Nicole Ruggiano

Professor and Associate Dean of Research

Dr. Nicole Ruggiano is a professor and associate dean of research within the School of Social Work. She is a geriatric social worker by training with expertise in health care for older adults and health policy. Her research focuses on developing and testing information technologies that support older adults with dementia and their families. As part of her work, she oversees the Alabama Caregiver Connect program, which educates and supports families facing challenges related to dementia.

Dr. Ruggiano also has expertise in health policy and previously was selected as an American Political Science Association Health and Aging Congressional Fellow, where she spent a year working part time in Washington, D.C., on policy projects to increase the quality of healthcare for older adults. Dr. Ruggiano was also appointed by Gov. Kay Ivy to serve on the Alabama Lifespan Respite Coalition.

Dr. Ruggiano regularly gives public health talks in the community to inform patients, caregivers, and providers about caregiving and person-centered healthcare. Her work has been featured in print and television news, she has served as a media source on health and aging topics, and she has also been selected as a TEDx speaker for her work on health self-management and autonomy in later life.

College School of Social Work

Department School of Social Work


Phone 205-348-4654