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A scholar who has focused much of her research efforts on older adults and social issues over the years, Novella Perrin has retired as dean emerita of The Graduate School at Central Missouri. She dedicated nearly 32 years of her life to mentoring and educating students at her alma mater.
After beginning her career in the 1970s teaching at Ruskin High School and Kansas City and Lee’s Summit High School, she joined CMSU in 1974 as an instructor of sociology. Perrin’s hard work paid off with promotions to assistant, associate and full professor. Her strong interest and expertise in the aging field led to her appointment as coordinator of the Social Gerontology Program and director of the Gerontology Institute. Her leadership enabled CMSU to receive a large number of grants and develop a reputation statewide and nationally for excellence in these areas. Perrin’s strong interest in the education of graduate students was most recently demonstrated through her work as assistant provost for research and dean of The Graduate School, the position she was holding at the time of her retirement.
As dean, Perrin initiated the first Graduate School commencement exercises for CMSU students. She also takes pride in professional contributions that include serving as executive director of Sigma Phi Omega, national gerontology honorary; executive director of the international Sociological Practice Association; nine years as president of the Missouri Board of Nursing Home Administrators; and serving as an elder abuse expert for the White House Conference on Aging.
Perrin earned three diplomas from CMSU by completing bachelor’s, master’s and education specialist degrees on campus. She earned a doctorate at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.