Alzheimer’s Expert to Speak at Susquehanna University

SELINSGROVE-Jesse Ballenger, assistant professor in the Science, Technology and Society program at Pennsylvania State University, will talk about the history of Alzheimer’s disease in the United States, March 11 at 7:30 p.m., in meeting rooms 4 and 5 of Susquehanna University’s Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center.

Ballenger is the author of “Self, Senility and Alzheimer’s Disease in Modern America” (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006) and co-editor of “Concepts of Alzheimer Disease: Biological, Clinical and Cultural Perspectives” (Johns Hopkins, 2000). His interest in Alzheimer’s began when he worked as a nursing assistant in the geriatric ward of a hospital and witnessed the rise of the disease from a seemingly obscure phenomenon to the dominant diagnostic category it is today.

While his hospital experience informed his perspective on care giving and dementia, Ballenger’s graduate work at Case Western Reserve University and postdoctoral work at the Johns Hopkins University involved him in clinical medicine and biomedical research on Alzheimer’s disease. He is committed to exchanging his expertise in health and medicine with the expertise of scholars from other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, as well as clinicians, researchers, ethicists, care providers, patients and the general public.

Ballenger’s talk, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Susquehanna University Medical Humanities Initiative. The goal of medical humanities is to explore how humanities disciplines illuminate the nature and practice of medicine; it includes art and medicine, bioethics, the history of medicine, literature and medicine, music and medicine, medicine in the performing arts, philosophy, psychology, theology, and medical anthropology and sociology.

Founded in 1858, Susquehanna University is a private liberal arts college that prepares students for achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, interconnected world. Study and service learning abroad, collaborative research among students and faculty, and rich opportunities for creative and personal growth are hallmarks of a Susquehanna University education. The university is located in central Pennsylvania, in the town of Selinsgrove, along the banks of the scenic Susquehanna River and about three hours from major East Coast cultural, financial and recreational centers. For more information, visit

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