Meet the Team

Photo of Scott Wilks

Scott E.Wilks, PhD, LMSW
LSU Healthy Aging Research Center

Wilks is a Hartford Faculty Scholar in Geriatric Social Work. He is the coordinator for the Graduate Specialization in Gerontology and professor at the LSU School of Social Work. His research interests center primarily on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) care, particularly the interactional process of coping and resilience among AD caregivers. His other research interests include burden and adaptation issues among custodial grandparents; social support and resilience among vulnerable, aging populations; and gerontological content in the social work curriculum. Wilks earned consecutive seven-figure grants from the U. S. Department of Health & Human Services to study integrated behavioral health across the lifespan and workforce expansion in these settings.

Photo of Laura Ainsworth

Laura Ainsworth, PhD, LCSW
Associate Director
LSU Healthy Aging Research Center

Ainsworth has worked in the College of Human Science & Education's Social Research & Evaluation Center and is currently an Associate Professor in the LSU School of Social Work and is the Human Development & Family Science Program Director. She has experience in administration and teaching, micro and macro social work practice, program design and implementation, grant writing, evaluation research and community-based participatory research. Her research interests include enhancing and expanding the geriatric workforce, school social work, school mental health, and access to services for underserved populations. Ainsworth was previously an associate professor and served as the Associate Director and BSW Director at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi before returning to LSU.

Rhonda J. Bardales
Doctoral Research Assistant