Lasell College
  • United States
Recent publications
Intergenerational classroom activities have been used to enhance age inclusivity in higher education in the traditional aging curriculum. As ageism continues to be prevalent, there is a need to extend intergenerational contact across the curriculum. Moreover, intergenerational exchange can be an asset to content learning in diverse classrooms. As part of the Age-Friendly University (AFU) initiative that emphasizes the value of intergenerational teaching and learning, students and older adults were brought together in the present classroom case study in a forensic science course. The older adults residing in the institution's affiliated university-based retirement community (UBRC) developed a mock crime scene scenario for students to solve and engaged with students as they analyzed evidence. Students were surveyed regarding their perceived learning gains and reactions to the intergenerational activity. Students' responses indicated that the intergenerational experience had both a positive impact on content learning and the perceived value of intergenerational exchange to enhance learning in non-aging focused courses.
Manifestations of ageism during the recent COVID‐19 pandemic call for ways to combat persistent negative views of older adults and the disparities they fuel, especially in light of the aging of populations. We discuss the pioneering Age‐Friendly University (AFU) initiative that takes a systems‐level approach and offers guiding principles for advancing age inclusivity, which in turn can combat and inoculate individuals against ageism. In particular, the principles advocate that older adults be enabled to participate in core educational activities in higher education for personal and professional development and that institutions extend aging education, research on aging, and intergenerational exchange. The need for educational institutions to be more age‐friendly has become even more clear and pressing during the pandemic, where ageism has been exacerbated. Drawing on empirical evidence, we show how AFU principles can be applied to disrupt the roots of ageism and age biases, and disparities in healthcare and work environments. Connections between the AFU initiative and the Age‐Friendly Communities, Age‐Friendly Health Systems, and Age‐Friendly Employers initiatives are suggested as a collective move toward a more age‐inclusive ecosystem that fosters the well‐being of all people as they age.
Tocotrienols and tocopherols are lipid-soluble chemicals that make up vitamin E. Vitamin E can be subcategorized as (α-tocopherol, β-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol, and δ-tocopherol) and four primary tocotrienols (α-tocotrienol, β-tocotrienol, γ-tocotrienol, δ-tocotrienol). Tocotrienols receive less recognition for their effects on health compared to their counterparts, tocopherols. The purpose of this study was to investigate the pharmacokinetics and bioavailability of a powdered, sublingual form of DT3 in healthy men and women. We hypothesized that there would be an increase in plasma DT3 followed by a decrease after reaching peak concentration over an 8-hour period. Volunteers (m=1, f=4; age: 36.6 +/- 10 years, 169 +/- 6 cm, 77 +/- 14.6 kg) were administered a 40mg of DT3 powder after fasting for 8 hours and given a meal consisting of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats after 4 hours. Volunteers were asked to keep the powder under their tongues for 30 seconds or until the powder was completely dissolved. Blood samples were collected at 0, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 180, 240, 360, and 480 minutes. Blood samples collected were placed in the centrifuge to separate plasma from blood. The plasma collected was stored at -80°F in a cryogenic freezer. DT3 concentrations were measured from plasma using protein precipitation followed by liquid-liquid extraction. Analytes were separated by HPLC with the extracts assayed against a calibration curve. DT3 bioavailability was assessed using the parameters of peak plasma concentration (Cmax ), time to reach peak plasma concentration (Tmax ) and total area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC). Plasma concentration of DT3 reached 47.1 ng/ml (Cmax ) 360 minutes after administration (Tmax ). DT3 concentration decreased between 360 and 480 minutes. The 0-8 h AUC reached 10,093 ng/ml*min. Ingesting a 40mg dose of DT3 dissolved orally and then swallowed appears to produce a slow progressive upward absorption trend over the time span of 6 hours after. Following the 6-hour increase in DT3 concentration a subsequent decrease in plasma DT3 was observed. Optimal dosing and timing of DT3 when dissolved in the mouth may enhance the efficacy of δ-tocotrienols on health.
College campuses are typically considered as environments for adults ages 18-24, even though campuses are comprised of faculty, staff, students, and lifelong learners of all ages. Each group may experience the campus environment differently due to their differing roles. Faculty, staff and students from 21 participating designated Age Friendly Universities across the country answered survey questions on age friendliness, AFU awareness, and on campus practice items. Crosstab analyses show that constituent groups are equally aware of their university as an AFU (6% of each group). Students perceived their university as more age friendly (M=3.47, SD=0.73) compared to faculty and staff, the latter having the lowest perceived friendliness (M=3.27, SD=0.63). Specific age friendly practices show that staff members had markedly different perceptions of the institution’s age friendly practices. AFUs need to consider higher education environments as workplaces as well as learning centers to make policies age friendly for all groups.
The pioneering Age-Friendly University (AFU) initiative has called for institutions of higher education to respond to the needs of older, more age-diverse populations through new approaches to programs, practices, and partnerships. In exploring in more detail what it means for a campus to be age-friendly, the national AFU Inventory and Campus Climate Survey (ICCS) study has raised questions about how core theoretical concepts are defined and manifested. Using observations from the ICCS study, this presentation will discuss tensions among constructs (e.g., does being age-friendly indicate the absence of ageist attitudes; are age-inclusive practices by design age-friendly?) and how differentiating these constructs better can help higher education focus its efforts in more intentional and productive ways.
The first AFU principle is to “encourage the participation of older adults in all the core activities of the university, including educational and research programs.” As this suggests, a crucial goal of age inclusivity in higher education is to resist the siloing of older adults and age-inclusive efforts in age-specific programs and cohorts. In response, the Age-Friendly Inventory and Campus Climate Survey (ICCS) assessment was designed to assess age-inclusivity across seven areas of institutional activity: outreach & engagement, personnel, physical environment, research, services & resources, student affairs, and teaching & learning. By restructuring and expanding the “pillars” of institutional activity outlined by AFU principles, the ICCS presents two key advantages for benchmarking AFU practices: (1) it traces age-inclusivity across many facets of institutional operations; and (2) it prompts participants and report readers to recognize their role in current and potential age-inclusive efforts, regardless of their role or department on campus.
The pioneering Age-Friendly University (AFU) initiative, endorsed in 2016 by GSA’s Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), calls for institutions of higher education to respond to shifting demographics and the needs of aging populations through more age-friendly campus programs, practices, and partnerships. The case will be made that AFU institutions can also play vital roles in helping neighboring communities develop, launch, assess, and sustain their age-friendly efforts through research and related endeavors that engage students and faculty. In addition, AFU campus-community partnerships can play a critical role in breaking down age-segregation that fuels ageism, building intergenerational connections, and increasing aging literacy among rising community members - all of which are necessary steps for building age-friendly communities.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, universities have changed to an online or hybrid format. These changes provide the opportunity for universities to be more accessible for all individuals. However, the logistics of university life during a pandemic has exposed significant and potentially enduring challenges and opportunities for designing and maintaining an Age-Friendly University. This study investigates perceptions of students, faculty, and staff in the lens of an age friendly university during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study draws on qualitative and quantitative data from over 10,000 faculty, staff, students, and life-long learners from 26 universities. Five items were asked to constituent groups about their perceptions on their university’s response to COVID-19. Overall, students had the poorest average perception of satisfaction with their university’s overall response to the pandemic, with 62% satisfied compared to 74% and 73% of faculty and staff, respectively. Further, 77% of faculty think the university’s response to continuing education accommodated their needs, compared to 69% of students. Respondents from private universities reported more positive satisfaction than respondents from public universities (M=4.23, SD=0.94; t(df=7405)=6.805, p<.001). Qualitative data suggest that older students and faculty needed more technological assistance during this transition to primarily online learning to keep older members involved in the community. Older staff felt that they were more likely to be furloughed and were the group most likely to not have a choice in working on or off campus.
Shifting age demographics are reshaping our social structures with far-reaching implications for higher education. Aging populations mean more older adults are looking to higher education to meet their professional needs and personal interests, and the longevity economy is calling for a trained workforce to provide services to support the health and functioning of individuals as they age. As well, there is a need to improve students’ aging literacy, along with developing synergistic age-friendly campus-community partnerships to address aging issues. How can institutions explore, create, develop, and sustain more age-friendly programs, practices, and partnerships? This presentation will introduce the toolkit specially designed by the GSA-AGHE Workgroup for use by faculty, students, administrators, and other campus leaders, and will provide an overview of the Age-Friendly University (AFU) initiative and its 10 guiding principles for creating more age-inclusive campuses.
In Fall 2020, Lasell University trained a student assistant to handle the physical aspects of interlibrary loan lending while the interlibrary loan librarian was unable to return to campus due to COVID-19 concerns. This article outlines the breakdown of duties between librarian and student worker and discusses how the student was trained and supervised remotely.
Biostatistics, Biomedicine, and Informatics encounters and exposures in our daily lives occur due to the gathering of Big Data and its use in medical research. This intensive gathering of data or big data allows the use of statistics more than ever before as numbers are calculated, patterns are observed, and data becomes information as it is placed in context of a problem to be solved. This information has given rise to “Health Informatics” which is a combination of “Health Information Technology” as computing components, “Health Information” as collected data, and “Health Information Management” as the organizing and summarizing of information . The combination of these is used to perform and improve decision-making and value-based delivery of healthcare. Hardware, Software, Data, Procedures, and People are all key components of Health Informatics in the context of healthcare with Biostatistics harnessing large amounts of health data to accelerate decision-making. This paper looks at the application of statistical methods to the solution and decision-making in biological healthcare problems.
Background and Objectives This study introduces a theoretical framework for assessing age inclusivity in higher education environments and describes the Age-Friendly Inventory and Campus Climate Survey (ICCS). The ICCS measures age-friendly campus practices as reported by administrators, perceptions of age friendliness by campus constituents, and the fit between objective practices and subjective perceptions as an overall indicator of age inclusivity. Research Design and Methods The ICCS was administered at a public university in the northeastern United States. Administrators completed the Inventory of potential age-friendly campus practices associated with their units. Campus constituents (n = 688) completed the online Campus Climate Survey to assess subjective awareness of these practices, perceived age-friendliness, and personal beliefs about age inclusivity. Results The Inventory yielded a score of 66% of potential age-friendly practices in place as reported by administrators. The Campus Climate Survey showed low overall perceptions of age-friendliness and varied beliefs about age inclusivity on campus. Fit was measured by comparing the Inventory practices and Campus Climate Survey awareness of the existence of 47 of 73 potential practices. Convergence on this campus showed an awareness of 36% of age-friendly practices. Discussion and Implications Based on the proposed theoretical framework for age inclusivity, the ICCS offers a way of assessing the age-friendliness of the objective environment across campus functions, the subjective environment across campus constituents, and the fit between subjective and objective environments on campuses. The ICCS will help higher education institutions identify strengths and challenges for advancing age inclusivity.
Social media provides a useful platform for people to share information, develop networks, and connect with each other online. While social media allows one to foster relationships with ease, it may pose challenges for individuals in a romantic relationship. Mounting evidence suggests that social media use may have an adverse impact on relationship dynamics, largely due to reduced time and attention for relationship partners. However, it remains unclear (1) how the increased use of social media may lead to negative consequences of relationship quality; (2) how the increased use of social media and negative relationship consequences together may trigger social media addiction; and (3) whether there are psychological factors that may contribute to the mitigation of the negative consequences. Here, we explored these issues by selecting Instagram (IG) as the target platform because the unique feature of tracking objective time of usage within the IG app allowed us to more accurately determine the length of IG usage. Using a structural equation modeling approach, we found that increased IG usage reduced relationship satisfaction, which led to an increase in both conflicts and negative outcomes. The sequential effects of reduced relationship satisfaction and increased conflicts then triggered addictive use of IG. In contrast, tendency to make sacrifice for the relationship partner in everyday life produced a positive effect on relationship satisfaction, which in turn reduced the likelihood of conflicts, negative outcomes, and addiction. Taken together, we have delineated pathways through which excessive social media use may detrimentally affect both relationship and personal well-being and identified sacrifice as a possible psychological factor to mitigate the detrimental effects. We believe that these findings add to our understanding of the processes by which social media influences romantic relationship and highlight the interactive effects of social media and relationship on causing unexpected, adverse consequences.
When sequencing small RNA libraries derived from whole blood, three of the most abundant miRs detected are often miR-486-5p, miR-451a, and miR-92a-3p. These highly expressed erythropoietic miRs are released into the sample due to red blood cell hemolysis. Next generation sequencing of these unwanted miRs leads to a huge waste in sequencing cost and diminished detection of lowly expressed miRNAs, including many potential miRNA biomarkers. Previous work has developed a method to reduce targeted miRNAs using oligonucleotides that bind their target miRNA and prevent its ligation during library construction, although the extent to which oligos can be multiplexed and their effect on larger cohorts has not been thoroughly explored. Here, we present a method for suppressing detection of three highly abundant heme miRs in a single multiplexed blocking oligonucleotide reaction. In both a small paired-sample pilot (n=8) as well as a large cohort of samples (n=901), multiplexed oligos reduced detection of their target miRNAs by ∼70%, allowing for a ∼10 fold increase in reads mapping to non-heme miRs as well as increased detection of very lowly expressed miRs, with minimal off-target effects. By removing all three highly expressed erythropoietic miRNAs from NGS libraries, this commercially available multiplexed blocking oligo method allows for greater detection of lowly expressed biomarkers, improving the efficacy, cost-efficiency, and sensitivity of biomarker studies and diagnostic tests.
Context: Individual factors can impact numerous work-life interface outcomes including work-family conflict and burnout. Recently, the concept of work-addiction has been investigated as an individual factor that could impact numerous outcomes. While there is a large body of literature investigating work-family conflict and burnout in athletic training, little is known about the incidence of work-addiction or its potential impact on these outcomes. Objective: To gather descriptive data on work-addiction risk and examine the impact work-addiction may have on work-life interface outcomes in athletic training. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Online Web-based survey. Patients and other participants: Athletic trainers employed in all work settings were recruited to participate via social media and email distribution lists. Data from 226 (n = 65, 28.8% males, n = 161, 71.2% females) athletic trainers, currently employed in more than 13 work settings were included in data analysis. Main outcome measure(s): The online questionnaire consisted of four main sections: demographic questions, work-family conflict scale, Copenhagen Burnout inventory, and the Work-Addiction Risk Test. Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis tests were run to determine if group differences existed. Simple linear regressions were used to determine if work-addiction risk scores were predicative of burnout and work-family conflict. Results: Athletic trainers experienced moderate levels of Personal (55.0±19.1) and Work-Related (50.0±16.0) burnout and are at medium risk for work-addiction (58.3±11.2). No demographic differences were observed in burnout or work-family conflict scores, but these scores were different based on work-addiction risk. Females were more at risk for compulsive tendencies than males. Work-addiction risk scores were predictive of both burnout and work-family conflict, though explained a relatively small percentage of variability. Conclusions: Those athletic trainers at higher risk for work-addiction report higher levels of burnout. Because of the medium risk for work-addiction among athletic trainers, work-addiction mitigation strategies should be implemented by individuals and organizations.
The pioneering Age-Friendly University (AFU) framework, with its set of ten guiding principles, advocates for enabling older adults to participate fully in educational activities that promote positive and healthy aging. In addition, the AFU principles call attention to bringing younger and older learners together around educational goals, and engaging learners in collaborative classroom experiences that facilitate the reciprocal sharing of expertise between learners of all ages. Implied, but not articulated, in these principles is the idea that older adults’ expertise, skills, and talents can also be tapped to support classroom learning goals and extend teaching strategies. This presentation will show how older adults can serve as valuable educational allies in classrooms across the curriculum with examples of crime scenario developers in a forensics class, conversation partners in an international oral communication class, and professional interviewers in an internship skills class. Evidence will argue that these roles enhance student learning.
At the core of behavioral and social scientists’ work in the aging field is informing and supporting the well-being of individuals and their communities. With the shift in age demographics and the aging of our populations, broadening educational efforts are more important than ever. However, advancing knowledge about aging and creating age inclusive educational opportunities has been a challenge in higher education, reflecting its historical, age-segregated structure, among other things. The pioneering Age-Friendly University (AFU) initiative, recently endorsed by GSA’s Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), offers a valuable set of guiding principles that institutions in higher education can use to assess the extent to which their programs and practices are age inclusive, as well as identify gaps and opportunities. This presentation will discuss how the time has come for scientists to help shape more age-friendly institutions, and what they can look like in the years to come.
This presentation will focus on AGHE’s evolving discussions on gerontological and geriatric programming. The earliest discussion resulted in development of the first edition of the standards and guidelines for programs in 1989. In 2014, the AGHE Academic Program Development Committee (APDC) created new core competencies for gerontological education. Currently, members from both the AGHE APDC and Advancement Subcommittees are collaborating on revising the AGHE Standards and Guidelines (6th edition, 2015) to align with competencies. This presentation will discuss the new and improved version (draft available in November 2020). First, presenters will review points regarding how this update will aid in Accreditation for Gerontology Education Council and Program of Merit self-study program reviews. Secondly, the presenters will explain how the revision will increase gerontological education program integrity. Lastly, the presenters will explain how this update will be consistent with the trend across institutions utilizing these competencies in gerontological and geriatric education. Part of a symposium sponsored by the Geriatric Education Interest Group.
Age-friendly University (AFU) campuses are reshaping how we think about teaching and learning in higher education. In particular, intergenerational classrooms are on the rise as shifting age demographics call for institutions to create new opportunities for older learners and encourage intergenerational exchange. Age diverse classrooms have distinctive needs and dynamics that instructors, and students, will need to learn how to navigate. This presentation will describe outcomes of one AFU institution’s attempt to identify the challenges and triumphs of intergenerational classrooms through facilitated instructor and student reflections in different classrooms over the course of several semesters. Recommendations will be offered for enhancing intergenerational exchange in classrooms across disciplines, as well as evaluating attitudes, logistics, and learning outcomes. Part of a symposium sponsored by Intergenerational Learning, Research, and Community Engagement Interest Group.
Campuses and communities have a long and varied history of partnerships around educational efforts. In response to current shifts in age demographics and the number of adults aged 65+ increasing dramatically, new partnerships around living and learning are emerging. In particular, university-based retirement communities (UBRCs) associated with institutions of higher education are growing as housing options for older adults in the United States. The establishment of the Age-friendly University (AFU) initiative offers a guiding framework for how UBRC partnerships may be effectively mounted. This presentation will use the case example of the Lasell University – Lasell Village partnership to demonstrate how AFU principles can be implemented through age-friendly curricular programming and intergenerational exchange. Logistical considerations such as individualized learning plans for UBRC residents, an on-campus location, shared resources, and governance policies will be also be discussed as components of successful partnerships.
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Kim Farah
  • Department of Mathematics
Michael J Daley
  • Environmental Studies
Thomas Zawisza
  • Justice Studies
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