Program Office Hours

The Gerontology Program Office is available to assist students, professionals, and community members in accessing information about our program about issues and services related to our aging population.  The office phone number is (507) 389-1563.  Typical office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. unless otherwise posted.

New Faces

This year the Gerontology Program is fortunate in having three graduate assistants.  These graduate assistants are all new to the position and full of inspiring ideas.  This summer Bernadette Prinster moved from New Mexico to start graduate studies, and a second career in the field of gerontology.  Bernadette has been involved in Hospice care for 25 years, and in business for 20 years.  Bernadette's special interest is teaching and to doing community awareness and advocacy particularly in long-term care.  Sally Folsom grew up in Mancheser, IA and has been a graduate student at MSU since March of 1997.  Sally is in the final stages of completing her two masters degrees in Sociology and Gerontology.    Sara Prosen is originally from North Branch, MN and completed her undergraduate degree at UW-Stevens Point.  Sara and her husband recently moved to the Mankato area in order for Sara to attend MSU to pursue a graduate degree in Gerontology.

We are happy to be here and we want you to know that the Gerontology Program office is always seeking ways to better serve our students, area agencies, and our community.  We welcome your ideas, suggestions, or concerns.

Seniors and Information Policy Issues: A Note on a Research Project by Professor Carolyn Shrewsbury

Information technology improves the quality of life for many seniors and could be used much more extensively to enhance community-based long-term care.  This is of special importance to seniors living in rural areas.

Too many seniors, however, have restricted access to computers and the Internet and other forms of information technology.  Many of our rural communities still do not have broad band access to the Internet.  Few senior centers have computers for senior use and even fewer have access to the Internet.  Many seniors have not had an opportunity to learn how to use computer technology.  Others cannot afford the costs associated with the information age.

Seniors use computers like other age groups, e-mail to keep up with family and friends, chat rooms for socialization, web sites for shopping, for finding needed information, for recreation, and file transfer for work related activities.  There are also home applications of Tele-medicine that help seniors remain in their homes rather than moving to institutional settings.  Some churches and organizations use computer-based interactive video links that allow the homebound to remain actively involved from their homes.  New tools to make these and other uses simpler and more accessible to those with disabilities continue to be developed.

Also important is more rapid development of effective uses of information technology by the aging network.  Educators and trainers as well as aging network leaders will need to increase their focus on information technology and its integration into their services to provide support for those agencies already struggling with increased demand and pinched budgets as they serve the aged.

States are responding to these issues, albeit still very slowly.  If you are interested in more information, you can view a preliminary paper I presented at a political science conference this fall.  You can also find other information related to this project at  I appreciate hearing from you with other examples or ideas about this project.

Spring Semester Courses 2001

Core Requirements

Course #         Class                                            When Offered                                                  Professor

BIOL 4/517     Biology of Aging and Chronic      W 6-8:45 p.m.                                                 Bentley
FCS 4/543       Older Adult Nutrition                    W 5-7:45 p.m.                                                 Genter
GERO 600       Gerontology Theories and Practice H 6-8:45 p.m.                                                Elliott
PSYCH 4/566 Psychology of Aging                       T 6-8:45 p.m.                                                 Betts
SOWK 4/519 Social Work and Aging                   MW 12-1:15 p.m.                                          Frank
WOST 4/545  Women and Aging                          T 6-8:45 p.m.                                                  Elliott


FCS 4/574     Residential Management for           F 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.                                     Young
                       Families and Special Needs People
GERO 4/580 Nursing Home Administration       W 6-8:45 p.m.                                                   Madel
                      Held at Lake Shore Inn, Waseca
HLTH 4/541 Death Education                              MWF 11-11:50 p.m.                                         Slobof
RPLS 4/582  Leisure Needs of the Aging             M 6-8:45 p.m.                                                   Wise

Nursing Home Administration

ACCT 210 Managerial Accounting                      multiple sessions
GERO 200 Aging: Interdisciplinary Perspectives M 6-8:45 p.m.                                                   Kast
GERO 4/580 Nursing Home Administration       W 6-8:45 p.m.                                                   Madel
                      Held at Lake Shore Inn, Waseca
NURS 340 Gerontological Nursing                     F 10-11:50 a.m.                                                 Smith
MGMT 200 Introduction to MIS                         multiple sessions
MGMT 330 Principles of Management               multiple sessions
MGMT 4/540 Human Resources Management   multiple sessions                                                Miller

Rose M. Hull Scholarship

The Rose M. Hull Endowment was established by Mrs. B.H. Chesley in memory of her mother, Rose M. Hull.  The purpose of this scholarship 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.  Through the endowment's funds, the Gerontology Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato will award two $1600 scholarships each academic school year to support tuition and fees for one or more undergraduate or graduate student(s) who are presently working with elders OR who wish to take courses relating to gerontology at Minnesota State University, Mankato.  Scholarship applicants must be planning to pursue a career related to the care of elders.  Application forms may be obtained from the Gerontology Program/Center on Aging office in Trafton N335 or from the Gerontology Program website at  For more information, please call (507) 389-1563.


The south central regional office of the Minnesota Area Geriatric Education Center is located at Minnesota State University, Mankato.  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.  For more information about MAGEC South, please contact Nicole Kast or Shirley Murray, Director, at (507) 389-5194 or visit their office in Wissink Hall, room 334.

Minnesota Area Geriatric Education Center News

MAGEC's fall conference, The Moving Experience of Elder Transitions, tackled a critical and timely issue in 21st century gerontology. Older adults are increasingly experiencing multiple moves between home, care facilities and service vendors. Each move can be disorienting and impact quality of life for elders and their families in many ways. The conference featured several speakers who helped identify elders' responses in a variety of transitions and outlined practical ways to make transitions easier. One speaker focused on transitioning elders with dementia, an increasingly common dilemma in families with elders. A regional panel of healthcare providers spoke about the challenges in finding proper placement for elders who need to be transitioned, and who are all too often in crisis situations.

If you know of anyone who needs transition information about elders, contact Nicole Kast or Shirley Murray, Director, at MAGEC on the MSU campus at 389-5194.

Summit Center Research Update

The Center on Aging/Gerontology Program has begun a research project at the Summit Center, Mankato's senior center.  The purpose of this research is to provide Summit Center and the larger community with a needs assessment of services/activities for today's seniors and for seniors in the future. Data was collected from 2 pre-test focus groups at Summit Center in July and the project has now moved on to collect data from focus groups organized around specific activities at the Center, such as line dancers.  One of our graduate assistants, Sally, has been transcripting the tape- recording discussion of the focus groups that have taken place so far at the Summit Center.  These transcripts will allow us to identify the common themes drawn from the responses of seniors within and across different focus groups.

Raging Aging ... Where the Jobs Are

Newsweek magazine recently reported, "there's gold in old."  The graying of America means JOBS.  Along with the baby boom generation, rising human longevity means that the nation's elderly population is destined to expand significantly over the next 50 years.  By 2050, 25% of Americans will be 65+.  That's up from 14% in 1995.  This demographic shift poses profound questions for government and society.  And, it also creates career opportunities in medicine and health professions, in law and business, in social work, leisure and recreation services, human performance, consumer sciences and public administration.  In addition to doctors and nurses, we're going to need more psychologists, sociologists, biologists and urban planners.  If you're entrepreneurial at heart, you can easily see huge opportunities in the burgeoning elder market.

Are you interested in learning more about combining your academic interests and major with gerontological studies at MSU?  Call the MSU Gerontology office today at (507) 389-6590 or come visit the center on Aging in Trafton N335.

Organizational Membership Focus

Care Providers of Minnesota is one of the two trade associations for the providers of long-term care in the state.  Its mission is to enhance the quality of life for those served by long-term care professionals.  The cooperative efforts of its membership help Care Providers identify and respond to common needs of those receiving care.  The association provides the leadership to achieve quality, financially stable, long-term care services in the State of Minnesota.

Membership dues are waived for students with the option of renewing annually as long as a student is enrolled in an education program in the area of long-term care.  The student may attend all seminars, as space permits, for only the price of lunch and refreshment breaks.  Members receive the weekly ACTION and the bi-monthly INFORMER newsletters.  A student member may also attend the annual convention as a guest.

The Gerontology Program/Center on Aging has student membership forms that you can complete and submit to Care Providers of Minnesota for membership, or you can call Care Providers at
1-800-462-0024 and inquire about membership.

Upcoming Conferences/Workshops

*What constitutes a crisis in health care?   Join the sponsors for this conference on Friday, December 8, 2000 to look at "The Rural Health Care Crisis: 'Who Will be There to Care for You?'" The location is at South Central Technical College, 1920 Lee Blvd., North Mankato.  Registration is at 9:00 a.m. and a forum will be held from 9:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  Pre-registration is requested by December 6, 2000.  The cost to attend the conference is $15.  To register, call Minnesota Rural Futures at (507) 549-3119, or e-mail Tammy Sonnabend at

*"Marketing Your Volunteer Recruitment Efforts" is a workshop taking place on December 14, 2000 from 9:00 a.m. to noon in room 360 of the Nichols Office Center, 410 E. Jackson Street, Mankato with consultants Marlyn C. Johnson, from St. Peter and Jackie S. Sinykin, from Bloomington.  The cost is $15.  Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.  For more information, or to register, call Elaine Spain at 1-800-450-5643 ext. 860.

*The Minnesota-Dakotas Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association has numerous ongoing support groups, workshops, and opportunities for you to become involved.  If you are interested, please contact our local chapter by calling 1-800-232-0851 or locate their website at

*Stay tuned for further information on the Minnesota Gerontological Society's 25th anniversary conference on April 20, 2001 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Hilton Hotel.  The conference is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Geriatric Education Center on Aging.  At the time of this printing this conference is still in the planning stages.  Contact Jennifer Koehn at the Minnesota Area Geriatric Education Center at the University of Minnesota by e-mail, or by phone at (612) 624-3904 for upcoming information about this conference.

*The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education will meet in San Jose, California for the 27th annual meeting and leadership conference February 22-25, 2001.  The theme of this year's conference is "Capitalizing on Professional and Cultural Diversity to Benefit Older Adults."  For more information please e-mail the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education at

Young Pioneer Heads West

By Christmas 2000, Amboy, MN native and soon to be MSU graduate Kisty Ortega heads to Las Vegas, NV to begin a new life.  Kristy, a student anticipating a degree in nursing and a minor in gerontology has worked with elderly people and has been interested in gerontology for some time.  Her courses in psychology originally inspired her to take courses in gerontology and eventually to minor in it.  She plans to find work in a hospital critical care setting or a step-down unit where she would like the pace to be fast and varied.  Long term, Kristy wants to be a Physician's Assistant and is considering going back to school at some point in the future.  But for now, Kristy's immediate goal is to settle into her new home in Las Vegas and be with her husband Eric.

Kristy highly recommends the study of aging.  She believes that, "gerontology isn't just about old people.  It's about where we are going as a society."  She feels that her nursing and gerontology coursework at MSU prepared her to work and live in a diverse world that is rapidly graying.  "I am concerned about our aging population and I want to make a difference in the world through my work."

We wish Kristy all the best as she prepares to head west like a pioneer woman into her new life.  We know she'll make a difference through her work.  Congratulations, Kristy for many years of hard work!

Library Resources

In an effort to keep up with the growing number of aging resources, MSU's Memorial Library continues to add to its aging-related resources.  It has added the following titles to their shelves:

*  Prime Time: How Baby Boomers will Revolutionize Retirement and Transform America, by Marc Freedman
*  Aging and Ethnicity: Knowledge and Services, by Donald E. Gelfand
*  Long-Term Care for the Rural Elderly: New Directions in Services, Research, and Policy, edited by Graham D. Rowles, Joyce E. Beaulieu, and Wayne W. Myers
*  The Impact of Increased Life Expectancy: Beyond the Gray Horizon, edited by Mildred M. Seltzer
*  Changing Perceptions of Aging and the Aged, edited by Dena Shenk and Andrew W. Achenbaum
*  Another Country: The Emotional Terrain of Our Elders, by Mary Bray Pipher

MSU  is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity University.  This document is available in alternative format to individuals with disabilities by calling the Gerontology Program at (507) 389-6504 (V) or (800) 627-3529 (MRS/TTY).

 Gerontology Home Page

last revised: February 27, 2001
contact: Sara Prosen