Associate Dean for Academic & Staff Affairs
Professor, Social Work
Office: Peterson Hall Room 5411
Dr. Tompkins is a gerontological social worker and has extensive experience leading community-based projects related to older adults and their caregivers, and she has been a faculty member at George Mason University for about 20 years. She is a qualitative researcher and teaches both in-person and virtual classes. Dr. Tompkins’ expertise is in areas related to grandparent-headed households, non-pharmacological interventions for older adults, and dementia caregiving. She has implemented virtual trainings and has a certificate in tele-behavioral health. She received her MSW and PhD from the University of Maryland's School of Social Work. Dr. Tompkins is a John A. Hartford Geriatric Scholar in Social Work.
Introduction to Social Work
Select University Service
- 2016-2017, Mason Assessment Council
- 2016-2017, Mason Platform Committee (Multidisciplinary Task Force)
- 2016-present, Mason Undergraduate Council
- 2015-present, Mason Collaborative for Undergraduate (CUE) Committee
- 2016-2017, Assistant/Associate Professor of Social Work – Search Committee (Chair)
- 2015, Director for Community Outreach – Search Committee
- 2014-2015, Assistant Professor of Social Work – Search Committee
- 2014, Associate Dean for Community Engagement - Search Committee
- 2014, Assistant Professor of Social Work – Search Committee, Chair
- 2013, Student Success Committee – Strategic Planning (University Committee)
- 2013, CHHS Student Travel Fund Committee
- 2012, Faculty Retirement Transition Committee (University Committee)
- 2012, Cross-Disciplinary Curriculum Committee (University Committee)
- 2011-2017, QEP Student as Scholars Leadership Council
- 2011, College of Health and Human Services Habit of Excellence Award nominator
- 2011, Students as Scholars Assessment Committee
- 2010-2011, QEP Assessment Committee, Chair (University Committee)
- 2010-2011, Honors College Representative (University Committee)
- 2010-2011, Distance Education Advisory Council (University)
- 2010-2011, Department Phi Alpha Committee
- 2010-2011, Department Assessment Committee
- 2010-2011, Department Awards and Development Committee
- 2009-2011, Faculty Sponsor for University Chapter of Habitat for Humanity
- 2009-2011, Department P & T Committee
- 2009-2011, Department BSW Curriculum Committee (Chair)
- 2009-2010, Department Governance Committee
- 2009-2011, College Advisement Task Force (invited)
- 2009-2011, University’s Quality Enhancement Planning Committee (nominated by the Dean, University Committee)
- 2009-2011, WIN Initiative Committee (University Committee led by Terry Zawacki)
- 2009, MSW Field Director Search Committee, Chair
- 2008-2011, College Faculty Council Committee
- 2008, Habit of Excellence Award Committee (Appointed by the Dean)
- 2007-2011, Department of Social Work Liaison for the Northern Virginia Community College Introduction to Social Work course
- 2007, Department of Social Work’s Assessment Committee, Chair
- 2007, Social Work Student Association Faculty Liaison
- 2006-2008, College Curriculum Committee Member
- 2006-2007, Social Work Student Recruitment Committee, Chair
- 2006-2008, Planning Committee for College of Health and Human Services Research Day
- 2005-2006, Department of Social Work Faculty Search Committee
- 2005, Coordinator of the Kurdish Project
- 2004-2005, MSW Admissions Committee
- 2003-2010, Social Work Department’s Program Advisory Committee
- 2003-2004, College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee
- 2013-present, Lindsay Institute for Innovations in Caregiving, Advisory Council member
- 2013-2015, AoA Grant Reviewer
- 2014-2016, RCT Research Project. Music and Memory – Insight Memory Care Center (Adult Day Care)
- 2012-2016, GSA Qualitative Research Interest Group
- 2012, CDC Healthy Aging Research Network
- 2012-2015, AoA Grant Reviewer (evidenced-based programs for older adults in the community)
- 2012, Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, Consulting Editor
- 2011, Virginia Social Work Education Summit Planning Committee
- 2011-2012, Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, Local Arrangements Committee, Chair
- 2011, Eldercare Workforce Alliance – Participated in the development of a video: Shortages within the Eldercare Workforce
- 2010-2011, Journal of Gerontology and Geriatrics Best Paper Award Committee Chair
- 2010-2012, Virginia Social Work Education Consortium (VSWEC), President
- 2010, Fairfax County Kinship Care Committee, Seeking Community Input Subcommittee
- 2009, Virginia Social Work Education Consortium (VSWEC), Vice President
- 2009, The Journal of Gerontological Social Work, Editorial Board Member
- 2009, Co-Chair, K-12 Task Force, Association for Gerontology in Higher Education
- 2008, Journal of Aging and the Humanities, Manuscript reviewer
- 2008, Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, Manuscript reviewer
- 2008, Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Editorial Board Member
- 2008, Co-editor of the Journal of Intergenerational Relationships’ Special Issue: Grandparents as Parents
- 2008, Council on Social Work Education’s Gero Ed Center’s Baccalaureate Experiential Learning Grant Reviewer
- 2008, Journal of Gerontology and Geriatrics Best Paper Award Reviewer
- 2008, Co-chair of Task Force to Review GSA/AGHE Merger after Ten Years (invited)
- 2008-2011, Fairfax County Kinship Care Committee Member
- 2008, Reviewed, Rewarding Challenges: Social Work with Older Adults, a teaching video for CSWE
- 2007, Journal of Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, Editorial Board Member
- 2007-2011, Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Awards Committee
- 2007, Abstract reviewer for the Baccalaureate Program Directors’ Conference
- 2007, Virginia Center on Aging, Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases Research Award Fund (ARDRAF) Grant Reviewer
- 2007, Abstract reviewer for the 2007 CSWE APM
- 2006, Co-editor for the Forum section of The Journal of Intergenerational Relationships
- 2006, Manuscript reviewer, The Gerontologist
- 2006, Invited participant in a John A. Hartford meeting for the renewal of the CSWE Gero-Ed Center
- 2006, E-learning Course Evaluator for CSWE: “A Planned Change Model - Preparing Gerontologically-Competent Graduates”
- 2005, Baccalaureate Program Directors Gerontology Committee, Chair
- 2005, Planning Committee for the Annual Gero-Ed Forum (formerly NGSWC)
- 2005, AARP Student Scholarship Reviewer
- 2004-2006, Virginia Social Work Education Consortium (VSWEC) Chair of the “Teacher of the Year” Committee
- 2003-2008, Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) K-12 Task Force Member
- 2003-2006, Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Secretary of the Board
- 2003-2006, Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGE-SW) Board Member
- 2003, Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, Editorial Board Member
- 2001-2006, George Mason University’s Gerontology Committee Advisory Board Member
- 2001-2005, Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Board Member
- 1996-1998, Alzheimer’s Disease Association Shenandoah Valley Chapter, Secretary of the Board
- 1995-1998, National Association of Social Workers, Virginia Chapter, Finance Committee
- 1995-2001, Eldercare Alliance Harrisonburg, VA, Board Member
Dr. Tompkins’ research areas focus on grandparent-headed households, non-pharmacological interventions for older adults, and dementia caregiving.
Ambergaonkar, J., Matto, H., Ihara, E., Tompkins, C.J. Caswell, S., Cortes, N., Davis, R., Coogan, S., Fauntroy, V., Glass, E., Lee, J., Baraniecki-Zwil, G. & Dhokai, N. (2022). Dance, music, and social conversation program participation positively affects physical and mental health in community-dwelling older adults: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Dance Medicine & Science. https://doi.org/10.12678/1089-313X.121522f
Waters, L., *, Marrs. S.A., Tompkins, C.J., Fix, R., Finucane, S. Coogle C.L, Grunden, K., Ihara, E.S., McIntyre, M., Parsons, P., & Slattum, P. (2022). Creating Interprofessional Readiness to Advance Age-Friendly U.S. Healthcare. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19, 5258. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095258
Vander Linden, K. & Tompkins, C.J. (2021). Collaborative Grounded Theory. Grounded Theory Review. 20(2), 32-42. http://groundedtheoryreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/04-Vander-Linden-and-Tompkins-Collaborative-Grounded-Theory-12-2021.pdf
+ Inoue, M., Hasegawa, M., Tompkins, C.J., & Donnelly, C.M. (2021). Culturally responsive companion program for a Japanese nursing home resident with dementia. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology. doi: 10.1007/s10823-021-09434-y
+Matto, H., Ihara, E., Tompkins, C.J., McNeil, K., Lopez-Piper, A., Eber, M., Dhokai, N., Davis, R., Cortes, N., Caswell, S., Coogan, S., Fauntroy, V., Glass, E., Baraniecki-Zwil, G., & Ambegaonkar, J. (2021). A novel participant-empowered pedagogical approach to engage and retain control group participants in Arts-based randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 1-9. doi: 10.1177/1044389421997356
Inoue, M., Tsai, L. C., Lee, J. S., Ihara, E., Tompkins, C., Aguimatang, J., & Hudson, S. (2016). Creating an integrative research learning environment for undergraduate and graduate students. Journal of Social Work Education.
Kennedy, W. G., Ihara, E. S., Tompkins, C. J., Inoue, M., & Wolf-Branigin, M. E. (2015). Computation modeling of caregiver stress. Journal of Policy and Complex Systems, 2(1), 31-44.
Matto, H., Tompkins, C.J., Ihara, E.I., & Inoue, M. (2015). Results from Music, Imagery, and Movement (MiM) Treatment Intervention in a Long-term Care Facility. Families in Society, 96(4), 277-283. https://doi.org/10.1606/1044-3894.2015.96.32
Ihara, E.S., Horio, B.M. & Tompkins, C.J. (2012). Grandchildren caring for grandparents: Modeling the complexity of family caregiving. Journal of Social Service Research, 38(5), 619-636. https://doi.org/10.1080/01488376.2012.711684
Tompkins, C.J., Ihara, E.S., Cusick, A. & Park, N.S. (2012). Maintaining connections but wanting more: The continuity of familial relationships among assisted living residents. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 55 (3), 249-261. https://doi.org/10.1080/01634372.2011.639439
Ihara, E.S., Tompkins, C.J. & Sonethavilay, H. (2012). Culture and familism: An exploratory case study of a grandparent-headed household. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 10(1), 34-47. https://doi.org/10.1080/15350770.2012.645737
Tompkins, C.J., Ernst, J., Ihara, E., Clark, P. (2011). Two birds with one stone: Using gerontology experiences to meet CSWE competencies. Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work Education, 16, 63-83.
Curl, A., Tompkins, C.J., Rosen, A., Zlotnick, J. (2010). A case study of professional change: The impact of the national gerontological social work competencies survey. Journal of Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 31, 256-273.
Tompkins, C.J., Rogers, A. & Cohen, H. (2009). Promoting undergraduate student research collaboration: Faculty perceptions of benefits and challenges. Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, 14, 1-13.
Tompkins, C.J. & Sorrell, J.M. (2008). Older adults with Alzheimer’s Disease in a faith community: Forging needed partnerships between clergy and health care professionals. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 46, 22-25.
Tompkins, C.J. (2007). Who will care for the grandparents? Exploring relationships between grandparents and grandchildren. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 45, 19-22.
Tompkins, C.J. & Weinreich, D. (2007). Collaborating, teaching and learning in cyberspace: A virtual age experience. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 50, 119-134.
Davis, M.E., Tompkins, C.J. & Wolf-Branigin, M. (2006). Using image manipulation skills to teach community problem-solving. Journal of Instruction Delivery Systems, 20, 6-9.
Tompkins, C.J. (2006). Are we really teaching our students an aging perspective when we use the term intergenerational? Are we encouraging the stigmas associated with aging if we use a ‘backdoor approach’ in recruiting students to become interested in working with older adults? Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 4, 109-112.
Newman, S. & Tompkins, C.J. (2006). A case study reflecting healthy aging in the U.S. Indian. Journal of Gerontology, 20, 99-110.
Weinreich, D.M. & Tompkins, C.J. (2006). Learning objects and gerontology. Educational Gerontology, 32, 785-801.
Tompkins, C.J., Rosen, A.L., & Larkin, H. (2006). Invited Essay: An analysis of social work textbooks for aging content: How well do social work foundation texts prepare students for our aging society? Journal of Social Work Education, 42, 3-23.
Tompkins, C.J. & Rosen, A.L. (2006). Developing visibility for aging in social work: The first NGSWC. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 48, 1-8.
Hermoso, J., Rosen, A.L., Overly, L. & Tompkins, C.J. (2006). Increasing aging and advocacy competency: The intergenerational advocacy pilot project. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 48, 179-192.
Ericson, C.B. & Tompkins, C.J. (2006). Infusing aging content into a research course: A national organization and university partnership. Educational Gerontology, 32, 225-240.
Hooyman, N.R. & Tompkins, C.J. (2005). Special Section: Innovations in gerontological social work education: Transforming social work education, Guest Editorial. Journal of Social Work Education, 41, 371-377.
Oktay, J. & Tompkins, C.J. (2004). Personal assistance providers’ mistreatment of disabled adults. Health and Social Work, 29, 177-188.
Tompkins, C.J. & Siegel, E. (2001). A national survey on distance education in gerontology. Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 21, 7-15.
Saltz, C.C., Zimmerman, S.I., Tompkins, C.J., Harrington, D. & Magaziner, J. (1999). Stress among caregivers of hip fracture patients: A longitudinal study. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 30, 167-181.
Hoffman, D.E., Zimmerman, S.I., Tompkins, C.J. (Spring, 1997). How close is close enough? The influence of family relationships in determining attitudes towards advance directives and preferences for life sustaining treatments. The Journal of Ethics, Law and Aging, 3, 5-24.
Hoffman, D. E., Zimmerman, S.I., Tompkins, C.J. (Spring, 1996). The dangers of directives or the false security of forms. The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 24, 5-17.
Bolla, K.I., Lindgren, K.N., Bonaccorsy, (Tompkins) C.J., Bleeker, M.L. (1991). Memory complaints in the elderly – Fact or fiction? Archives of Neurology, 48, 61-64.
Bolla, K.I., Lindgren, K.N., Bonaccorsy, (Tompkins) C.J., & Bleecker, M.L. (1990). Predictors of verbal fluency (FAS) in the healthy elderly. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 46, 623-628.
Gelman, C.R., Tompkins, C.J. & Ihara, E.S. (2013). The Complexities of Caregiving for Minority Older Adults: Rewards and Challenges. Handbook of Minority Aging.
Tompkins, C.J. & Rosen, A. (2007). Fostering Social Work Gerontology Competence. An Edited Monograph for Haworth Press. Binghamton, NY.
Kropf, N.P. & Tompkins, C.J. (2002). Teaching Aging: Syllabi, Resources & Infusion Materials for the Social Work Curriculum. Council on Social Work Education: Alexandria, VA
2021-2023. Principal Investigator, Mason Cares, Funder: Retirement Research Foundation (RRF), Collaborators: Emily Ihara, Megumi Inoue ($177, 625; 6% effort )
2022. Co-Principal Investigator, StrongerMemory (Phase II): Experiences of Older Adults and Caregivers in an Intervention Program for Cognitive Impairment, Funder: Virginia Center on Aging Geriatric Education and Training, ADRAF, Collaborators: Hyun Kang (PI), Emily Ihara ( Total: $45,000; 1% effort)
2020-2023. Principal Investigator, StrongerMemroy, Funder: Goodwin House Living (contract), Collaborators: Emily Ihara, Hyun Kang ($20,000)
2018. Contract with the Fairfax County Department of Family Services’ Kinship Family Institute (KFI) for a second year. Program Development and Program Evaluation ($44,000).
2017. Principal Investigator, Virginia Center on Aging, Geriatric Education and Training, A Web-based Training Program for Direct Care Workers in Long-term Care Communities: Providing Knowledge and Skills to Implement a Music and Memory Intervention. (12/17-6/18).
2017. Contract with the Fairfax County Department of Family Services’ Kinship Family Institute (KFI) for one year with the potential of a one-year renewal. Program Development and Program Evaluation ($44,000).
2016. Recipient, George Mason University, Office of Digital Learning Online Course Development Grant ($4,000).
2015. Principal Investigator, Virginia Center on Aging, Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases Research Award Fund (ARDRAF), Individuals with Dementia at Adult Day Health Care Centers: Examining the Effects of Individualized Music on Mood and Agitation ($45,000).
2015. Principal Investigator, subcontract for a HRSA grant: Geriatrics Work Enhancement Program. Submitted to the Virginia Center on Aging as part of a HRSA grant submission ($30,000 over three years).
2015. Contractor, Department of Family Services, Fairfax County. A two-month proposal writing contract; ($1,100).
04/14. Co-PI with Holly Matto and Emily Ihara. Music, Imagery and Movement Intervention with Nursing Home Residents: National Endowment of the Arts - $25,000
05/13. PI - Conference on Behavior Management for Individuals with Dementia, Depression and Delirium. Retirement Research Foundation - $10,000
11/11. Coordinator, GMU Track A Scholarship Development Proposal for Integrative Methods in Social Action and Social Change: A Focus on Human Rights - $6,000
02/11. Coordinator, Patriot Link. Working with Dave Bauer to provide stipends to students working with older adults within the community.
09/07-08/09. Principal Investigator, John A. Hartford Faculty Scholars Program in Geriatric Social Work, Title: “Grandparent-headed Households: The Long-term Caregiving Relationship between Grandparents and Grandchildren,” $100,000.
07/06-06/07. Co-Principal Investigator with Jeanne Sorrell, GMU Department of Nursing, Virginia Center on Aging, Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases Research Award Fund (ARDRAF), Title: “Ethics of Respect for Spirituality in Persons Living with Alzheimer’s Disease,” $30,000
05/05-04/07. Co-Principal Investigator with Mike Wolf-Branigin, GMU Department of Social Work, George Mason University, College of Arts and Sciences Technology Across the Curriculum (TAC) Program, “Integrating TAC Assignments Across the Social Work Curriculum,” $18,000.
09/03-08/04. Investigator, Western Michigan University Distance Education Grant (HRSA subgrant), “Virtual Age,” $10,000.
2001. Health Care Georgia Foundation, “Council on Social Work Education Conference Support,” $10,000.
2000. Principal Administrator, AARP Andrus Foundation Grant, “Research, Finance and Gerontology: Undergraduate Scholarships to Support the Development of Experts in the Field,”$60,000. [Association for Gerontology in Higher Education]
2000. Principal Administrator, AARP Andrus Foundation Grant, “Careers in Aging,” $10,000. [Association for Gerontology in Higher Education]
1999. Co-Principal Investigator with Sally Newman, National Corporation for Service Learning, “Integrating Lean and Serve Experiences into Gerontology Curriculum,” $186,000. [Association for Gerontology in Higher Education]
1999. Principal Administrator, AARP Andrus Foundation Grant, “Research, Finance and Gerontology: Undergraduate Scholarships to Support the Development of Experts in the Field (First Year Award),” $60,000. [Association for Gerontology in Higher Education]
1998. Principal Investigator, James Madison University, College of Integrated Science and Technology Summer Research Grant, “Caregivers of the Frail Elderly: Perceptions of Stress and the Need for Community Services,” $4,000.
1996. Principal Investigator, James Madison University, College of Integrated Science and Technology Summer Research Grant, “Burnout and Interpersonal Relationships in Rural Home Health Aides: Implications for Education,” $3,000.
Honors and Awards
- Excellence in Memory Care Award, 2016, Insight Memory Care Center
- Educator of the Year Award, 2016, Virginia Social Work Education Consortium
- Fellowship; Social Research, Policy, & Practice, 2015, The Gerontological Society of America
- Mentoring Award, 2012, GMU Office of Scholarship, Creative Activities and Research (OSCAR)
- Research Day Poster Award, 2011, College of Health and Human Services, George Mason University
- Presidential Medal of Honor for Gerontological Curriculum Development, 2008, Baccalaureate Program Directors
- Habit of Excellence Award, 2007, College of Health and Human Services, George Mason University
- Mit Joyner Gerontological Leadership Award, 2006, Baccalaureate Program Directors
- Fellow, 2005, Association for Gerontology in Higher Education
- Aging Committee Faculty Development Award (Social Work), 2003, Baccalaureate Program Directors
- Textbook Project Evaluation Award (Evaluation of Aging Content), 2003, Haworth Press
- Faculty Development Award, 2001, Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work
- Recognition Award, 1997, The Eldercare Alliance, Harrisonburg, Virginia
- Outstanding Student in Gerontology Award, 1995, University of Maryland School of Social Work Geriatrics, Gerontology, Education and Research (GGEAR)
Virginia Social Work Education Consortium
- PhD, Social Work, University of Maryland
- MSW, Social Work/Specialization in Aging, University of Maryland
- BA, Psychology, University of Maryland