Headshot of Linda Anngela-Cole wearing a brown shirt against a gray background

Linda Anngela-Cole, Ph.D., MSW

Associate Professor
We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. - Roger Ebert


I have spent most of my professional social work career as a practitioner, specializing in gerontology and hospice care for the past fifteen years. After receiving my MSW from the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Social Work in 1992, I moved to Honolulu, Hawaii to pursue a doctoral degree from the University of Hawaii. My reason for going there was due to my interest in cross-cultural social work research. I had the great fortune to work at the MSW level at several wonderful organizations in Hawaii, and this is where I got my start with hospice. While working these wonderful social work jobs, I also began my doctoral studies.

In doctoral training, I specialized in social work gerontology, with an emphasis on care giving for older adults, and the impact of culture on family care giving. It was during this time that I learned to love research, and could see how research was needed to make us better social work practitioners. I was fortunate to be able to teach research to MSW students during my doctoral studies as well, resulting in over ten years now of teaching research methods!

Once I completed the doctorate in 2002, I did a post-doctoral fellowship at the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii. Again, I developed research studies on culture and family care giving at the end of life. I had the benefit of international travel during this time to learn and present cross-cultural findings from my studies.

In 2005, I was fortunate to be hired by the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Social Work. This is a Research I designated institution, which means that research is highly valued. Since being back in Reno, I have become involved with the adult guardianship community, and have developed studies to identify quality-of-life indicators for those in guardianship. I continue to study family care giving, end of life psycho-social issues, and the impact of culture.

What I have learned is that it is possible to provide direct social work service “well,” but only if the practices are informed by research and statistics. It is also essential (to me) that research is community or agency-based and that it has relevance to those at the frontlines, the ones actually providing or receiving services.

It is for these reasons that I enjoy teaching research and statistics to social work students (who generally don’t want to learn it!). If you can learn to appreciate the role and use of research in social work practice, I will feel that my teaching mission has been accomplished.

On a personal note, I very much enjoy life in the Reno/Tahoe area. I believe it to be one of the most perfect places to live. I was fortunate to marry my long-time partner in August 2008, and therefore I keep my ties with Hawaii as well, as my husband still works there. I take great pleasure from my two German Sheppard rescue dogs, who seem to require constant training.


  • Ph.D.-2002, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • M.S.W.-1992, University of Nevada, Reno
  • B.A.-1988, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Professional Experience

  • MSW
    • Hospice; Home Health Care; Medical SW
    • National Job Corps programs
  • LCSW
    • Private Practice with specialization in grief and loss

Courses taught

  • Direct Micro Practice courses - Undergrad and Grad
    • SW 420 (Individuals); 424 (Families); 421 (Groups); 620; 624; 720
  • Research Methods and Data Analysis
    • SW 440; 441
  • Social Services in Death and Dying
    • SW 461 (elective)

Research interests

  • Gerontological Social Work
  • Palliative Social Work (Family and professional caregiving at the end-of-life)
  • Health Disparities
  • Health Literacy
  • Cultural & Ethnic Issues in Social Work (Cultural Humility)

Presentations (last five years)

  • Anngela-Cole, L., & Busch, M., (2010). Stress, Grief, and Culture. Poster Presentation. Celebration of Scholars in Aging. University of Nevada, Reno, April 26, 2010.
  • Hilton, J. M., Powell, P., Lewis, S., Anngela-Cole, L. & Curtis, K. (2010). A low-cost collaborative teaching model using the resources of the university, community college, and Cooperative Extension. Round Table/Poster submitted to the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) annual conference, Reno, NV, March 4-7.
  • Anngela-Cole, (2009). Advanced Topics with Boundary & Ethical Issues in Community-based Care. Workshop presented for the Division of Aging Services for the state of Nevada, Reno, NV. (Mar 30, 2009).
  • Anngela-Cole, L. & Boateng, A. (2009). Dying, Death, and Bereavement: A cultural comparison. Paper presented at the Society for Cross-cultural Research annual conference, Las Vegas, NV. (Feb. 19, 2009)
  • Anngela-Cole, L. (2008 July). Transcending Global-Local Divides: A critical analysis of Global inequalities in Alzheimer's Care (Hawaii, USA). Panel presentation at the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) 34th Global Social Work Congress, Durban, South Africa. (July 20, 2008).
  • Anngela-Cole, L. (2008). Ethical Considerations in End-of-Life Research with Native American and Native Hawaiian Family Caregivers. Panel / Paper presented at the Gerontological Society of America, Baltimore, MD. (Nov. 2008).
  • Anngela-Cole, L. (2008). Boundary issues with older adults in community care: Advanced Topics. Workshop presented for the Division of Aging Services for the state of Nevada, Reno, NV & Las Vegas NV. (Sep 10 & 12, 2008).
  • Anngela, L. (2007). Anticipatory Mourning & Bereavement Among Family Caregivers: A Multicultural Perspective. Paper presented at the Gerontological Society of America conference, San Francisco, CA. (Nov. 18, 2007)
  • Anngela, L. (2007). Boundary issues when working with older adults in community care: Introduction. Workshop presented for the Division of Aging Services for the state of Nevada.
  • Anngela, L. (2006). End-of-Life Family Caregiving: A model of stress, grief, & culture. Paper presented at the 5th International Conference of Social Work in Health & Mental Health, Hong Kong, China (Dec. 10, 2006).
  • Anngela, L. (2006). Family Issues and Psycho-social Aspects of End of Life Care. Presentation at the Pain Management at the End of Life National Teleconference. (April 5, 2006).
  • Anngela, L. (2005). Relationship between Stress and Bereavement among Multi-ethnic Family Caregivers that attend support groups. Poster presented at the International Psycho-Oncology Society conference, World Congress, Copenhagen, Denmark.


  • Hilton, J. M., Gonzalez, C., Anngela-Cole, L., Maitoza, R. & Saleh, M. (2012). Evaluating the successful aging of Latinos. Journal of Cross Cultural Gerontology.
  • Boateng, A. & Anngela-Cole, L. (2012). Socioeconomic Transformation of Akan Funeral Rites in Ghana. International Journal of Cross Cultural Research; Ethnic and Racial Studies.
  • Anngela-Cole, L. & Busch, M. (2011). Stress and grief among family caregivers of older adults with cancer: A multi-cultural comparison from Hawaii. Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care.
  • Saleh, M., Anngela-Cole, L. & Boateng, A. (2011). Effectiveness of diversity infusion modules on students' attitudes, behavior and knowledge. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work.
  • Anngela-Cole, L., Ka'opua, L. & Busch, M. (2010). Issues confronting social workers in the provision of palliative care services in the Pacific Basin. Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care, 6(3/4), 11-26.
  • Hilton, J., Anngela-Cole, L., Wakita, J. (2010). A cross-cultural comparison of factors associated with school bullying in Japan and the United States. Family Journal, 18(4), 413-422.
  • Messick-Svare, G. & Anngela-Cole, L. (2010). Quality of life and spirituality in adult guardianship. Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work, 29 (3), 237-255.
  • Anngela-Cole, L. & Hilton, J.M. (2009). The role of attitudes and culture in family caregiving for older adults. Home Health Care Services Quarterly, 28, 59-83.
  • Ka'opua, L., & Anngela, L . (2005). Developing a spiritually based breast cancer screening intervention for Native Hawaiian women. Cancer, Culture & Literacy, November Supplement, 97-99.
  • McLaughlin (Anngela-Cole), L. (2003). Book Review: Gerontological Social Work - Knowledge, Service Settings and Special Populations (R. Schneider, N. Kropf & A. Kisor, Eds). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, Inc., 2000. In the Journal of Women & Aging, 15, 93-95.
  • Browne, C., Braun, K., Mokuau, N., & McLaughlin (Anngela-Cole), L . (2002). Developing a Multi-Site Project in Geriatric/Gerontological Education with Emphases in Interdisciplinary Practice and Cultural Competence. The Gerontologist, 42, (5) 698-704.
  • McLaughlin (Anngela-Cole), L. , & Braun, K. (1998). Asian and Pacific Islander cultural values: Considerations for health care decision-making. Health &Social Work, 23, (2) 116-126.
  • Saldov, M., Kakai, H., McLaughlin (Anngela-Cole), L., & Thomas, A. (1998). Cultural barriers in oncology: Issues in obtaining medical informed consent from Japanese-American elders in Hawaii. Journal of Cross-cultural Gerontology,13, 265-279.

Manuscripts (in review)

  • Firestone, J. & Anngela-Cole, L. (revise and resubmit 2014). Perceived Quality of Life: Exploring Positive Psychological Capital in Non-Profit Organizations . Administration in Social Work.
  • Anngela-Cole, L, & Boateng, A. (revise and resubmit 2013). Death Practices in Ghana and the U.S.: Celebration and Mourning in Two Countries. Death Studies.

Book chapters

  • Anngela-Cole, L., Ka'Opua, L. & Yim, Y. (2011). Chapter 54: Palliative care, culture, and the Pacific Basin. In, Terry Altliio & Shirley Otis-Green (Eds.) Textbook of Palliative Social Work. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.