As more and more baby boomers reach retirement age, the United States is experiencing a shortage of people trained to meet the unique needs of older adults. In an effort to help close this gap, the Gamma Upsilon chapter of Sigma Phi Omega national gerontology honor society at the University of Massachusetts Boston is sponsoring a local event during Careers in Aging Week. An annual venture between The Gerontological Society of America and its educational branch, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, Careers in Aging Week is celebrated nationally from April 7 to 13, 2013.
The University of Massachusetts Boston event on April 8, sponsored by the Department of Gerontology and Gerontology Institute at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), the College of Public and Community Service, and the Graduate Student Assembly, will feature a career panel and luncheon for interested students, adult learners, faculty, career counselors, and others.
According to Jeffrey Burr, chair of the McCormack School’s gerontology department and editor of the journal, Research on Aging, “This Careers in Aging Week event will provide important information about the wide range of professions in the field of aging and aging research, raise awareness about older populations and their needs, and inform students and the public of the many academic programs available to get one started on a career path.”
Assistant Professor Pamela Nadash, honor society faculty advisor, notes, “I’m so pleased to be working with the UMass Boston Sigma Phi Omega. It plays a critical role in supporting and encouraging future leaders in the field of aging - leaders which the field, and the country, so desperately need. As our country changes and ages, we need the best and brightest minds working on emerging issues in aging.”
According to the US Administration on Aging, Americans 65 and older now constitute about 13 percent of the population and that figure is expected to increase to 19 percent—72 million—by 2030. Burr notes, “This demographic transition is resulting in a shortage of people trained to meet the unique needs of these older adults, and the array of industries that will be affected is quite diverse.”
“Gamma Upsilon’s chapter of Sigma Phi Omega national academic honor society at University of Massachusetts Boston is proud to bring Careers in Aging Week to the Boston community,” said Kristen Porter, a PhD student in gerontology and president of the chapter. “We will be joining our colleagues across the country who are hosting similar events. Our April 8 event includes a lunch reception with gerontology faculty and students along with a career panel comprised of four esteemed professionals working in distinct aspects of the aging field.”
Panelists include Jane Saczynski, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at UMass Medical School; Suzanne Leveille, PhD, RN, Director of PhD Program in Nursing at UMass Boston; Andrea Cohen, CEO at HouseWorks; and Emily Shea, Commissioner of the Commission on Affairs of the Elderly. Porter notes, “Panelists will share their own education and career trajectories as well as offer their advice to students considering a career in the aging field.
The event is free and will take place in McCormack Hall’s Ryan Lounge beginning at 12:30 p.m.
To RSVP please email UMassBostonSPO@gmail.com by April 1, 2013.
About the Department of Gerontology at UMass Boston
The Department of Gerontology at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies offers pioneering graduate programs on the study of aging. The department offers the second oldest PhD program of its kind in the nation and has produced more PhDs in gerontology than any program in the world. Its scholars and graduate students conduct research on policy issues including productive aging, health care, long-term care, and economic security. Faculty researchers are affiliated with the Gerontology Institute which houses the New England Pension Assistance Project, the National Pension Lawyers' Network, and a very successful Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and the new Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging.