Carolyn Peck

Carolyn PeckAnchor link to John Martin videoProfessor Peck on caregiver burnout


Meet Carolyn Peck,
Associate Professor Human Services Gerontology, Department Chair



  • B.A. Sociology, 1976, Oklahoma State University
  • M.A. Family Relations, 1978, Oklahoma State University
  • Ph.D. Human Environmental Sciences, 1981, Oklahoma State University


  • I moved to Springfield in 2002 when I accepted the position at UIS. I had previously been living in Oklahoma City. I enjoy reading, movies, swimming, and traveling to Maine. I have two new kitties from the APL shelter, Ed and Frasier, they are wonderful and entertaining!

Interesting facts:

  • My mother’s breast cancer diagnosis when I was 12, and subsequent death when I was 22, laid the groundwork for my life long career interest in death, grief, and loss. My Sociology of Death, Dying, and Bereavement class is one of the most rewarding ones that I teach. The intensity of the course material prepares students to work with clients who are facing the end of their life and also prepares them for their own personal losses.

Learning philosophy:

  • I think one of the most significant contributions I have made to the gerontology concentration is to integrate a strong applied practitioner emphasis. After successfully completing a course in gerontology, I want my students to be able to have an innate understanding of what it is like to be old, what the older person needs, and what they can still contribute.

Research interests:

  • End of Life Care
  • Compassion Fatigue and Burnout in Geriatric Care Managers

Major project underway:

  • I’m working on two recertifications for our department.

Listen to Professor Peck talk about caregiver burnout:

Advice to prospective students:

  • Gerontology is a family systems discipline; you will be working with the entire family unit as you strive to maintain quality of life for the older adult.

Best thing about UIS:

  • The emphasis on teaching excellence.