Elaine Alden

Education is a wonderfully selfish gift to yourself – it is one of the few things in life which can't be taken away from you – you own it, you earn it, it's yours.

Elaine Alden, PhD



Dr. Elaine Alden, Associate Professor, has been at Ashford University since 2012 and is the Chair of the BA in Sociology in the College of Liberal Arts. She obtained her PhD in Social Policy from the University of Kent, UK and her postdoctoral research was the first social policy fellowship to be awarded by Age UK, the British policy and advocacy group for issues concerning an aging population. Since 2005, Dr. Alden has lead research projects in the areas of teacher presence in the online environment, social support systems, generational membership and work motivations, HRM and reward, employment transitions, work/life balance and flexible employment, gender and work roles, ageism, older workers, care-giving, philanthropy and charitable giving, ‘Dignity’ in social care, sustainability, and organizational social responsibility. Dr. Alden was awarded the Ashford University President and Provost Award for Excellence in Research in 2017.

Dr. Alden taught at the University of Greenwich, London and for 7 years at the University of Kent, School of Social Policy, Sociology, and Social Research in the areas of sociology of work and employment, applied HR and reward, cultural diversity, research methods, generational conflict and cohesion, social problems and social policy. Prior to her academic career, she spent 15 years as an HR professional with her last role as Head of Global Reward in London, UK. She is a dual citizen of the US and Britain, a San Diego native, and has lived in many countries due to her professional career and her upbringing in a U.S. military family.

"What I love about teaching is that it gives me the opportunity to support a student in acquiring knowledge and developing academically through the process of obtaining a degree. Education is a wonderfully selfish gift to yourself – it is one of the few things in life which can't be taken away from you – you own it, you earn it, it's yours. To feel that kind of personal ownership is so rare, and it is an honor to be a part of that process with the students at Ashford University."


Dr. Elaine Alden and Dr. Sarah Vickerstaff co-presented their research “’Good old Fred’: The flexible employment of older employees” at the November, 2015 Gerontology Society of America pre-conference, “Change in the Meaning and Experience of Work in Later Life” sponsored by the Sloan Research Network on Aging and Work at Boston College.

Dr. Elaine Alden, and Dr. Adam Selhorst co-presented their research, “The Social and Environmental Benefits of Offsite Working and Online Education” at the On Sustainability Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark in January 2015.  They also were presented this research in June, 2014 at the IAFOR ACSEE Conference in Osaka, Japan and in July, 2014 at the IAFOR ECSEE Conference in Brighton, UK. 

Dr. Elaine Alden presented her paper, “Flexible Employment Access and the Older Worker: A British Study” at the Global Conference on International Human Resources Management held at The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA in May 2013.

Dr. Elaine Alden, Dr. Ray Powers, and Dr. Alan Swank co-presented their research, “Establishing Teacher Presence in the Online Environment: Guidance of Best Practice” at the Sloan Consortium: Emerging Technologies in Online Education Conference in Las Vegas, NV in April 2013.  Earlier that month, they presented this research at the WASC Academic Resource Conference in San Diego, CA.

Dr. Elaine Alden presented her research paper, “Flexible Employment: Using Flexibility Policies to Aid Older Worker Employment and Later Life Outcomes” at the November, 2012 Gerontology Society of America Conference, in Boston, MA.

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Doctor of Philosophy in Social Policy
University of Kent

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