UMass Boston

Mary De Rose

Gerontology Institute
Assoc Lecturer A

Additional Information

After a decade of practice as an architect and urban designer (and in concert with her experience as a family caregiver), Mary Fran developed the VESTA Project, an evidence-based, salutogenic, neuroscience-led environmental modification service for patients living with dementia. Since 1993, VESTA has served more than 10,000 families by analyzing-and-renovating their homes and providing extensive (social and technological) aging-in-place support services. She was a Sullivan Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Art Institute of Chicago where she studied product design for older adults and she was the resident intergenerational designer at the Center for Children, Youth and Environments.  As an expert in public policy and design for human flourishing, she worked with both the Obama and Biden Administrations as well as for regional public health departments.  Mary Fran has received awards from the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education/GSA, the World Health Organization, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Institute of Architects, and numerous foundations.  She currently advises communities world-wide on the incidence/prevalence of age discrimination in rental housing – and – on the development of age-friendly and child/youth-friendly community plans.  Mary Fran teaches Environmental Gerontology for the Management of Aging Services program.