Mary A. Hart : CAL U

Site Search

Students work at computers in a Cal U classroom.Students work at computers in a Cal U classroom.

Mary A. Hart


  • Bachelor's degree: Nebraska Wesleyan University
  • Graduate Aging Specialist Certification: University of Nebraska
  • Master's Degree in Gerontology and Business Administration: Duquesne University


Hart came to California University in 1982 to develop a service/lab component for the newly created gerontology program. In that capacity, she founded the Center in the Woods and for 22 years served as executive director. Center in the Woods is an agency that became nationally known for its model programs for rural older adults, including supportive housing, geriatric primary care, adult day services, intergenerational shared housing, exercise, wellness and education programs. Currently she serves as director of the gerontology program at Cal U. In this role, she advises all students with a major in gerontology and all students pursuing the aging specialist  certificate. She teaches a variety of gerontology courses. 

Hart has authored several articles and co-authored two books based on her work at the center: "Beyond Baskets and Beads: A Manual of Culturally and Age Appropriate Activities for Older Adults with Functional Impairments" and "In Search of the Starfish: Creating a Caring Environment." She has presented regionally and nationally and serves on numerous non-profit boards, including the board of directors of the Greater Pennsylvania Alzheimer's Association. 

She has won numerous awards for her development of innovative programs for rural elders and commitment to community service, including Presbyterian SeniorCare's Samuel K. McCune Award for Distinguished Service in Aging, the C.B. Wilson Distinguished Faculty Award from the California University Alumni Association, California University's Faculty Recognition Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Area of Service (1996) and California University's Faculty Scholarship Award in the Area of Faculty Scholarship (1992).

She serves on numerous non-profit boards, including Presbyterian SeniorCare's SeniorCare Network Board of Directors. She was a founding Board member of the Southwestern Pa Partnership for Aging (SWPPA).  

Hart lives in Long Branch, Pa., and enjoys sailing, kayaking, skiing, golfing and almost any outdoor activity.

Academic Department(s)

  • Department of Health Science

Academic Program(s)

  • B.S. Gerontology

Contact Information



Hamer Hall 132