Volume 38, Number 1  I  Spring/Summer 2015

AGHE President's Message

Donna Wagner, Ph.D.

Interim Dean, College of Health and Social Services, New Mexico State University



Dear Colleagues:


It is my pleasure to welcome you to the very first electronic format AGHExchange newsletter. Thanks to the Gerontological Society of America, AGHE has a new website and web capabilities that make it possible to launch this newsletter. The new format allows for flexibility and nimbleness in providing information. We also have a new AGHExchange editor who has put her first newsletter together. Dr. Elizabeth Bergman of Ithaca College is making her debut here. I hope that you have a chance to drop her an email to give her your thanks, late-breaking news that she needs to know, and suggestions for topics to cover in future issues.


Thanks to all of you who helped put this first issue together. AGHE is on the move. Our members are not only educating our students, but working to keep AGHE relevant and important to the field of gerontological education. This new tool will enhance both AGHE's relevance and gerontological education.


Yours truly,

Donna L. Wagner, Ph.D.


Donna Wagner is an expert in work and family caregiving and currently serves on the Institute of Medicine Committee that is examining Family Caregiving for Older Adults. She is a Fellow of AGHE and GSA, serves on the Board of the National Alliance for Caregiving, and a recipient of the ASA Award (2009). Dr. Wagner was in the first cohort of scholars who were prepared to work on a university level in gerontology through funding from the Administration on Aging. She was at the Institute of Aging at Portland State while completing her Ph.D. in Urban Studies.

Educational Program Directory Makes Online Debut
M. Angela Baker, MA
Director, AGHE

The Online Directory of Educational Programs in Gerontology and Geriatrics is a new resource from the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education that allows users to browse programs by numerous criteria such as location and type of degree, certificate, or fellowship offered. It can be found at

This all-digital version replaces the printed directory that AGHE (GSA's educational unit since 1998) published for many years. Funding for its development was provided, in part, by Archstone Foundation.


There is no cost to browse or search the online directory, nor is there a fee for educational institutions to submit and maintain their listing. AGHE members will be entitled to more in-depth profiles than non-members. They also will be highlighted in search results, as will institutions that have received an AGHE Program of Merit designation. Information about AGHE membership can be found here


"An online directory is of great importance not only to the programs listed in the directory, but to students and other faculty as well," said AGHE President Donna Wagner, PhD. "The programs will benefit from learning about other programs and potential collaborative opportunities."


AGHE is currently the only institutional member organization dedicated to gerontology and geriatrics education worldwide. Through the new directory, AGHE's goal is to address the immediate and future workforce crisis in caring for an aging world - by linking those pursuing or wishing to pursue careers in aging to the vast array of educational opportunities available that can equip them to improve the lives of older adults.


"Faculty who are advising students will have the advantage of 'real time' information about programs that meet the educational needs of the advisee," Wagner said. "The program faculty and staff will be able to make changes in their listings as their programs evolve and change over time and as new faculty join them."  She added that AGHE is the logical host for this new directory. "AGHE and its members have a stake in maintaining a quality product to serve students, faculty, and the public in their informational needs about the field of gerontology," Wagner said. "We are grateful to Archstone Foundation for making this innovation possible and to our members who support our work and will be a vital part of the directory."


Access the AGHE Online Directory here.
Questions? Email onlinedirectory@aghe.org

AGHE Adopts New Competencies for Gerontology Education

Janet C. Frank, DrPh, MSG

Adjunct Associate Professor & Faculty Associate, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, jcfrank@ucla.edu 


Three years of development and consensus-building activities by the AGHE Competencies Development Workgroup, AGHE leadership and stakeholders culminated in the adoption of the AGHE Gerontology Competencies for Graduate and Undergraduate Education? in November, 2014. The effort built upon the work of Wendt, Peterson and Douglas (1993) as well as current literature in foundations of gerontology and competency-based education. The final product of the Competency Workgroup, after integrating the extensive feedback received, is a resource for competency-based gerontology education at the undergraduate and graduate level. The competencies may be applied to gerontology programs with majors, minors and certificate programs at the associate, undergraduate and/or master's level. Competency-based education and assessment will require the future specification of anticipated knowledge and skill development for the varying program levels. Measurement of competency acquisition will relate to learning objectives, course assignments and evaluation tools. Both the AGHE Program of Merit and the Academic Program Development Committee are initiating activities to lead in these future endeavors.


The AGHE Competencies are organized into three categories (I, II and III). Read more about the categories here.  


The Competency Development Workgroup, led by Dr. JoAnn Damron-Rodriguez, has posted all development and reviewed materials, including presentations, on the Competency Dropbox. The Competencies and an Organizational Framework document, which includes sample competency content recommendations, are available on the AGHE website.

Call for Awards Nominations

The AGHE Awards Committee encourages members to reflect on the people who have made a difference in your lives and the lives of others. Honor these individuals by nominating them for an AGHE award.

The Clark Tibbitts Award is given by AGHE each year to an individual or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of gerontology and geriatrics education.

The Hiram J. Friedsam Mentorship Award is given each year to an individual who has contributed to gerontological education through excellence in mentorship to students, faculty, and administrators.

The Administrative Leadership Award is given to honor administrators on AGHE member campuses who have made exceptional efforts in support of gerontology or geriatrics education. Nominees should be administrators above the level of everyday program operation, such as Deans, Provosts, or Presidents.

The Distinguished Faculty Honor recognizes persons whose teaching stands out as exemplary, innovative, of impact, or any combination thereof. The Distinguished Teacher Honoree will provide a highlighted teaching workshop at AGHE's annual meeting.

The Rising Star Junior Faculty Honor recognizes new faculty whose teaching and/or leadership stands out as impactful and innovative. The AGHE Rising Star Honoree will provide a highlighted teaching or leadership workshop at AGHE's annual meeting.

The Part-Time Faculty Recognition formally recognizes the contributions of part-time and/or adjunct faculty for their contributions to gerontological education at an AGHE member institution.

The Student Leadership Award recognizes students whose leadership has advanced the goals and mission of AGHE as well as the respective goals of their AGHE-affiliated institutions.

The Mildred M. Seltzer Distinguished Service Recognition is presented annually to honor colleagues who are near retirement or recently retired. Recipients are individuals who have been actively involved in AGHE through service on committees, as elected officers, or have provided leadership on one of AGHE's grant-funded projects.

The call for awards nominations closes Tuesday, June 30, 2015. Visit the AGHE website for additional details and instructions on all awards, honors, and recognitions.
2015 Writing Contest 
"An Older Person I Admire" 

Pamela Pitman Brown, Ph.D., CPG

Assistant Professor, Behavioral Sciences, Winston-Salem State University


Colleen R. Bennett, M.S., M.A.

Doctoral Candidate, Doctoral Program in Gerontology

Graduate Research Assistant, Center for Aging Studies

University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

The AGHE K-12 Committee sponsored a writing contest for students in grades kindergarten through 12 from schools in Nashville, TN. An annual tradition in its 8th year, the 2015 theme was "An Older Person I Admire." Teachers were invited to participate by engaging students in a class project in which students submit essays or poems about an older person they admire, one who has been an inspiration and who has made a difference in their life. The writing was to reflect the ways in which the older person has made an impact on the student. Students were encouraged to think outside the box and write their own essays or poems, which were judged on clarity of idea, originality, creativity, and content related to inspiration of older adult toward student. This year the Committee received a record number of submissions - 69 essays and 27 poems! - and presented awards to several students of varying ages, listed below. Next year's theme, "An Older Californian I Admire," will be presented in our 9th annual contest in Long Beach, CA!


The 2015 winners:

1st Place Essay: Jimmy Regen, St. Bernard Catholic School, "My Mom (The Police Officer)"

2nd Place Essay: Emily Wieman, Libscomb Academy, "The Gift"



3rd Place Essay: Uma Peters, St. Bernard Catholic School, "Fireman"



Honorable Mention Essay: Sara Wilson, Libscomb Academy, "Paul Williams"


1st Place Poem: Alex Fleming, Libscomb Academy, "Mr. Rogers"


2nd Place Poem: Dane Mortensen, Libscomb Academy, "The Cast of a Fishing Line"


3rd Place Poem: Shelbi Sullivan, Libscomb Academy, "The Epitome of a Christian Woman"


Honorable Mention Poem: Sam Shelton, Libscomb Academy, "That's my Granddad"

Special Teacher Award: Sandy Fahey, St. Bernard Catholic School  




Special Teacher Award: Andrew Stewart, Libscomb Academy






Student News
Sarah Hahn, MGS

Chair, Student Committee

Doctoral Associate, Department of Sociology and Gerontology, Miami University


I am very excited to be writing you as the new Chair of the Student Committee! Before I begin, I want to send a sincere thank you and congratulations to Brian Downer, our past Student Committee Chair. Brian has accomplished so much and has been such a phenomenal mentor this past year; I will always be thankful for his guidance. Additionally, I want to extend a very warm welcome and congratulations to our new committee members, particularly our new Student Chair Designee, Katarina Friberg Felsted from University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and our new Secretary, Amy Plant of Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio. I am so excited to work with these incredibly intelligent women. It is going to be a great year!


  Read more Student News...
In This Issue
Quick Links

AGHE's 42nd Annual Meeting & Educational Leadership Conference will take place March 3-6, 2016 in Long Beach, California. The Call for Abstracts is now open.The deadline for submission is June 25, 2015.  Visit the AGHE website to download the Call for Abstracts brochure, submit your abstract or download the pre-conference workshop application.

Fellow status is an honor conferred by AGHE to recognize outstanding leadership in gerontology/ geriatrics education by established scholars and educators. AGHE is proud to announce and recognize its 2015 Fellows:

Edward L. Schneider, University of Southern California

Kelvin T. Davies, University of Southern California

Susan Enguidanos, University of Southern California
Gerontology & Geriatrics Education? is the official journal of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, the educational unit of the Gerontological Society of America. This quarterly journal seeks to improve awareness of best practices and resources for gerontologists and gerontology and geriatrics educators. See the table of contents of the current issue here.
Call for Submissions to Text of Aging-Related Educational Activities
AGHE's Academic Program Development Committee is working to create a resource book of best-practice activities for gerontology, geriatrics, and aging studies instructors to use in their classrooms, community engagement/service learning projects, and internship/practical experience courses. We want to include your successful, original activity ideas! To get more information about how to submit an activity for consideration, please contact Tina Kruger. Submissions are due by August 1, 2015.