Dawn C. Carr


Dr. Dawn C. Carr is an Associate Professor of Sociology, whose mission as a scholar has focused on understanding factors that bolster older adults’ ability to remain healthy, active, and engaged as long as possible. Before joining Florida State University in 2016, she was a researcher at the Stanford Center on Longevity, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute on Aging at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a researcher at Scripps Gerontology Center.

Stephen R. MacNamara

Former Managing Director

Professor Stephen R. MacNamara is a former Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Florida State University (FSU) and served for three years as the Associate Dean of the FSU College of Law.  He succeeded Governor Lawton Chiles as the Executive Director of the LeRoy Collins Center for Public Policy at FSU. In addition, he served as Executive Director of the Claude Pepper Center from 2006 to 2008. MacNamara is the only person in Florida history to serve as Chief of Staff to Florida’s House Speaker, the Florida Senate President, and the Governor of the State of Florida.

Monica R. Laughlin

Business Manager

Monica Laughlin has been on the campus of Florida State University following the endowment of the Claude Pepper Center in the 1990’s. Prior to that time she served on staff with the foundation that endowed the Center at FSU and assisted in its transition to the university. She has served as Business Manager of the Pepper Center since 2005 providing support in the areas of project management, financial management, human resources and other activities and initiatives of the Center. In 2022 she assumed serving as the Business Manager of DeVoe L. Moore Center to provide the same means of support to the Center.

Shayna Harris

Research Coordinator

Shayna Harris, MSW, is a social science researcher with six years of experience in qualitative and quantitative research, project management, public education, program evaluation, and policy analysis. Shayna earned her master’s in social work from Florida State University with a concentration in Social Leadership, supplemented by a Graduate Certificate in Project Management. Shayna’s work has historically centered on equalizing access for individuals with disabilities throughout their lifespan.     

Qiuchang (Katy) Cao, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Qiuchang (Katy) Cao, Ph.D., MSW, LSW, is a postdoctoral scholar whose scholarship centers around the social participation and psychological well-being of culturally and linguistically diverse older adults. Katy earned her Ph.D. in social work with a specialization in aging from the Ohio State University College of Social Work (OSUCSW). Her dissertation “Social Networks of Diverse Older Volunteers” utilized mixed-methods social network analysis to understand the relationship between volunteering, social network, and loneliness among diverse low-income older volunteers (e.g., Cambodians, Somalis, and Bhutanese) in a federal volunteering program in Ohio. Her study has implications for future loneliness and social network interventions. She has been a research associate at the Age-Friendly Innovation Center at OSUCSW and is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all older adults.