Marylhurst University

Skip to content »

Jennifer Sasser Featured in Aging Today

Dr. Jennifer Sasser, chair of the human sciences department and director of the gerontology program, authored an essay on intergenerational friendships in the July/August 2013 issue of Aging Today, the bimonthly newspaper of the American Society on Aging.

The American Society on Aging is the leading multi-disciplinary membership-based organization in the field of aging that focuses solely on developing and honing its members' knowledge and leadership skills. Since 1954, ASA has attracted more than 100,000 practitioners, educators, administrators, policymakers, academics, business people and students.

Jennifer Sasser is a nationally recognized educational gerontologist and writer. She is co-author of the textbook Aging Concepts and Controversies and the voice behind the Gero-punk Project.

An excerpt from Dr. Sasser's article, Connecting Across Generations, Finding a True Friend:

I have worked in the field of gerontology more than half my life, beginning in my teenage years as a certified nursing assistant. For the past 20 years, I've gathered rich experiences not only about later life and adult aging, but also about the complexities of traveling through the life course. For quite some time I have been preoccupied with questions about intergenerational friendships, about how persons of different ages and generations might come together to foster real friendships. There isn't much in the scholarly literature to inform such relationships.

My youngest friend is 7. Her mother was my former graduate student, and over the past decade we've become close friends and colleagues. How do I know that my best friend's daughter and I are friends in our own right? Because we want to spend time together, and we have an unspoken understanding about things. Something wild in her responds to something wild in me.

Another friend is half my age. He came to the United States seeking safety. In his increasingly traditional native country he faced persecution because of his sexuality, religious beliefs and political affiliations. Not only are we at different points along the life course, but also we are about as different from one another as two humans can be. But, despite our many differences, we are on the same wavelength.

These examples are meant to bring out the idea that intergenerational friendships don't have to be only between children and older adults in controlled, formal settings, like you'd find in a senior center or in intergenerational programming. They exist in all contexts, up and down the generations.

The full article can be found in the July/August 2013 issue of Aging Today.

More of Jennifer Sasser's writing can be found at GeroPunkProject.org.

Related News

See All News

Marylhurst MBA Ranked No. 1

Oregon Business Magazine revealed their MBA program rankings for 2015, and Marylhurst University topped the list.

English Faculty Featured on Late Night Library

Jay Ponteri and Natalie Serber, English faculty, co-hosted an episode of Late Night Library in January 2015.

Calendar

See All Events

February 02, 2015

Why Did so Many Succumb to the Siren Song of Nazism?

Professor Brian Els, Department of History at University of Portland will speak about how Anthony Doerr’s novel, All the Light We Cannot See, tou...

READ MORE

February 12, 2015

Gero-Punk Salon

Join Jennifer Sasser, Ph.D., Gero-Punk Project founder, for an evening of engaging discussion. In her words, "To be a gero-punk is to bravely and c...

READ MORE

February 14, 2015

A-MAIS-ing Voices Series: Loving Yourself into the Perfect Job

With MAIS alum Tom McLaughlin. Join the MAIS community to share, expand and grow through a series that is part "teach-in" and part salon conversa...

READ MORE

GIVE

Support Marylhurst University. Gifts of all sizes make a difference!

DONATE NOW

©2013 Marylhurst University