Namkee G. Choi, Ph.D.

Namkee G. Choi, Ph.D.

Professor and the Louis and Ann Wolens Centennial Chair in Gerontology

Dr. Namkee Choi is a professor and the Louis and Ann Wolens Centennial Chair in Gerontology in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin.  Dr. Choi’s current research focuses on depression in late life and the development and evaluation of effective psychosocial interventions for depressive symptoms among both community-dwelling and institutionalized older adults. One of her recent research projects, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, St. David’s Foundation, and Mitte Foundation, has tested the feasibility and effectiveness of delivering problem-solving therapy (PST) for homebound older adults via home-based, low-cost videoconferencing methods.  This project (tele-PST) has been evaluated very successful in terms of its potential for both clinical and cost effectiveness.  Dr. Choi continues to evaluate and disseminate tele-PST and integration of mental health services and technology in aging service agencies that serve low-income older adults. Her other areas of research include disparities in health status and healthcare utilization, program evaluation, minority aging, and social policy for the aging population. Dr. Choi teaches research methods and social work practice with older adults at the graduate level.

Dr. Choi serves on the editorial board the Journal of Gerontological Social Work and Journal of Poverty and as an expert reviewer for several professional journals in gerontology, mental health, and social work. She has published extensively in gerontology and mental health journals.  Dr. Choi is active as a national research mentor for the Hartford Social Work Faculty Scholars Program.

Dr. Choi is originally from Korea where she had her master’s degree in social work and worked at the Planned Parenthood of Korea and was a part-time lecturer for undergraduate social work students. Since she came to the United States in 1981, Dr. Choi received her MSW degree from the University of Minnesota and Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of California at Berkeley. While she was at UC Berkeley, Dr. Choi worked for the Mental Health Research Group as a research assistant.  Dr. Choi also received training in geriatric mental health research as one of the competitively selected scholars of the Advanced Research Institute in Geriatric Mental Health funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Choi’s social work practice experience in the United States has included advocacy for and direct work with long-term care residents and homebound older adults. In her spare time, she volunteers for the Meals on Wheels and More program in Austin.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Professional Interests

Geriatric Mental Health; Depression Treatment in Aging Services; Social Policy for older persons (Social Security and Supplemental Security Income); Program evaluation.


  • Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley
  • M.S.W., University of Minnesota
  • M.A., Ewha Women's University, Seoul, Korea

Teaching History

Faculty Research


Social Work Building

Phone:(512) 232-9590
Fax:(512) 471-9600

Mailing Address

The University of Texas
School of Social Work
1925 San Jacinto Blvd D3500
Austin, TX 78712-0358