Newslink Archive - Fall 1999

From the Director
The time that has passed since our 1999 Spring Newslink has brought further new developments for the Gerontology program to report. I officially took over as the director of the program and the Center on Aging last May. Dawn Potter joined us as our new graduate student assistant at the beginning of the fall semester. Dawn is in her second year of the Gerontology MS program.

There is also exciting news to report about Dave Janovy, Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Corrections/Gerontology and former Director of the Gerontology Program/Center on Aging here at MSU, Mankato. Dr. Janovy is one of five new members appointed this summer by Gov. Jesse Ventura to terms on the Minnesota Board on Aging. This is just the sort of retirement many here expected for Dr. Janovy! And it is also an excellent example of the changing meaning and nature of "retirement" in contemporary American society.

As MSU's one full-time faculty member in gerontology, I have continued to develop new courses to make the rich program we already have here even richer and more varied. This fall semester a 600-level advanced survey course in gerontology theory and practice was taught for the first time. This course emphasizes the profoundly interdisciplinary nature of gerontology and the need to integrate theory and practice. A 600-level gerontology course on aging in rural settings will be offered in Spring 2000. This course will examine in detail what we know about the circumstances and distinctive features of rural aging, as well as what more we need to know and how we can develop more effective strategies for serving rural elders in Minnesota and elsewhere.

I have also been working with Noell Webber, the executive director of Summit Center in Mankato and other center staff to develop a research project on measuring outcomes and senior center services. The analysis of the data we collect will allow Summit Center to make informed and significant changes in programming for older adults and in preparing for the future. The results of this research could also have significant impact on senior centers and programming elsewhere. The project is scheduled to begin collecting preliminary data in January 2000. I hope this will begin a line of community-oriented research through MSU's Center on Aging that will serve the interests of the community as well as provide opportunities for gerontology students to participate in research activities.

MSU, Mankato's Nursing Home Administration program submitted materials this past summer to the Minnesota Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators as part of the five-year review and approval process for all academic nursing home administration programs in the state. On November 3rd the Board granted MSU's program unanimous approval for the next five years to meet the academic requirements for licensure as a nursing home administrator in Minnesota. I would like to thank everyone who helped me and Interim director Carolyn Shrewsbury prepare for and assemble materials for this five-year review process.

Throughout all the new developments of the past year and a half, our telephone number has remained the same, (507) 389-1563, as has our web page address, My direct office telephone number is (507) 389-6590 and my e-mail address is Our fax number is (507) 389-6769. Your advice, ideas and concerns continue to be eagerly sought and welcomed. Please don't hesitate to contact us!

~"Jay" (Kathryn) Elliott

Spring Semester Courses 2000

Core Requirements

Course                                                                                      When Offered                  Professor

PSYC 566 Psychology of Aging                                              Th 6:00-8:45                     Betts
BIOL 517 Biology of Aging                                                    W 6:00-8:45                      Bentley
FCS 543 Older Adult Nutrition                                                W 5:00-7:45                     Weerts-Thomas
HLTH 555 Health and Aging                                                   MWF 10:00-10:50            Nandy
GERO 601 Seminar in Gerontology: Rural Aging                   T 6:00-8:45                        Elliott
SOWK 519 Social Work and Aging                                        T 6:00-8:45                        Frank


FCS 574 Residential Management for                                      F 9:00-12:30                      Keir
                   Families & Special Needs People
HLTH 541 Death Education                                                     W 6:00-8:45                      Slobof
RPLS 582 Leisure Needs of the Aging                                     M 6:00-8:45                      Harris-Strapko

Nursing Home Administration

MGMT 330 Principles of Management                                     multiple sessions
ACCT  210 Managerial Accounting                                           multiple sessions
GERO  200 Aging: Interdisciplinary                                          MWF 10:00-10:50           Elliott
NURS  340 Gerontological Nursing                                          F 10:00-12:50                   Eggenberger
GERO  580 Nursing Home Administration                                day/time to be arranged with instructor
MGMT 540 Human Resource Management                               multiple sessions
MGMT 200 Intro to MIS                                                           multiple sessions

Spring 2000: Seminar in Gerontology To Be Taught on Rural Aging
Understanding the nature of aging in rural areas and the specific needs and perspectives of rural elders is an issue of major and growing concern in Minnesota and in other states with rapidly aging rural populations. Many healthcare and social service providers working to meet the general needs of people in rural communities in Minnesota have discovered that an increasing proportion of the people they are serving are 65 years of age and older. This reflects changing rural demographics, which are increasing the average age of rural populations throughout the state and the country. The Spring Semester Seminar in Gerontology 601will examine the circumstances and special characteristics of aging in rural settings in general and in Minnesota in particular. One of the texts to be used in this course is Dena Shenk's Someone to Lend a Helping Hand: Women Growing Old in Rural America (1998). In this book Dr. Shenk examines the expectations, beliefs and values of 30 rural Minnesota women and compares these elders with a group of older women in rural Denmark.

Nursing Home Administration Program Approval Renewed
On November 3, 1999, the Minnesota Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators (BENHA) unanimously approved the renewal of the Nursing Home Administration program here at MSU for the next five years.  Our program offers approved courses to satisfy all subparts of the academic course work required for licensure in the state of Minnesota.

At MSU, the Nursing Home Administration licensure program is often pursued as a part of a broader program of study leading to either a bachelorís or a masterís degree.  When this is done, it is recommended that the degree program include substantial work in gerontology, business, and health science.  At the graduate level, the Master of Science in Gerontology is a frequently selected option.  For more information about the Nursing Home Administration program here at MSU, please contact us at (507) 389-1563 or visit our website at .  For more information about nursing home administration in Minnesota, please visit BENHAís website at .

Rose M. Hull Scholarship
The Rose M. Hull Endowment was established by Mrs. B.H. Chesley in memory of her mother, Rose M. Hull.  Through the endowmentís funds, the Gerontology Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato will award two $800 scholarships each academic school year.  The purpose of these scholarships is to recognize and encourage distinguished study in the field of gerontology and to provide financial assistance to gerontology students preparing for a career in the service of older adults.  Eligibility requirements for an award are: 1) declared gerontology minor; 2) full-time study as a junior or senior during the period of the award; 3) commitment to and promise for a career in the service of older adults.  Application forms may be obtained from the Gerontology Program/Center on Aging office in Trafton N335 or from the Gerontology Department website at .  For more information, please call (507) 389-1563.

Beta Mu
Beta Mu is Minnesota State University, Mankatoís chapter of Sigma Phi Omega-Beta Mu, a national academic honor and professional society in gerontology.  Sigma Phi Omega-Beta Mu seeks to promote scholarship, professionalism, friendship, services to older persons and to recognize exemplary attainment in gerontology/aging studies and related fields.

Membership is open to undergraduate and graduate students in gerontology/aging studies and related fields.  Faculty, alumni, professional and honorary memberships to Sigma Phi Omega are also available.  Undergraduate and graduate students must be at least in their second term of enrollment.  Undergraduates must have a GPA of at least 3.3 and graduates must have at least a GPA of 3.5 to be eligible for membership.  Please contact the Gerontology Program/Center on Aging office at (507) 389-1563 if you are interested in membership or in receiving more information on Sigma Phi Omega-Beta Mu.

Events Calendar
February 24-27, 2000
The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) will hold itís 26th Annual Educational Leadership Conference in Myrtle Beach, S.C.  The topic is "Gerontological and Geriatric Education: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?"  For more information, contact AGHE at (202) 289-9806 or e-mail .

March 28 ? April 1, 2000
The National Council on the Aging will celebrate its 50th anniversary of leadership in the field of aging at its 2000 conference.  The conference is titled "Vital Aging: Our Second 50 Years".  It provides a unique opportunity for professionals to share information on the latest developments, innovations, and best practices in aging.  For more information, call (202) 479-6991 or write to the NCOA at 409 Third Street SW, Suite200; Washington, DC 20024.

June 7-11, 2000
The First International Conference on Rural Aging: A Global Challenge announced a call for papers.  Registration materials are also now available.  Major issues of aging in rural and remote areas will be examined.  Planners of this conference hope that it will contribute to a better understanding of rural aging by focusing on rural-urban differences such as life expectancy, mortality rates, demographic transitions, and use of services.  For more information, please visit .

MAGEC South's Annual Spring Conference, will be held on Friday, March 24, 2000 at the Best Western Conference Center in North Mankato, MN.   Brochures with further information will be available in February 2000.  If you would like to be added to the MAGEC South mailing list please call Nicole at  (507) 389-5194.

Research Topics
Are you having trouble deciding on a topic for that class research paper or need some ideas to stimulate your thought processes?  Below are listed a few research projects that are currently being conducted at the University of Minnesota on aging:

The Assisted Living/Home Care Connection
The principal investigator is Rosalie A. Kane, DSW.  According to Old News (1999), "the study concentrates on apartment-style assisted living settings, which have the potential to combine a service capacity with a genuinely home-like residential environment that maximizes privacy, autonomy, dignity, and normal lifestyles."  The study will focus on the services offered by facilities, the resident outcomes resulting from these services, the relationship between service patterns and utilization of other Medicare-funded services, and variations in physical design for individual apartments based on the physical and emotional needs of the residents.

Measures, Indicators, and Improvement of Quality of Life in Nursing Homes
The principal investigator is Rosalie A. Kane, DSW.  According to Old News (1999), "the study focuses on the quality of life goals embodied in the nursing home regulatory reforms of 1987."  The researchers will develop measures of good quality of life at the individual and facility level, develop a process for making quality of life improvements in the facilities, and explore the relationship between physical environments and quality of life in nursing homes.  At the conclusion of their study, they expect that the results will be useful to survey agencies, facilities, and consumers.

Testing a Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurse (GAPN) Care Model for Elders with Hip Fractures
Kathleen Krichbaum, RN, PhD is the principal investigator.  The major focus of this study is to test the effectiveness of an intervention model to improve outcomes for elders following a hip fracture.  Outcomes include holistic health status, functional status, living at home, and satisfaction.

Use of Glider Swing in Persons with Dementia
Mariah Synder, Ph.D. is the principal investigator of this study.  The purpose of this study is to determine if the use of a glider swing will reduce aggressive behaviors in persons with dementia.

Located at Minnesota State University, Mankato, this is the south central regional office of the Minnesota Area Geriatric Education Center.  The purpose of MAGEC South is to provide multidisciplinary continuing education for service providers who work with older adults.  A variety of materials are available for check out from their resource library.

The National Guide to Funding on Aging is now available in the MAGEC ? South office. This book is a comprehensive source of national funders for aging research and/or programs.  It is indexed by geographic region, subject, and type of support and is a good starting point for grant funding searches.  For more information on this resource or about MAGEC ? South, please contact Shirley Murray at (507) 389-5194 or visit the office in Wissink Hall, room 334.

Surfing the Web
In a relatively short period of time, the internet has become one of the leading sources of information.  Rather than subscribing to dozens of magazines and newspapers, a person can subscribe to various webzines or listservs or newsgroups.  Linking to one website can open doors to hundreds of other sources of information that will assist you in your gerontological studies or career.  Below are listed a few websites to get you started on your journey through cyberspace: AARP homepage Administration on Aging homepage  Aging Initiative: Project 2030 Minnesota Health & Housing Alliance homepage,3266,29825,00.html Time article entitled "Taking Care of our Aging Parents"

Library Resources
In an effort to keep up with the growing number of aging resources, MSUís Memorial Library has added the following titles to their catalog:

Blaikie, A. (1999). Ageing and Popular Culture. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Butler, R. N., Grossman, L. K., & Oberlink, M. R. (Eds.). (1999). Life in an older America. New York: Brookings Institute Press.

Coward, R. T. & Krout, J. A. (Eds.). (1998). Aging in rural settings. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Eldercare & the Workplace
Experts predict that in the coming years, eldercare will have as much impact on the workplace as child care. (From Family Safety and Health Winter 1994-95).  The Elder Ed. Resources of Southern Minnesota is offering a presentation series that will provide information to meet the challenges of caregiving by helping to prevent those crises which can impact your workplace.  Each session is designed for one hour and is presented by a qualified professional.  Some of the topics in the series include Age Sensitivity, The Caregiving Challenge, and The Journey into Aging.  Elder Ed. Resources of Southern MN is a collaboration of MAGEC South, Mid MN Seniors Agenda for Independent Living (SAIL), Region Nine Area Agency on Aging (AAA), and Summit Center Mankato Area Senior Citizens, Inc.  For more information, call 1-800-450-5643 ext. 876 or e-mail .

Attention Gerontology Students!!
There is a new way to network and link up with information about the field of gerontology.  UpAge (Upper-Midwest Association of Gerontology/Geriatric Educators) is designed to meet the educational needs of students by providing an UpAge listserv, opportunities to work on special projects with professionals and educators in aging, and much more.  The educators who designed this forum realize the need for students to be better educated by faculty who are knowledgeable about aging.  If UpAge sounds like the type of program youíd like to be a part of or you would like more information, please contact Dr. Elliott at (507) 389-1563 or e-mail  Or contact UpAge directly at (612) 624-3904 or e-mail .

 Gerontology Home Page

last revised: February 27, 2001
contact: Sara Prosen