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West Chester University, West Chester, PA Age Friendly Events Spring 2020

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West Chester University Graduate Gerontology Certificate Program
Newsletter, Issue 5, Spring 2020


News from the
Gerontology Program


Dr. Angela Lavery, Department of Graduate Social Work

Dear WCU colleagues, students, alumni and friends,

On behalf of the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology program I would like to share with you our spring newsletter. In addition to summer and fall course offerings, policy and faculty updates, we provide links to articles and resources in regard to COVID-19 and older adults. One particular article by Burholt discusses social isolation and older adults and asks us to practice “manaaki” – the kindness and support that we give to each other, to assist us during this pandemic.

We are proud to offer interdisciplinary course work to cultivate students’ knowledge in the field of aging.  If you would like to learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology program please reach out to me at or visit us at this website for more information. Thank you for reviewing our newsletter.


Summer and Fall 2020
Students need to register for all classes via myWCU.
NOTE: Only classes with sufficient enrollment will run. If a course is full, place yourself on the Wait List. The Wait List assists us in requesting an additional section if we have sufficient student need. 
Please contact Graduate Coordinator of the Certificate program, Dr. Lavery, to discuss which elective will be the best fit for your educational plan.

Summer Session

SWG 580-80: Social Work in End of Life Care. Dr. Angela Lavery
(Online: May 26th-June 20th) Required course (offered again in Spring 2021)

EXS 690: Exercise and Older Adults. Dr. Melissa Reed
(Online: May 26th–June 27th) Elective Course (only offered in the Summer)

HEA 514: Approaches to Health Care Delivery. Dr. Harry Holt
(Online: May 26th–June 27th) Elective Course

Fall Session

HEA 613: Advocacy and Quality of Health Care Services. Dr. Mark Markowski
(Online) Elective Course

NTD 601: Nutrition & Health in Aging. Dr. Kimberly Johnson
(Online) Elective Course (only offered in the Fall)

SWG 571-90: Social Work with Older Adults. Dr. Angela Lavery
(Online) Required Course (only offered in the Fall)

HEA 645: Global Community Health Promotion. Dr. Debra Bill
(Oct. 19th – Dec. 12th, Tuesdays: 4:25pm to 10:10pm) Elective Course

COVID-19 Resources

A Call for Manaakitanga in a Time of Isolation”

With a focus on kindness and the importance of intergenerational connections, Dr. Burholt lays out ideas for how to connect during the pandemic and social distancing.
Read the article by clicking here.


“Coronavirus Disease Resources
for Older Adults, Family Caregivers, and Health Care Providers”
Check out this recently updated list of resources
from the John A. Hartford Foundation
by clicking here.
Volunteer Opportunity
The certificate program has received requests from several senior housing and care communities that are in need of “Notes and Cards of Encouragement” for their residents. It is hoped that these notes and cards will help combat the negative and unintended consequences that can result from social distancing, particularly in the older adult population. Social isolation is a concern for many, even prior to the pandemic.

If you would like to participate in this volunteer opportunity effort with the Gerontology Certificate program please reach out to Dr. Lavery at

Did you know that WCU’s Office of Service Learning & Volunteer Programs has a website dedicated to posting information on organizations we can support while we are social distancing? There are opportunities with agencies across our region, the state and nation. Click here for more information:
How You Can Help While Social Distancing

Policy Updates

“The reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA) was signed into law [on March 25th] after receiving bipartisan support in both houses of Congress…this news is very timely. OAA-supported programs are provided to more than 11 million older adults and their caregivers annually. These programs are designed to prevent abuse and neglect, reduce social isolation, support caregivers, offer employment and community service opportunities, promote nutrition (through Meals on Wheels, as an example), and improve transportation options.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, another widely supported piece of legislation that GSA also supported, quickly became law in mid-March providing $250 million in emergency funds for the older adult nutrition programs of the OAA. It will allow many who normally received meals in community centers to have home-delivered or “grab-and-go” options.”

Read more about it here.
Check out the full Older Americans Act here.

WCU Faculty Scholarship
in Gerontology
Cheryl Monturo, PhD, MBE, ACNP-BC
Professor of Nursing
John A. Hartford Claire M. Fagin Fellow

Cheryl Monturo serves as co-convener of two special interest groups with the Gerontological Society of America.  These special interest groups include– the Hospice, Palliative and End-of-life Care as well as the Nursing Group.


Jasmin Tahmaseb McConatha, PhD
Professor of Psychology

Chapter in edited book
Co-authored with Frauke Schnell, Department of Political Science: Older Immigrant Women Who Work: Building Resilience, Changing Perceptions and Policies
in Grit and Grey to be published, May 2020 by APA

Ongoing Blog for Psychology Today
Live Long and Prosper (2013 to present)
A Regularly published blog with a focus on factors influencing Wellbeing and Longevity. Psychology Today, APA.

Recent article
Tahmaseb McConatha, J., Kumar, K.V., Raymond, E., & Akwarandu, A. (2020). Cultural Dimensions of Diabetes Management: A Qualitative Study of Middle Eastern Immigrants in the U.S., Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 35, 85-89.

Beyond the Physical: Mental and Social Benefits of Walkable Communities.
Read more about it here.

Angela Lavery, PhD, LCSW, FT
Assistant Professor & Graduate Coordinator of the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology

On October 25, 2019 Dr. Angela Lavery presented at the Council on Social Work Education’s Annual Program meeting in Denver, CO. Along with Dr. Harry “Rick” Moody (retired Director of Academic Affairs – AARP) and Andrew Steward, LCSW (PhD student, University of Denver), Dr. Lavery’s  presentation discussed Approaches to Infusing Critical Gerontology Across Social Work Curricula.

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