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Costley, Alex

Costley, Alex

Associate Professor

Health and Human Performance

Phone: 718-262-5116
Office Location: HP-209

With a background in anthropology, public policy, and medical education, I study aging and aging-in-place from cultural, political, and clinical perspectives. In medical education, I evaluate the impact of community-based geriatric training on the attitudes of primary-care physicians. Current research explores the impact of urban planning on older adults' health, function, quality-of-life, and risk of food-insecurity.

Office Hours

Wednesdays (HP-204)3:00 to 5:00 PM
Thursdays (HP-204)4:00 to 5:00 PM
Also by appointment: please e-mail: acostley@york.cuny.eduor call: 718-262-5116


certificate Environmental System Research Inst GIS Spatial Analysis 2019 
PhD Columbia University Medical Anthropology 2008 
MA Columbia University Anthropology 1996 
BA University of Massachusetts Anthropology 1992 

Areas of Expertise

  • Program evaluation and research in educational outcomes.
  • Health and functional assessment with community-dwelling older adults.
  • Aging-in-place and translational research in public policy.
  • Policy research on older adults, food access/insecurity, and Social Security.

Publications in Field Of Expertise



Refereed Proceedings


Presented Papers, Lectures, and Exhibitions and Performances

Professional Honors, Prizes, Fellowships

  • Fellow, RAND Institute, Summer Institute in Aging, Biology & Demography: 2019.
  • Fellow, Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA): 2010-present.
  • Fellowship: Public Policy and Aging, Summer Workshop, Syracuse University: 2012.
  • Research Award, American Association Medical Colleges: 2005.
  • Graduate Fellowship, Public Policy Consortium: School for International and Public Affairs, Columbia University: 1997.


  • PSC-CUNY 54, Home Delivered Meals: GIS Mapping for Strategic Planning. July 2023 to June 2024: $2,650.
  • PSC CUNY 45, Walk With Me: Assessing Functional Mobility and Use of Public Space. July to December 2014: $3,495.
  • NYS Workforce Development Initiative, Professional Skills for Care Planning in Aging Services. August 2013 to June 2014: $15,000.
  • CUNY Health and Human Services, Geriatric Assessment: Interdisciplinray Curriculum and Faculty Development. December 2013 to July 2014: $9,000.
  • Auxiliary Fund, York College, Careers in Aging: The Continuum of Care. December 2012: $1,200.
  • PSC-CUNY 40, Aging at the Crossroads: Aging in Place in Jamaica.. July to December 2010: $1,500.
  • Arnold P. Gold Foundation, CCAP Geriatric Residency Education. June 2007 to July 2008: $40,000.
  • Dreyfus Foundation, Columbia Cooperative Aging Program. July 2005 to June 2007: $10,000.

Offices Held In Professional Societies

  • Society for Applied Anthropology, Fellow: 2011-present.
  • Board of Directors, National Association for Practice of Anthropology (NAPA): 2002-2004.

Other Professional Activities and Public Service

  • Gerontological Society of America, Abstract Reviewer for Annual Meetings: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2022, 2023.
  • Routledge/Taylor Francis, Editorial Review Textbooks: 2019.
  • Oxford University Press, Editorial Gerontology Textbook: 2018.
  • Journal of Aging and Social Policy, Editorial Review: 2017.
  • Associate Editor, International J Aging & Society, Volume 3: 2012-2013.
  • Livable Communities Coalition, AARP and American Society on Aging: 2012-2013.
  • American Public Health Association, Abstract Reviewer: 2011, 2012, 2013.