Students interested in gerontology—the study of aging—will have the opportunity to learn more about related careers and network with professionals at an upcoming event.
The Careers in Aging event, hosted by Gerontology honor society Sigma Phi Omega, will aim to foster awareness of the the Masters of Gerontology program at Cal State Fullerton as well as gerontology-related careers.
Disproving common misconceptions about the field of gerontology is a key goal of Karen Wong, a professor in the subject and group coordinator for the CSUF chapter of Sigma Phi Omega.
“For some people they just think that you work in nursing homes,” Wong said. “I hear that all the time and it’s not true. I would love to debuff that stereotype.”
Jobs in the aging field are in high demand, Wong said, and careers in gerontology and geriatrics today serve the needs of a growing elderly population. With 77 million baby boomers, individuals 85 years of age and older are part of the fastest growing population in the country, she said.
To reflect the study’s interdisciplinary aspect, professionals from various fields are scheduled to speak at the event, followed by a Q&A.
Speakers will include Michelle Yerke, director of care management at the Huntington Beach Senior Center, Jane Subeck-Goodman of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CSUF and Di Patterson, a CSUF alumna and founder of The Let’s Group, a company that provides consulting for businesses looking for expertise from professional gerontologists.
The event will also include informational resource tables from organizations such as the Brea Senior Center and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
Shari Petrik, vice president of CSUF’s chapter of Sigma Phi Omega, a gerontology honor’s society, hopes that Careers in Aging will also provide students who are interested in gerontology and geriatrics a chance to meet experts in the field, she said.
“It’s informative, but it’s also a networking opportunity because we will have professionals in the field,” Petrik said. “There is an opportunity to network for internships in the future. The people we have coming are very connected with Cal State Fullerton.”
The event will be sponsored by the Gerontology Alumni Association Chapter.
Sigma Phi Omega’s Careers in Aging is part of a larger event held by various chapters of the honor society across the United States every April.
The Careers in Aging event will be held at the Shapiro Wing at the Ruby Gerontology Center on Wednesday. The event will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m.