Robin S. Goldberg-Glen

Robin S. Goldberg-Glen, PhD, AM

  • Associate Professor
  • Co-President of Sexuality and Aging Consortium
Media Expertise:
  • Gender & Sexuality

Affiliated Programs


  • PhD, Social Work (1989)
    University of Chicago (IL)
  • AM, Social Work (1983)
    University of Chicago (IL)

About Me

I became a member of the Center for Social Work Education in 1996. What attracted me to this fine program was its curriculum design, the center's commitment to students, university civic engagement, and collegiality. Since joining the faculty, I have had the opportunity to pursue areas that I am passionate about. These include geriatric and international social work, global aging, and sexuality and aging. High points in my career include the oversight of two Hartford grants that provided training for faculty and students alike; eight years of international work in China, Thailand, Ghana, and the Ukraine; the oversight of conferences for grandparent caregivers of grandchildren and VP of AGE-SW; and my position as co-president and former conference chair of the Sexuality and Aging Consortium (SAC), an international organization based at Widener.

Particularly important to me is the ability to inspire student self-motivation, intellectual maturation, and excitement about learning. My pedagogical approach is to use a variety of teaching methods to build my students' confidence and knowledge base. I encourage students to learn through my own patience, supportiveness, and willingness to listen and respond without passing judgment. My preference is to reinforce students' efforts to be active agents of their own learning rather than passive recipients of knowledge. I avoid teacher-centered learning and reinforce students' endeavors to become their own teachers. I believe my role as an educator is to provide students with the most up-to-date scholarly content. I value the opportunity to collaborate with students by involving them in my own research and service learning projects.

My philosophy on teaching is reflected in a poem given to me by my husband. The teacher said to the students, "Come to the edge." They replied, "We might fall." The teacher again said, "Come to the edge." And they responded, "It's too high." "Come to the edge!" the teacher demanded. And they came, and the teacher pushed them, and they flew.

Research Interests

My research interests focus on the use of qualitative methods to examine the narratives of older adults. More specifically, I have been using narrative approaches to examine the oral histories of older adults in China and trangender older adults in the U.S. and Thailand. Past research has included an emphasis on grandparent caregivers of grandchildren; Soviet immigrant Jews, Ukrainians, Vietnamese, and Cambodians caring for their parents; older volunteers; and clinical use of behavior modification and older adults.

Media Expertise

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatric social work education
  • Intergenerational relations/grandparent caregivers of grandchildren
  • Social work research
  • International social work
  • Social work practice with older adults and males across the life cycle
  • LGBTQ Older Adults


  • Greene, R., Goldberg-Glen, R.S., Kauffman, S., & Stein, E. (2021).
    Older Adult Resilience in the Face of the COVID 19 pandemic:
    Teaching social work curriculum through research.
    Journal of Social Work Education. DC: CSWE. (Submitted).

  • Davis, M. (2019). Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education for Older Adults. New Jersey: UCC. (Goldberg-Glen, contributor).

  • Sands, R.G., Goldberg-Glen, R.S., & Shin, H.J. (2009). The voices of grandchildren of grandparent caregivers: A strengths-resilience perspective. Child Welfare, 88(2), 25–45.

  • Sands, R.G., Goldberg-Glen, R.S., & Thornton, P.L. (2005). Factors associated with the positive well-being of grandparents caring for their grandchildren. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 45(4), 65–82.

  • Hayslip, B., & Goldberg-Glen, R.S. (Eds.). (2000). Grandparents raising grandchildren: Theoretical, empirical, and clinical perspectives (pp. 239–254). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, LLC.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), ASA, GSA, Sexuality and Aging Consortium (SAC)


  • R.S. Awarded for appreciation for services at the 8th & 4th Annual Grandparent Caregiver
  • Selected as one of the Top Ten Outstanding Young Women of America in Recognition of Outstanding Ability
  • R.S. Selected by graduate students for induction into the Phi Alpha


In the Media


  • PA Department of Aging Secretary Visits Social Work Class

    Robert Torres ’93, Secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, and Special Assistant to the Secretary, Stephanie Cole, visited students in the social work program who are about to embark on a semester-long service-learning project working with older adults.

    Secretary Torres, a Widener Commonwealth Law School graduate, and Cole spoke to students about the work the department does to help older adults in Pennsylvania through various programs focusing on financial assistance, health and wellness initiatives, and programs specifically for older adults from underserved populations. They also spoke to students about the many career opportunities available working with older adults.

    Students in this course participate in a semester-long service-learning project where they are paired with an older adult in the area who has been identified as “at risk for social isolation” to have regular communications and build a connection.

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