Kathy Bonnar, EdD


People ask me, “Why do you want to work with older adults?” My answer is, “Why not!” I have always felt an alignment with older adults even as a child. I was the kid on the block who eagerly went across the street to talk to Grandma Holmberg sitting quietly in her lawn chair in the front yard. Her stories were so interesting and I was an avid listener. I went across the street often even when the other kids made fun of me spending time with the “old lady”. I sincerely feel it is so important to not only service the older adults, but to also listen and learn from them. I find that so much is lost when we don’t take the time to learn from their valuable experiences and many skills.

I began teaching at Concordia University in 2004 as an adjunct instructor and since 2010 as a full-time assistant professor. I began teaching on the subject of aging when I taught Adult Development and Aging in 2012. Since then I have taught both graduate and doctoral classes in the Gerontology Program.

I enjoy presenting whenever and wherever I have the opportunity. For example, I have provided presentations at the American Society on Aging Conferences and for the past three years have been asked to review and recommend presentation submissions. The Illinois Counseling Association Conference expressed an interest on the topic of caregiving and the counseling process where I addressed how the counselor can play an important role in assisting the caregiver. I have provided counseling to the Board of Directors at a local senior services organization in Austin, TX, where I led the discussion on how to encourage and train volunteers to provide services in working with older adults. I am open to any and all opportunities to address the subject of aging.

I have worked with colleagues at Concordia providing a support group for caregivers and previously worked with Rush University Medical Center in providing a support group for families and Alzheimer’s Disease.

I provide counseling for the following:

* Caregiving
* Older adults in the workplace
* Families and Alzheimer’s Disease


EdD in Adult Education
MA in Counseling and Guidance
BA in History Education

Dissertation: Integrity Versus Despair: A Phenomenological Study of the Meaning of Work for Older Workers 70-95 Years Old Through Erik Erikson’s Eighth Stage of Development.


* Multi-Disciplinary Certificate Program in Long Term Care Administration and Management
* Activity Based Alzheimer Care-Building in Therapeutic Program
* Developmental Disabilities and Aging – a Training Program for Health Professionals
* Best Friends Approach to Dementia Care: A Train-the-Trainer Program
* Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator Training
* Illinois Mental Health and Aging Training
* Midwestern Geriatric Education Center Summer Institute in Gerontology
* 40 hours Mediation Course – Dispute Resolution Center, Austin, TX


* Licensed Professional Counselor in Illinois
* Nationally Certified Counselor
* Nationally Certified Career Counselor
* Human Services Board Certified Practitioner
* Global Career Development Facilitator


Adult Development and Aging (GERO 6050)
Diversity in Aging (GERO 6510)
Practicum in Gerontology (GERO 6980)
The Physiology of Aging (GERO 7500)
Issues in Aging Policy (GERO 7805)
The Psychological Aspects of Aging (GERO 7505)


  • Aging
  • Caregiving
  • Older Adults in the Workplace
  • Always looking at other options and interests