The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation recognizes Eunju Hwang, an assistant professor of apparel, housing, and resource management in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, for her research in housing and aging, culture, gerontology, immigration, and elders in Asia.
In a chapter in the book “Technologies for Active Aging,” Hwang and colleagues described the use of virtual environments in age-friendly design.
By using computer-generated virtual environments, researchers can study interventions intended to promote active aging. In addition, researchers can use the virtual environment tool to evaluate challenges to senior living ranging from poor sidewalks to high crime rates. Studying challenges in the built environment can help determine whether improvements are feasible before money and other resources are devoted to making changes.
Ultimately, the idea is to use emerging information and communication technologies to enhance the quality of life of older people by supporting mobility, independent living, and social participation.
Hwang is a member of the board of directors of the Housing Education and Research Association, committee chair of the International Housing Research, Environmental Design and Research Association, and a member of the Gerontological Society of America and the National Kitchen and Bath Association.
She received her doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota.