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Gerontology Student Comments

"The importance of studying gerontology is that you learn how we age as we get older.  We also talked about the death and dying process and how to cope with it.  Most importantly the projects require you to interview people bringing you closer together."

                                  ~Natalie Fajdich '16 (pictured with her grandmothers Beatrice and Jane)
                                    Social Work & Gerontology





"I think it's important to take gerontology or to learn about gerontology because it allows you to see things from an elders view point. It's helps to work towards diminishing the stereotypes of the elderly, which is something our society needs to work on doing." 

                                                                   ~ Katie Shomo '16
                                                                     Social Work & Gerontology





"Studying gerontology is important because we need to know what the proper care methods are for elders as they age. More people should take interest in this field because we all love someone that is now or will soon be considered elderly, and we want the best care for them. Whether an elder is your family or not, they are someone's family, and they are loved. With the knowledge I have gained from this course, I can continue caring for my grandparents and keep the tradition of making homemade goodies, like these mustache cookies, with them for a long time to come."

   ~ Ashlee Duff '17 (pictured with Billie and Theresa) 




"When I first came to Manchester University, I didn’t even know what gerontology meant.  However, after taking the intro course, it sparked a desire in me to learn more.  I was appalled by the elder abuse rates, not just physically, but financially and emotionally as well.  I was surprised by the elder discrimination that happens every single day in our country.  I decided to minor in gerontology so I could better understand how life changes as one ages and how our society can adapt to help the fasting growing population worldwide. Why not learn about the aging process while we are young?   After all, elders are all around us, and if God willing, we will all have the privilege of living a long, healthy life."

   ~ Chelsea Teddy '14, Social Work, Criminal Justice, & Gerontology



"I have learned a lot through Cheri's Gerontology course and it has inspired me to learn more since the population of elders is increasing rapidly. It is important to study Gerontology because in every job field that you go into you will encounter elders, so it is beneficial to know about them and to eliminate any biases you may have about them. Elders and youngers have more in common than you know!"

~ Lauren Feigel '15
Social Work & Gerontology



"I have learned to be patient, understanding, and to keep my mind open.  There is no such thing as a typical elder.  Age is just a number while the soul is the true representation of a person.  I love working with elders and intend to continue working with them for the rest of my life."

                                     ~ Jessie Stafford '13
                                         Psychology, Business, 
                                         & Gerontology

Jessie was accepted into 4 graduate gerontology programs. She chose to pursue her master's degree in gerontology at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, where she could concentrate in business and aging.

"In a world obsessed with being young, I have learned from gerontology that aging is a beautiful thing and that it is nothing to fear. Elders are a source of abundant wisdom which we can all learn from, and that I hope to learn from in my work with elders in the future."
~ Hilary Leeper '14
   Social Work & Gerontology


After taking social gerontology, my perspective on taking care of our aging population has changed drastically. I think all MU students should take the opportunity and take this class, because it will teach you how to best serve our expanding population of elders through leadership and policy-making."                                                        
                                                          ~ Lawson Heimach '14
                                                              Sociology & Religion


“Working with older adults is continuing to make me a well-rounded individual as well as improving my outlook on life. They have changed me for the better by making me a more compassionate and patient person. Seeing the change within myself and seeing the difference that I can make in the lives of older adults has helped solidify my choice in this career path.”

~ Kyleigh Poole ‘15
   Social Work & Gerontology 



"The gerontology classes at MU provide a great opportunity for students to enhance their understanding of our elder population.  Gerontology is a growing field and I believe the classes at MU really challenge students to grow within themselves, learning and having fun at the same time."

~ Carrie Darnell '08
Social Work & Gerontology


“I think that studying gerontology will not only help me as a social worker, but as a person.  The themes that arise from studying gerontology can be used in almost every social aspect of your life--from personal development to government policy.  I also appreciate that it is a minor that can apply to students from many different disciplines/majors.  I would recommend classes in the gerontology minor, even if it is just for enrolling because of personal interest.”

 ~ Tim Polakowski '08
Social Work, Spanish, & Gerontology

"The gerontology program has provided me with numerous experiences for face to face encounters with older adults in the area. These experiences at Timbercrest Retirement Community, Peabody Retirement Community, and the Wabash County Council on Aging, Inc., have opened my eyes to the strengths and struggles of older adults. I have appreciated the opportunities to hear their stories and learn about the history within each individual. My work in gerontology has taught me a lot about appreciating the worth of individuals at any age and the value of maintaining connections through generations."

~ Brit Betz '11
Social Work & Gerontology

"I have a gerontology minor and graduated from MU in 2010. During the spring of my senior year at MU I was able to experience an internship at Peabody Retirement Community in North Manchester. Through this experience I have grown and experienced many new things. I came into the internship with a lot of hesitation and misinformation about dementia and dying. Through my work with the staff I have become very comfortable and knowledgeable in many areas and have been able to overcome my fear of dementia and dying and am now happy to say that I am hoping to pursue hospice as my long-term goal in life."

~ Amber Richey '10
Psychology & Gerontology

“Studying gerontology can benefit everyone; not only does this field give students an idea of what life is like for elders, it gives us an idea of what it will be like to age.  My research on aging has helped me to realize the obstacles, prejudices and humiliation that older generations face.  Gerontology classes give students the opportunity to discuss, analyze and reject these stereotypes about aging.  My gerontology class has given me the opportunity to welcome the prospect of aging.” 

~ Kimberly Thiede '07
Social Work

“Studying gerontology at MU has opened up my eyes to a whole other piece of our culture that is sometimes forgotten about.  By studying gerontology through reading books, writing research papers and creating needs assessments I have learned the importance of all people working together to learn from each other and create a better environment for all people.  Furthermore, I have discovered the importance of meeting people at their ability level and taking time to work with and listen to them.  It has made me excited to learn more about the growing needs elders have and how they can be met by our culture."
~ Claire Olson ' 07
                                                                            Athletic Training

“I personally did not want to work with the aging population, but after taking the gerontology class I had a different perspective.  I learned a great deal about the biopsychosocial aspect of aging and how it affects everyone as they age.  I am currently working with the population that in my first year at MU I stated that I would never feel comfortable working with, and I love it!  Gerontology is not just a class where you learn about the aging population, but it is where you can expand your knowledge of a population that some feel is too scary to work with. I love my job (in a rehabilitation hospital in Louisiana), and I believe that gerontology is part of that reason.”

~ Jamie Charvat '07
Social Work

“I've thought about this for a week now and I cannot come up with the words to show my gratitude and respect for the gerontology program. As I am embarking on my future and beginning work with a non-profit that specializes in resources with elders, I see how far you have brought me. I went from being timid and disliked the idea of working with elders but now I know that I am prepared. I feel more comfortable with elders now that I have taken intro to gerontology. I would recommend these courses to students of all majors and minors because the number of elders is growing and it is imperative to have a better understanding of the challenges that elders are continually facing as they grow older in our society.”

~ Kate Jastrzemski '07 Wiggins
Social Work

“My main reason I studied gerontology was to help me get over the myths I had heard and the fears I had about the elderly and becoming old, and working with the elderly. This was accomplished through gerontology class and a practicum at Peabody Retirement Community.”

~ Becky Wheaton '07
Social Work

“The courses within the gerontology program have given me the knowledge and preparation to go into the gerontology field. The actual coursework has also given me experience and skill-building opportunities that would apply to other social service fields as well. The gerontology minor gave me an upper-hand, so to speak, because of the courses, instructors, and experiences. I felt confident when applying to potential employers.”

~ Eric Berger '07
Social Work, Gerontology, & Criminal Justice


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