Thursday, April 21, 2016

First annual Careers in Aging Week Engages Students and Community

Bloomsburg University's first annual Careers in Aging Week (CIAW) was held the week of April 4th. The week’s events included a university-wide student essay contest to increase the awareness of the value and needs of older adults, an aging career expo showcasing various organizations that provide services to older adults in the local and regional community and a documentary film and panel discussion entitled “When Did I Get Old?” Over 80 students from social sciences and health sciences, as well as representatives from a dozen community organizations, attended the events. 

The events were sponsored in part by a grant from the Gerontological Society of America, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, the College of Liberal Arts, the Psychology Department, the Social Work Program and the BU Center for Healthy Aging.  Events were organized by Dr. Mary Jo Larcom, Dr. Shiloh D. Erdley-Kass, Dr. Marion Mason and students in psychology, speech pathology and social work.  Additionally, many community businesses (Papa John’s, West End Ale Haus, Dunkin’ Donuts, Bloomin’ Bagels, Unida Pizza) donated prizes for the student contest and refreshments for the documentary and panel discussion.

The programs were aimed at connecting students from all majors who are interested in careers working with older adults to professionals who are currently in fields focused on meeting the needs of older individuals.  All events provided opportunities for students, faculty, community businesses and older adults to address the growing needs of the region’s older residents and to develop strategic plans for ensuring that the community continues to collaborate on projects that promote healthy aging.

The documentary, When Did I Get Old? was screened on April 8th from 5:00 to 7:30 at the Greenly Center and was followed by a panel discussion with local experts, a Social Work faculty member and a psychology student.  Panel members included

Steven Englehardt, former pastor/campus minister/hospital chaplain.
Adrienne Mael, President/CEO of the United Way of Columbia County
Sandy Latour, retired Bloomsburg resident, business owner and home owner
Rebeccah Glovas, Bloomsburg University Psychology Major and member of the CIAW Student Planning Committee
Shawn Clavelle, certified holistic health coach and certified yoga instructor at the Willow Tree Wellness & Counseling Center in Bloomsburg
Shiloh Erdley-Kass, licensed social worker, Assistant Professor in Social Work and certified hospice and palliative medicine social worker

The following students were presented with awards for their outstanding essay submissions at the ACE (Advocacy, Connections and Empowerment) Career/Community Expo held on Thursday, April 7th, from 2:00 to 5:00pm:

First Place: “A Tribute to Andy Keller” by Mikayla Freed (Psychology)
Second Place:  “Eleanor” by Lindsay Gehman (Medical Imaging)
Third Place:  “James Potter” by Emily Potter (Criminal Justice)
Honorable Mention: “Fight Till The End” by Jacob Kunkel (Psychology)

The essays were read and rated by the students of the CIAW Planning Committee.

CIAW Student Planning Committee

Dr. Erdley-Kass and Dr. Larcom in the WHLM studio

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