Laura K.M. Donorfio

Associate Professor

Educational Background

Ph.D., Human Development and Family Studies, University of Connecticut, 1996
     Concentration: Adulthood & Aging
M.A., Human Development and Family Relations, University of Connecticut, 1991
     Concentration: Intergenerational Relationships

Selected Awards & Achievements

  • Vice Chair-Elect, AGHE Member Group, GSA (begins 1/24)
  • Excellence Award for Teaching Career, American Association of University Professors, UConn (2023)
  • Clark Tibbitts Award, GSA and AGHE (2022) 
  • Convener, Teaching Institute, GSA and AGHE (2008-present)
  • Convener, Intergenerational Learning, Research, and Community Engagement Interest Group, GSA and AGHE (2013-2020)

Current Research

  • Aging Drag Queens: Drag Expression and how it Interfaces with Performance, Dragism, Coping, Resilience, and Generativity
  • Behavioral and Social Processes that Impact the Development, Health, and Well-being of Sexual Gender Minority Populations and Their Families Across the Lifespan
  • Using the Arts to Develop Meaningful Interventions to Enhance the Development, Health, and Well-being of SGM Populations and Their Families Across the Lifespan

Ongoing Research

  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
    • Innovative Andragogy and Geragogy Platforms
    • Innovative Intergenerational and Lifelong Learning Approaches
  • Later Life Dependencies
    • Family Caregiving and Filial Responsibility
    • Older Drivers and Transportation

      Selected Publications

      • Karasik, R., Donorfio, L.K.M., & Greenberg, P. (2023). The Gerontology Field Placement: Internships and Practicums in the Field of Aging. Springer.
      • Donahue, E., Halgunseth, L.C., Mauldin, L., Donorfio, L.K.M., & Bellizzi, K.M. (2023). Parent-Child Grief Interactions: A Qualitative Analysis and Conceptual Framework of the Lived Experiences of Young Widowed Parents. OMEGA—Journal of Death and Dying, 0(0), 1-20.
      • Dibble, K.E., Donorfio L.K.M., Britner P.A., & Bellizzi K.M. (2022). Stress, anxiety, and health-related quality of life in BRCA1/2-positive women with and without cancer. Gynecologic Oncology Reports, 42:101033.
      • Dibble, K.E., Donorfio, L.K.M., Britner, P., & Bellizzi, K.M. (2022). Perceptions and care recommendations from previvors: Qualitative analysis of female BRCA1/2 mutation carriers’ experience with genetic testing and counseling. Gynecologic Oncology Reports, 41: 100989.
      • Karasik, R., & Donorfio, L.K.M. (2021). Continuing education certificate programs in Gerontology. In M. Gugliucci & T. Shovall (Eds.), Standards and Guidelines for Gerontology and Geriatrics in Higher Education, (7th ed., chapter 6). AGHE.
      • Donorfio, L. (2020, December). Teaching Brief: AGHE’s Teaching Institute—Celebrating a Decade. The AGHE Exchange, 43(5),


      • Donorfio, L.K.M., & Adam Zagroba. (2020, May). Dragnificent! The Learning Channel (TLC). Season 2, Pretty in Pink, Episode 6. (Previous season called Drag Me Down the Aisle). Nationally chosen to work with four award winning Drag Queens who have appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race– Alexis Michelle, BeBe Zahara Benet, Jujubee, and Thorgy Thor.

        Selected Presentations

        • Donorfio, L.K.M., (2022, November). Pedagogy of Aging: A Journey toward Authenticity and Wholeness. Clark Tibbitts Award Lecture presented at the annual Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), Indianapolis, IN.
        • Henneberry, K., Donorfio, L.K.M., and Chapman, B. (2022, November). Aging Drag Queens: Risks, Rewards, Expressions and Performance.  Poster presented at the annual Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), Indianapolis, IN.
        • Donorfio, L.K.M., (2022, November). AGHE’s Eleventh Annual Teaching Institute: Teaching About Aging Through the Lens of the Arts and Humanities. Co-organizer and presenter of preconference at the annual Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), Indianapolis, IN.
        • Donorfio, L.K.M. (2021, November). Getting to Know Yourself Across the Lifespan. In L. Borrero (Chair), Disrupting Othering: A Continuum of Age-Integrated Strategies for Gerontology Education. Symposium presentation at the annual meeting of GSA, virtual.
        • Andreoletti, C., Donorfio, L.K.M., & Maiden, R. (2021, November). Standards and Guidelines for Undergraduate Programs in Gerontology. In T. Shovali (Chair), (Re)Introducing the Gerontology and Geriatrics Curricular Standards and Guidelines in Higher Education. Symposium presentation at the annual meeting of GSA, virtual.
        • Chapman, B., Donorfio, L.K.M.,, & Tomasino, D. (2021, November). Drag Expression Among Older Gay Men: Exploratory Findings of a Pilot Study. Poster session presented at the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), virtual.
        • Donorfio, L.K.M., Chapman, B., & Tomasino, D. (2021, June). Drag Expression and How it Interfaces with Dragism, Coping, Resilience, and Generativity. Symposium session presented at the annual LGBTQ Research Symposium annual meeting, University of Kansas, virtual.
        Laura Donorfio
        Contact Information
        Phone(203) 560-0760
        (203) 236-9837
        Curriculum Vitae Laura Donorfio CV 8 15 2023
        Mailing AddressUniversity of Connecticut, 99 East Main Street, Waterbury, CT 06702 USA
        Office LocationWaterbury Campus Room 117 & Storrs Campus Room 123D
        CampusWaterbury (primary) & Storrs
        Office HoursBy Appointment
        CoursesGraduate: Adulthood & Aging; Adaptation & Development in Adulthood (hybrid); Issues in Human Sexuality; Life Span Development; Qualitative Research Methods; Special Issues in Family Development; Research Practicum; Teaching Practicum. Undergraduate: Adult Development & Aging (brick & mortar; interactive television; hybrid; online; service learning; intergenerational with OLLI); Public Policy & Family (brick & mortar; interactive television; hybrid); Issues in Human Sexuality (brick & mortar; interactive television; hybrid; online); Death, Dying, & Bereavement (brick & mortar; hybrid; online); Professional Communication in Human Development and Family Studies (writing Course) (brick & mortar; hybrid, online); Research Methods in HDFS (writing course); Aging in American Society; Supervised Field Experience; Research Practicum; Freshman First Year Experience (team taught); Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (UConn), Aging Positively: Film and Discussion on Current Adulthood and Aging Issues.