Message From the Director

Welcome to the Marymount University Center for Optimal Aging!

Message From the DirectorThe Marymount University Center for Optimal Aging (MUCOA) is a nexus and creative hub where many programs from Marymount University and its surrounding communities come together to inspire and create talent and innovation to advance the field of gerontology. The Center is organized under the Office of the Provost, the academic and scholarly core of the University, and collaborates equally across all colleges, schools, departments, and programs. This is important, as human aging impacts all of us and every academic and professional discipline has a valuable contribution.

The field of gerontology is multi- and interdisciplinary and relies on interprofessional efforts. Researchers, educators, practitioners, students, and community members work closely and collaboratively to create solutions to improve the quality of life and optimal living of our older adult population.  The center is home to creative thinkers who design the future of aging and critical thinkers who solve complex societal gerontological problems.  It is guided by an active and diverse community that is engaged and committed to improving the science of human aging. The Center for Optimal Aging strives to be a place and platform for shared ideas on questions encompassing all aspects of human health and aging. We know that older adults have much to teach us!

Our faculty, students, associates, committees advisory board members, and stakeholders are the inspiration and driving force for the center’s mission and vision. With their help, we are changing communities, societies, and nations by producing state-of-the-art gerontology to properly address the needs of our older adult population through optimal healthy aging research. 

At Marymount University, students can earn a world-class education on a phenomenal campus in the great city of Arlington. Our faculty are practicing educators and scholars, who provide a unique and rich professional learning experience to our students where students can enjoy experiential and practical learning with their mentors and peers.  

I am proud of the Marymount University Center for Optimal Aging and thrilled to be its director. Our center is a unique and welcoming place. To experience our programs and collaborative nature, plan a visit, explore our website, or give us a call. I am here to get you started and answer any questions you might have, so don’t hesitate to contact me at or call at 703-908-7631.


Patricia C. Heyn, Ph.D., FGSA, FACRM

Founding Director & Professor