Spring 2001 Newslink



Program Office Hours

The Gerontology Program Office is available to assist students, professionals, and community members in accessing information about our program and about issues and services related to our aging population.  The office phone number is (507) 389-1563.  Typical office hours are Monday and Wednesday, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Tuesday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Thursday, 8:00 a.m.-12 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., and Friday, 8:00 a.m.-10 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.-12 p.m. unless otherwise posted.  Stop by and visit, we are here to provide assistance!

Look for Upcoming Website Changes!

The ever-changing Internet has caused many links within our Program website to become outdated and in need of repair.  This spring Sara Prosen is diligently worked on making improvements to the Gerontology Program website.  She is anticipating the updated website to be released in just a few short weeks.  Users of this website are urged to check it out and please let us know what you think!  Please visit our website at http://www.mnsu.edu/gero

Fall 2001 New Course, HP 691: Exercise Assessment and Programming for Older Adults

Researchers have clearly demonstrated the multi-faceted benefits of continued physical activity throughout the lifespan.  Older adults have unique needs and people providing exercise programming for this group must take these needs into account so that appropriate and effective programs can be designed.  Currently, no single course provides an overview of assessment and general fitness programming for this age group (cardiovascular and muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition).

Mary Visser from the Department of Human Performance is introducing a new course entitled "Exercise Assessment and Programming for Older Adults" this fall.  The purpose of this course is to provide research-based knowledge and practical experience in assessment of physical capacity and exercise prescription for normally healthy adults aged 60 or older.  Both laboratory and field assessments will be presented as well as suggestions for working with groups and individuals.  Also covered will be the selection of equipment and design/redesign of space for exercise, medical screening and safety issues related to assessment and programming, and principles of exercise prescription and programming for specific desired outcomes.  Students who have a background in fitness and wellness, or gerontology students and others who have an interest in learning more about the area are urged to register for HP 691.  If you have any further questions please call Mary Visser at 507-389-2672, or contact her by e-mail at mfvisser@mnsu.edu

Summer Semester Courses 2001

Core Requirements

Course # Class Day/Time Professor
BIOL 4/517  Biology of Aging  TH 12:45-4:15 Bentley (1st half)
HLTH 4/555 Health and Aging  MTWHF 1:00-3:50 Nandy (6/18-7/6)

Nursing Home Administration

Course # Class Day/Time Professor
ACCT 210 Managerial Accounting  MTWHF 9:15-10:45 Woehrle (2nd half)
MGMT 200 Introduction to MIS MTWHF 9:15-10:45 Kawatra (1st half)
MTWHF 11:00-12:30  Kawatra (1st half)
MTWHF 12:45-2:15 Sharp (2nd half)
MGMT 330 Principles of Management MTWHF 9:15-10:45 Smayling (1st half)
MTWHF 9:15-10:45 Klocke (2nd half)
MGMT 4/540 Human Resource Mgmt. MTWHF 12:45-2:15 Schumann (2nd half)

Fall Semester Courses 2001

Core Requirements

Course # Class Day/Time Professor
GERO 601 Caring for the Elderly: Families, 
Institutions and Long-Term Care
T 6:00-8:45  Elliott
HLTH 4/555 Health and Aging  MWF 1:00-1:50 Slobof


Course # Class Day/Time Professor
HLTH 4/541 Death Education  MWF 11:00-11:50 Slobof

Nursing Home Administration

Course # Class Day/Time Professor
ACCT 210 Managerial Accounting multiple sessions
GERO 200 Aging: Interdisciplinary Perspectives MWF10:00-10:50 Elliott
HLTH 659 Health Care Administration M 6:00-8:45 Nandy
MGMT 200 Introduction to MIS multiple sessions
MGMT 330 Principles of Management multiple sessions
NURS 340 Gerontological Nursing F 10:00-Noon  Smith
POLS 662 Human Resource Mgmt. W 6:00-8:45  Shrewsbury

Additional Rose M. Hull Scholarship Recipient for 2000-2001 Announced

Sara Prosen joined Andrea Leach as the second 2000-2001 academic year Rose M. Hull scholarship recipient.  Sara is a first-year gerontology graduate student at MSU.  Along with Sara's undergraduate degree in sociology with minors in gerontology and business administration from UW-Stevens Point, Sara brings with her a long-standing desire to work with the aging population.  Sara's special interest is assisting elders in maintaining the home environment for aging in place to occur.  Sara would like to see seniors' ability to choose from home support options increase, making it possible for them to maximize their independence.

Refer to the Gerontology Program website at http://www.mnsu.edu/gero/hullapp.html for more information regarding the Rose M. Hull scholarship, call (507) 389-1563 or e-mail the Gerontology Program director at kathryn.elliott@mnsu.edu.


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

More than ever, older workers are playing a vital role in the workplace as demographic changes are leading to a rapid change in the composition of the workforce.  This increase in the presence and need for older workers requires an understanding of changing worker values, motivations, skills and needs as individuals age.  MAGEC's spring conference, Maximizing the Potential of the Aging Workforce, addressed changes in workforce composition. This conference explored aging of the workforce and ways to maximize the benefits of this trend.  This conference featured speakers who provided examples of practical suggestions for attracting and retaining older workers.  One speaker emphasized that retaining the older worker has been found to be more effective than rehiring older workers.  Also suggested was offering flex-time, part-time work, and work that allows for skills used from jobs in the past to increase older worker satisfaction.

Summit Center Research Update

The Center on Aging/Gerontology Program continues research at the Summit Center, Mankato's senior center.  Since October 2000, the focus has been on collecting data from various groups of seniors organized around their participation in specific activities at the Center.  So far, eight different activity groups including bingo players, quilters, and exercisers have participated in focus groups.  This aspect of the research will continue for several months as the remaining activity groups have the opportunity to participate in focus groups.  After themes from focus group transcripts are identified and evaluated to acquire greater knowledge of seniors' needs, a survey to be sent to the entire senior center membership will be developed in the next stage of the research.  This survey will address issues critical to successfully serving seniors in the future.  Seniors' responses to the survey will provide information valuable in assisting Summit Center and other community service providers in effectively directing future senior programs and services.

The Region Nine Area Agency on Aging: What is an AREA AGENCY on AGING? (AAA)

In 1965 the US federal government passed the Older Americans Act (OAA) in response to growing needs to support older Americans in remaining independent in their communities of choice.  Part of this wide-ranging legislation created AAA's across the country and mandated establishment of community Advisory Councils to support the local AAA.

The Region Nine Development Commission (RNDC) was designated as the AAA for south central Minnesota by the Minnesota Board on Aging in 1976.  The area served includes Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Le Sueur, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca and Watowan counties.  The AAA is designated to develop a coordinated system for delivering needed services to older persons.


The Region Nine Advisory Council is composed of 22 members who represent people aged over 65, private and public agencies, county social service, public health nursing agencies, business and the public at-large.  Council members do not make policy, authorize fiscal expenditures or supervise staff.  They serve as advisors, advocates, skill specialists, program monitors and program supporters.  Although the RNDC has final review authority, the advisory council makes recommendations to RNDC on matters relating to its operations and serves as a link to bring information and new ideas to the organization and staff.  Dr. Kathryn Elliott, Director of MSU's Center on Aging/Gerontology Program has served on Region Nine's Advisory Council since January of 1999.

The AAA staff provides in-depth training for incoming Advisory Council members each January.  Training includes an overview of the RNDC, historical review of national programs for older adults, current demographics, an explanation of the Older Americans Act and the national aging network, and the structure/function/funding of the programs provided by the RNDC for south central Minnesota, and future program plans.

Becoming an Advisory Council member is valuable community service work. Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Advisory Council may apply directly to the Area Agency on Aging. The RNDC appoints new members or re-appoints incumbents. A term of office is three years, although members representing agencies may be designated on alternate subject to RNDC approval.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a member of the RNDC Advisory Council on Aging contact the R-9 AAA at 410 Jackson Street, Mankato, MN 56001, or call 507-387-5643.

Organizational Membership Focus

The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) was established in 1974 to advance gerontology as a field of study in institutions of higher learning.  The objectives are to foster research, instructional, and service programs to enhance the capacities of institutions of higher education in the field of aging and to help make their resources available to benefit the wider community and society.  AGHE is the only national membership organization devoted primarily to gerontological and geriatrics education.  Its membership consists of over 300 institutions of higher learning and other organizations interested in the association's objectives.

MSU is an active member of AGHE.  Dr. Kathryn Elliott has served on the program development committee for the past two years.  MSU students are eligible for member benefits as student members of AGHE.  AGHE offers special opportunities and resources designed especially for students.  Information about the field of aging, academic resources and publications, careers in aging information, scholarship/fellowship mailings, and free annual meeting registration for student volunteers is available for student members.  Student members may purchase the AGHExchange newsletter, published four times during the academic year at a subscription rate of $12.  A subscription form may be obtained from http://www.aghe.org or it can be requested from the National Office at 202-289-9806.

AGHE's Twenty-Seventh Annual Meeting

AGHE's annual meeting was held in February.  This year's theme was "Capitalizing on Professional and Cultural Diversity to Benefit Older Adults."  Our own Dr. Kathryn Elliott organized an annual institute workshop for participants interested in anthropological perspectives when teaching about culture, ethnicity, and aging.  She presented in this annual institute with Dr. Dena Shenk of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and Dr. Lyndall Hare of Central Piedmont Community College.  The annual institutes are intensive workshops for participants interested in specific aspects of gerontology education.  Dr. Elliott was also a presenter in a symposium held during the meetings entitled, "Teaching About the Many Faces of Diversity."  We congratulate Professor Elliott for her hard-working efforts!

Student Spotlight

Name: Andrea "Andy" Leach
Hometown: Shoreview, MN
Major and Minor: Sociology and Gerontology
Aging-Related Experiences: Hospice volunteer, assisted living employment and volunteering
Future Plans: Anticipating an eight-week gerontology internship this summer in Ireland to complete her undergraduate work.  Graduate, and then return to MSU in the fall to work towards a Masters in Gerontology.
Hopes and Dreams: Andy looks at the drastic demographic changes occurring in our society to provide a huge opportunity for aging-related careers.  She expects to find an abundance of newly created jobs and is thus unsure where she would like to best apply her skills in the workplace.
Would you recommend gerontological studies to other students?  "Definitely, you just can't go wrong.  By the year 2030 there will be so many changes and opportunities for employment.  Ever since taking Gero 200, I feel I have a place and a need to use my knowledge."

Library Resources

MSU's Memorial Library has added the following titles to their shelves in an effort to keep up with the growing number of aging resources:

To Grandmother's House We Go and Stay: Perspectives on custodial Grandparents, edited by      Carole B. Cox
Fear of Crime Among the Elderly: A Multi-Method Study of the Small Town Experience, by  Mary Dale Craig
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Theoretical, Empirical, and Clinical Perspectives, edited by Bert Hayslip, Jr. and Robin Goldberg-Glen
Therapeutic Interventions with Ethnic Elders, by editors, Sara Aleman ... [et al.]
Old Souls: Aged Women, Poverty, and the Experience of God, by Helen K. Black and Robert L. Rubinstein
Social Care of the Elderly: The Effects of Ethnicity, Class and Culture, by Marjorie H. Cantor and Mark Brennan

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 us update the roster by completing the following information and return it to the Gerontology Program, TN358, Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN  56001, e-mail your changes to sara.prosen@mnsu.edu, or FAX your changes to (507) 389-6769.

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

Address: ______________________________________________________________________

E-mail (optional): _______________________________________________________________

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!

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).