Catching up with Gerontology Alumni

Gerontology | May 07, 2013
Catching up with Gerontology Alumni

Emily Judd is a 2012 graduate of the Management of Aging Services program. She currently works as the Director of Boston ElderINFO (BEI), an Aging Service Access Point (ASAP) Information and Referral Program. She also serves as the Options Counselor Manager at Boston Senior Home Care.

Thinking back to when you decided to pursue a master’s degree, why did you choose the Management of Aging Services program? Why UMass Boston Online?
A colleague mentioned UMass Boston to me at an eldercare networking event in 2008. Gosh, I wish I remember who it was. I had always wanted to obtain a master’s degree, but wasn’t sure if it should be in Public Health or in Business Administration. Growing up, I knew I wanted to manage an organization, but I NEVER thought of concentrating my education in MAS. Looking back, it is the most logical degree for me because I have always worked in senior services and really enjoy helping others. The online teaching method was a bonus and an affordable one at that.

If you worked while pursuing your degree, how did you manage to balance work, school, and your personal life?
Balancing work, life, and school was challenging at times, but if I balanced the 3…and practiced yoga every now and then…with an organized schedule, I felt more confident that I could complete the school assignments. I worked at the Goddard House in Brookline (ALF) during the program and a lot of what I composed for school assignments paralleled work. For example, during Dan O’Leary’s HR class, I managed a small staff and learned how to be a better manager by taking what I learned in his class and putting it in practice. He taught me how to bring out the knowledge, skills and abilities in myself as a manager and pass that on to my staff. Thanks Dan!

How would you describe the strengths of the Management of Aging Services program?
The professors are top notch and really motivated me! Eliza Lake, Capstone Project professor most especially pointed me in the right direction. During this last class, I wanted to research the CCTP program and compare it to other care transition projects. I was struggling with narrowing the paper’s focus and she not only helped me do that, she also met with me on campus on a few occasions…& she lives in Western MA!  My interest in helping seniors has never been a job, it has always been a career. I admired learning about the professor’s work, personal experiences in elder care, and passion for aging services. Their stories inspired me.

Where do you currently work and what is your role there?
I am currently the Director of Boston ElderINFO (BEI). We are the Suffolk County Aging Service Access Point (ASAP) Information and Referral Program. We represent the ASAPs Ethos, Central Boston Elder Services, Chelsea Revere Winthrop Elder Services, and Boston Senior Home Care.  I am also the Options Counselor Manager at Boston Senior Home Care.

What specific skills or knowledge, acquired through your course of study at UMass, do you find most valuable in the workplace?
I learned to be outstanding in integrity. Lillian Glickman and Professor KR Kaffenberger taught me to be to the point and direct in speech…especially if I wanted to inspire the public.  This skill affects every decision I make at work and beyond.

What advice would you offer current or future students about pursuing an advanced degree in the field of aging services?
Network and market yourself. Meet as many industry professionals as you can, because folks in our field are very kind and giving and like helping future professionals succeed in senior services. The high number of baby boomers leaving the workplace is aging. Some are aging with chronic illnesses, a lack of family support structures, and are requiring more help than they probably anticipated or would like to disclose. Fundamentally, this country needs more professionals in the field of aging. We need intelligent, open-minded, and creative individuals to devise innovative solutions to meet healthcare needs. The MAS program is one step in helping students understand this aging system…and how to work together to repair some of its problems. I would highly recommend UMass Boston’s MAS program because, at the very least, it will expose the student to these aging system concerns at the national, state, and local levels.

Do you volunteer with any aging related organizations?
I volunteer at the Esther B. Sanger Center in Quincy. We deliver groceries to folks in Boston’s South Shore area – regardless of what their income is. I love it!

Would you like to share any recent personal or professional successes with our readers?
I am very proud of many things. The most I am proud of today include health & happiness for friends, family and myself, a fantastic career, & being 1st in my family with a master’s degree…
…and in the future:  a wedding coming this winter, continuing to climb the career ladder, and maybe a UMass Gerontology PhD.

Tags: gerontology , mccormack graduate school

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Comments (1)

Posted by Una Barrett | May 11, 2013 - 11:23 a.m.

It is wonderful to hear that everything is going so well, Emily, particularly as I never doubted your success. A great interview!

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding also.