A Student’s Perspective of Georgia Gerontology Society Annual Meeting

Earlier this month, the Gerontology Institute faculty and student attended the Georgia Gerontology Society (GGS) Annual Conference. The Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris, GA was gorgeous and the GGS Conference was educative and informative. The Gerontology gang spent the days presenting research and attending sessions and the evenings strolling through the grounds and mesmerizing the sunset. Dr. Morgan and Dr. Burgess lead several sessions on topics including formal and informal partnerships in assisted living, understanding key competencies and values of gerontology education in Georgia, and developing state-based training models for direct care workers. In addition, gerontology graduate students, Elizabeth Avent, Kayla Brookshire, Alexandra Rozefort, and I presented posters on our theses and capstone projects. Other GSU gerontology students in attendance included Jenny Heuer, Wendy Liverant, and Maureen Walsh.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my first attendance at GGS. It was a successful professional venture. During my poster presentation, I was able to meet and connect with highly esteemed leaders in the field of aging. In addition, I attended several compelling sessions that expanded my knowledge and enlightened my thinking about gerontology. These included sessions on technological innovations for older adults, how older adults are utilizing social media, the connection between hearing loss and psychosocial behavior changes in older adults, and a mobile app used by law enforcement to prevent elder abuse neglect and exploitation.

My impression of GGS is that the organization is large enough to influence policy and services at the state level, yet small enough to maintain meaningful connections in local communities.  The members of GGS are extremely close-knit, friendly, and welcoming.  However, I observed the imbalance between professional and academic attendees at the conference.  Colleagues from academia were starkly underrepresented at the conference. Thus, I ardently encourage your attendance at next year’s GGS, hoping you will find it as educational, relaxing, and beneficial as I did!

By  Stephen Duong, M.A.

Stephen Duong graduated with an MA in Gerontology in Spring 2015. He is currently finishing a MS Exercise Science and working with Dr. Morgan on her research.