M. Aaron Guest, PhD, MPH, MSW

Governing Council SpeakerAaron Guest

Aaron Guest is a socio-environmental gerontologist and an inaugural Assistant Professor of Aging within the Center for Innovation in Healthy and Resilient Aging in the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation and a Senior Sustainability Scientist within the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory at Arizona State University.

Guided by a deep interest in the relationship between individuals and their environment, particularly the nexus of the social and built environments, he primarily works with older rural populations, focusing on the interrelationships of older adults’ social networks, built environment, and health. Within this context, his primary line of research focuses on the social experiences of marginalized aging individuals in rural environments and non-urban centers, with a particular interest in working with LGBTQ+ populations to reduce health disparities and inequities. Secondary lines of research focus on reducing discrimination among older adults and exploring the future of gerontological education and careers. He regularly teaches courses in programs and services for older adults, research methods, health communication, interventions to support aging in the community, and LGBTQ health.

He serves APHA as the Speaker of the Governing Councilor and aims to engage Councilors from all member units in the leadership of the Association.

Guest has been an active member of APHA since 2012. He is a member of the Aging & Public Health, Environment, and Public Health Education and Health Promotion Sections. Starting with his appointment as Diversity Co-Chair of the Student Assembly, he has served the Association through appointed and elected positions at the caucus, affiliate, section, and organizational levels. This includes a term (2015-2019) as an elected member of the Executive Board, one of the few individuals elected while still a student. One of his ongoing passions has been the engagement of members in the Association. He has served on the membership committees of the Aging & Public Health, Environment, and PHEHP Health Communication Workgroup and as the Chair of the Executive Board Membership Committee and Committee on Membership, among others. He has remained active in his affiliates, first in South Carolina, then Kentucky, and now in Arizona. Dr. Guest has a long history of service within the public health and aging field. He has served in elected and appointed positions within the National Association of Social Workers, the Gerontological Society of America, the Academy of Gerontology in Higher Education, the Appalachian Studies Association, the Accreditation for Gerontology Education Council, the LGBTQ Health Caucus, and the American Society of Aging.

Guest received his Master of Public Health and Master of Social Work from the University of South Carolina. He completed his Ph.D. in Gerontology at the University of Kentucky. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his three cats.