Nancy Orel, Ph.D., LPC

Position: Associate Dean, Professor of Gerontology
Phone: 419-372-7768
Email: norel@bgsu.edu
Address: 105 HHS

Dr. Orel came to BGSU in 2000. Dr. Orel received her BA in Psychology from Bowling Green State University in 1978, her MA in Guidance from the University of Toledo in 1983, and her Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of Toledo in 1999. Dr. Orel was previously an assistant professor of Gerontology at Lourdes College, and served as Assistant to the Editor at the Journal of Counselor Education and Supervision.

As a licensed professional counselor, Dr. Orel's professional experience includes over 15 years of clinical experience working with older adults. She was the Executive Director of the Washtenaw County Council on Aging, former member of both the Turner Geriatric Clinic Advisory Board and the Eastern Michigan University Gerontology Advisory Board.

Dr. Orel's teaching and research interests include qualitative studies exploring grandchildren's perceptions of grandparent-grandchild relationships, and grandchildren's perceptions of multigenerational care giving. Her current research interests include studies in gerontological counseling, and investigating the impact of disruptive life events (e.g., care giving, divorce) on retirement patterns among women of the Baby Boom generation.


Cynthia A. Spitler, Ph.D.

Position: Instructor
Phone: 419-372-2326
Email: cspitle@bgsu.edu

Dr. Spitler received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Home Administration from The University of Toledo.  In addition, she received her Master of Science and Education in Public Health and her Ph.D. in Health Education (with an emphasis in Gerontology) from The University of Toledo.  Dr. Spitler is new to BGSU in the Fall of 2014 and teaches a range of Gerontology courses.  She has also taught Sociology and Social Gerontology courses at The University of Toledo and in the Gerontology program at Lourdes University.  In addition, she also advised undecided students at The University of Toledo. Dr. Spitler keeps her Ohio Nursing Home Administrator’s License current and likes to spend time working in nursing homes as time permits. 

Dr. Spitler’s dissertation was entitled “Pet Therapy and Midwest Nursing Homes.”  She conducted survey research in which she reached out to 500 nursing homes in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky.  As a result of her excellent follow-up skills, she received an overwhelming 81% response rate to her mailed surveys. As you can imagine, Dr. Spitler is passionate about spending time with older adults and her pets.  She has a cat and an overly exuberant but affectionate Golden Retriever. Dr. Spitler is very excited to be teaching Gerontology classes at BGSU this year.


Charlie Stelle, Ph.D.

Position: Associate Professor
Phone: 419-372-8304
Email: cstelle@bgsu.edu
Address: 229 HHS

Dr. Stelle received his Bachelor of Science in Studies in Aging and his Master of Science in Administration of Aging Organizations from the University of North Texas. He received his doctorate in Family Studies with an emphasis in aging families from the University of Connecticut. Dr. Stelle was an Assistant Professor in Human Development and Family Studies at Texas Tech University before joining the gerontology faculty at Bowling Green State University in 2005.

Dr. Stelle’s research interests include areas of familial relationships and social networks in later life; grief and bereavement; and romantic relationships in later life. In particular, he is interested in the gendered nature of old age and issues influencing older men’s lives and masculinities.



Wendy K. Watson, Ph.D.

Position: Associate Professor, Coordinator of Gerontology
Phone: 419-372-1057
Email: wwatson@bgsu.edu
Address: 220 HHS

Dr. Watson received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston. She received her Master of Science and her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech University. Dr. Watson served as a graduate instructor at Texas Tech University from 2002-2005 and also taught in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Bowling Green State University during 2006 and 2007. She joined the Gerontology Faculty at BGSU in 2007.

Dr. Watson’s research interests include women’s experiences with new, intimate relationships in mid and later life with a focus on dating, remarriage, sexuality, and sexual decision-making. She is also interested in identity development for women as they negotiate these new relationships, as well as other life course transitions throughout adulthood and later life.