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Debra Sellers

Sellers, Debra
Faculty Photo
Contact Information:
Home University:

Iowa State University
311 MacKay Hall, 2302 Osborn Dr.
Ames, IA 50011

University Profile

Program involvement
Gerontology Graduate Programs - Instructor


Debra Sellers is a professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University. She also serves as the director of Human Sciences Extension and Outreach and as associate dean in the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University. Her previous experience in academia includes serving as an associate professor and extension specialist in the School of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University, and as an instructor in Gerontology at Oregon State University-Cascades.

Debra's primary area of interest is adaptive living for older adults and adults with disabilities, with a focus on optimizing function. She has more than 15 years of experience serving older adults, adults with disabilities, and their families in a variety of settings including long-term care facilities, retirement communities and government agencies. Debra particularly enjoyed her time as an animal-assisted therapist, working alongside Jeb, her facility dog, and raising four puppies for the service dog organization, Canine Companions for Independence®. She was voted as one of her city’s most admired people in Manhattan, Kansas.


Ph.D. in Lifespan Human Development, with an emphasis in Gerontology, Kansas State University, 2004
A.A.S. in Occupational Therapy Assistant, Barton County Community College, 1996
M.S.R.S. in Recreational Studies, with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation, University of Florida, 1993
B.A. in English, University of Florida, 1988