Julia O. Beamish of Blacksburg, professor of apparel, housing, and resource management in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been named an at-large delegate for the White House Conference on Aging to be held in Washington, D.C. Dec. 11-14.

The White House Conference on Aging occurs once a decade to make aging policy recommendations to the President and Congress, and to assist the public and private sectors in promoting dignity, health, independence and economic security of current and future generations of older persons. The 2005 conference occurs as the first wave of the baby boom generation prepares for retirement, creating an important opportunity to creatively assess aging in America and improve the lives of older Americans.

Beamish is nationally recognized for her expertise in the areas of housing and aging and universal design. She has conducted research funded by the Andrus Foundation, the Agricultural Experiment Station, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on assisted living facilities, ECHO housing, retirement housing, and acceptance of alternative housing among older adults. Several of Beamish’s graduate students have received prestigious awards for their research in housing design for older adults, including the Polsky Award from the American Society of Interior Design and the Graduate Research Award from the American Society of Aging.

Beamish has been involved in universal design education since the early 1990s and regularly teaches a class in Universal Design. She has written book chapters, refereed industry-related articles, and made numerous presentations to professional audiences on this topic. She received her Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, her master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her bachelor’s degree from East Carolina University.