Gerontology leaf symbol


Spring 2000

Weaving through 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.

This past semester, the website for the Gerontology Program/Center on Aging was revised.  Information for prospective students, current students, and people just looking for resources on aging can be accessed from our website.  We've added links to course syllabi, local internship opportunities, and a Gerontology Student's Survival Kit.  Current issues of Newslink will be posted as well as Newslink archives.  The site is constantly under construction.  Bookmark it and check for program updates and new conference announcements.  Surf by and let us know of any ideas that you'd like to see added at

Aging: Policy Issues Online
This fall, we will take the first step in making the Gerontology program available to those whose schedules make taking an on-campus course difficult.  Aging: Policy Issues will meet as a class for about half the sessions. The other half will be covered on-line. Class sessions are held on Wednesday nights. On those Wednesdays the class does not meet, you can choose when to participate.  The on-line materials will be available at all times. For those who don't have personal access to the Internet, you may use the campus facilities to complete your on-line work. In general, the on-line sessions will cover the factual material that it is important to know.  The on-campus sessions will be more integrative learning as we develop our own perspectives on the directions aging policy should take. We will cover items such as Social Security, Medicare and
Medicaid, long-term care, housing and transportation, the Older American's Act, retirement  and pension policies, legal issues like living wills and assisted suicide, telecommunications, and other emerging issues. During on-campus sessions we will also work on our skills as policy advocates. Don't worry if you have limited computer skills.  This will be an opportunity to develop them in a supportive environment. For more information, contact Carolyn Shrewsbury at or 507-389-6939.

May is Older Americans Month
President John F. Kennedy designated May as Older Americans Month in 1963.  It’s a time to acknowledge the contributions of older persons as well as become more aware of the impact of aging on our society.  Nearly every aspect of the coming years will be affected by longevity.  This year, the Administration on Aging has designated the theme of Older Americans Month to be “In the New Century … The Future is Aging”.  Jeanette C. Takamura, the Assistant Secretary for Aging writes, “To achieve and maintain quality of life in the older years, we must all anticipate a range of economic, health, and social needs and undertake our own life course planning” (Administration on Aging website,

Technology & Aging
When thinking about the elderly, the current wave of technology probably doesn’t come to mind immediately, but, in fact, the elderly population is one of the fastest growing groups to embrace new technology, especially the Internet.  According to statistics generated by AARP, there was an 18.4% increased usage of the Internet by seniors and baby boomers compared to the 17.5% increase seen among 18-24 year olds.

Another form of new technology that will have an impact on future seniors is being explored in robotics.  The Personal Aid for Mobility and Health Monitoring (PAMM) was featured at the latest International Conference on Robotics and Automation in San Francisco.  As the name implies, PAMM can both aid in mobility (such as transferring a person from one location to another) and in monitoring overall health status (for example, alerting nursing staff that a person is running a fever). According to Professor Steven Dubowsky of MIT, the motivations for using robotic aids for elder care are both “economic and qualitative”.  PAMM can help extend a person’s stay in an independent-living environment a little longer. This translates into financial savings as well as an improvement in overall quality of life. (MSNBC website,

As these two examples show, elders can benefit from the latest advances in technology on multiple levels.  The latest and greatest technological breakthroughs aren’t just being used for the benefit of elders in assisted living … elders are themselves using the latest technology to participate in and contribute to our society!

Summer Semester Courses 2000

Core Requirements
Course #
BIOL 4/517 Biology of Aging T H 12:45-4:15 Bentley

Nursing Home Administration
MGMT 200 Introduction to MIS MTWHF 12:45-2:15 Choi (1st half)
MTWHF 7:30-9:00 Kawatra (2nd half)
MGMT 300 Principles of Mgmt MTWHF 9:15-10:45 Smayling (1st half)
MTWHF 7:30-9:00 TBA (2nd half)
MGMT 4/540 Human Resource Mgmt MTWHF 12:45-2:15 Schumann (2nd half)
ACCT 210 Managerial Acctg MTWHF 9:15-10:45 Granger (2nd half)
GERO 200 Aging: Interdisciplinary Perspectives T H 6:00-9:50 Elliott (1st half)
GERO 4/698 Practicum: Nrsg Hm Admin to be arranged with instructor

Fall Semester Courses 2000


Core Requirements
Course #
GERO 4/585 Topics in Gerontology: Aging, Diversity & Elder Services T 6:00-8:45 Elliott
HLTH 630 Techniques of Research in Health W 6:00-8:45 Bohnenblust
POL 4/564 Aging: Policy Issues W 6:00-8:45 Shrewsbury

Nursing Home Administration
HLTH 659 Healthcare Administration M 6:00-8:45 Romas
GERO 200 Aging: Interdisciplinary Perspectives MWF 10:00-10:50 Elliott
NURS 340 Gerontological Nursing F 10:00-11:50 Smith
ACCT 210 Managerial Acctg multiple sessions
MGMT 200 Introduction to MIS multiple sessions
MGMT 330 Principles of Mgmt multiple sessions
MGMT 4/540 Human Resource Mgmt multiple sessions

Global Aging: Belarus
The Gerontology Program/Center on Aging hosted a light luncheon in March.  This event brought graduate students, faculty, and community members together as an opportunity to get to know one another, creating important networks of contacts as well as providing an opportunity for those interested in aging-related issues to touch base with one another.  The guest speaker was Regina Smith, an assistant professor from the nursing department.  Through slides and stories, she left the group with images of what life and old age are like in Belarus, a tiny country near the Baltic States of the former Soviet Union.  Not unlike the rest of the world, Belarus' aging population is also growing, but not as rapidly as in most nations.  Economic hardships and social policies do not support the idea that to be aged is to be valuable.  Professor Smith's presentation gave her audience the opportunity to re-examine their ideas about aging and how the United States' responses to aging compare to that of Belarus.

Rose M. Hull Scholarship Recipient for 2000-2001 Announced
Andrea Leach, a junior majoring in sociology, is the recipient of the Rose M. Hull Scholarship for the 2000-2001 school year.  Together, the courses Andrea has taken at MSU and her hands-on experiences with elders have shaped her desire to continue to help the older population in communities by "providing information, comfort, and support for elders and their families."  She has been involved at the Presbyterian Homes of Arden Hills for the past five years, starting first as a volunteer, and then adding the responsibility of a NAR/HHA, while not giving up the volunteer aspect of her position.  She is also a member of an Alzheimer's task force group, helping to plan, build, and care for those on the AD unit.

Following her undergraduate studies, Andrea plans to pursue a master's degree in gerontology and then go directly into applied gerontological work to build a "more elder-friendly community".  She plans to focus not only on the elderly, but also to work with their family members, developing new senior policies at the government level.  When asked why she wants to pursue gerontology as a career, Andrea stated,  "I want to help promote a society that will help elders, not abuse them by letting them fall through the cracks of the system."

Congratulations, Andrea!!

For more information about the Rose M. Hull scholarship, please contact the Director of the program at (507) 389-1563 or e-mail  Information can also be found at our website.

Beta Mu
Beta Mu is Minnesota State University, Mankato’s 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.

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. For more information about MAGEC­South, please contact Shirley Murray at (507) 389-5194 or visit the office in Wissink Hall, room 334.

MAGEC-South sponsored a conference in March entitled "Survey Savvy in Southern Minnesota".  The conference was designed to build on the partnership between regulatory agencies and providers in assuring quality of care to citizens in Minnesota.  The new survey initiative for nursing homes has been implemented in Minnesota since September 1999.  Working in collaboration, both surveyors and providers learned a great deal about HCFA's expectations and how reporting mechanisms and documents fit into the process.  The program focused on frequent problems found by surveyors in the southern MN region and problem solving methods to assure quality of care.

Upcoming Conferences



There's No Place like Home
There’s an old saying that goes, "There’s no place like home." Most of us would agree. Home is a place where we feel safe, secure and sheltered from most dangers.

Kimberly Carlson, an educator with a Masters degree in Gerontology from Minnesota State University, Mankato, vividly remembers working as a consultant for the "Senior Safe Home" project in Southern Minnesota. She visited rural senior centers to demonstrate "gadgets" to older adults. The "gadgets" included reachers, button aids, anti-slip rug tape, grab bars, and various other products that would allow older adults to stay safe at home, allowing for a more independent lifestyle. Normal aging brings changes in vision, hearing, smell, gait, and balance. All of these changes affect the way we react to our environment. Simple home modifications and "gadgets" can help prevent the accidental fall or the need to have someone else help to put your socks or clothing on. Kimberly noticed that many older adults did not know where to acquire these products. She provided the needed direction to those that asked, but she could not find a "one stop" source for the products in rural America.

Kimberly, with the help and support of her husband, decided to chase her dream and help older adults by providing a "one stop" source for senior "gadgets." She has contacted hundreds of manufacturers of senior friendly products and developed the Assisted Living Store, Inc.  She expects the Assisted Living Store™ will become the "one-stop" on-line shop for senior products in America.

Along with selling senior "gadgets" Kimberly also answers age related questions free of charge.  You can visit The Assisted Living Store at

Attention All Aging Americans!! (that's all of you ...)
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 you’d like to be a part of or about which 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 .
The award-winning is the oldest and most comprehensive long term care site for eldercare professionals, containing thousands of on- and off-site articles on medical issues, finance, law, housing, research and statistics. You can subscribe to their newsletter by visiting their website at  Under "More Information", click on "Free eMail Newsletter".  This will link you to the registration page.  This newsletter will provide eldercare news of interest to physicians, accountants, Geriatric Care Managers, attorneys, and other advisors, professionals, and family caregivers.

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

Browne, C. V.  Women, Feminism, and Aging.  New York: Springer, 1998.
 Cusack, S. A. (1999). Leadership for Older Adults: Aging with Purpose & Passion. Philadelphia: Brunner/Mazel Publishers.
Ryff, C. D. & Marshall, V. W. (Eds.).  The Self and Society in Aging Processes.  New York: Springer, 1999.
Wykle, M. L. & Ford, A. B. (Eds.).  Serving Minority Elders in the 21st Century.  New York: Springer, 1999.

Gerontology Roster Update
Hello!  Change is inevitable, as we know from studying gerontology.  Time marches on and with it come address changes, name changes, and new interests.  Please help me update the roster by completing the following information and return it to the Gerontology Office, 358TN, Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN 56001, or e-mail your changes to, or FAX your changes to (507) 389-6769.

 (please include your maiden name if this is a name change)


I am a(n):

[ ] Alumni ­ Year Graduated   [ ] Aging Agency
[ ] Graduate Student    [ ] Other -  please specify
[ ] Undergraduate Student

I would like to remain on the NEWSLINK mailing list!!  [ ] YES  [ ] NO

Thank you!


For program information contact: Kathryn Elliott, Gerontology Program, 358 Trafton Center N., Minnesota State University; Mankato, MN 56001, (507) 389-1563 or e-mail Kathryn Elliott.

Gerontology Home Page

last revised: March 26, 2002
contact : Sara Prosen