in the journal Arts in Society on Translucent Borders.

As writer and composer, has written scores for numerous choreographers, for theatre, and for film. Grants, awards, and honors include three NEA Opera/Musical Theatre Awards, a Meet the Composer Choreographer/Composer Commission; several Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust Awards; a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship; a MacDowell Fellowship; a Richard Rodgers Development Award; and numerous ASCAP awards. His CD Mannahatta was featured on WNYC’s New Sounds program.

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