BPD Update Online, Spring 2004
The Pedagogy Interview (cont)
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Mit Joyner

Mit Joyner

Pedagogy: You'll need to lead us through the welter of activity, abbreviations, and acronyms used by those on the inside of the Hartford grant, and gerontological social work generally. Can you give us a scorecard with all the various resources explained?

Joyner: Sure, I can try. But I have to say I'm continuing to learn about more resources every day.

There are three main areas of gerontological activity going on in social work right now: 1) the Hartford initiatives, 2) advocacy groups that are involved in gerontological education and practice, and 3) another grant that focuses on education and training, research and policy initiatives around geriatric social work.

The Hartford Geriatric Enrichment in Social Work Education contains five programs. The first two involve undergraduate social work, two are not yet available to us as undergraduate educators, and the fifth program is for doctoral students. The first initiative is GeroRich, or Geriatric Enrichment in Social Work Education. This funded the three-year grants to 67 social work programs across the nation. The second Hartford initiative is SAGE/SW, Strengthening Aging and Gerontology Education for Social Work. Both GeroRich and SAGE/SW grants were partnered with the Council on Social Work Education, CSWE. The next three Hartford efforts, the Faculty Scholars Program, the Doctoral Fellows Program, and the Practicum Partnership Program, don't involve undergraduate education directly...yet. We're working on it, though.

Next, there are the various advocacy organizations. AGE-SW is the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work. They've been at work for a long time to provide leadership and assistance to social work educational programs and professionals to integrate gerontological content in social work education. The National Association of Social Workers, NASW Section on Aging represents practitioners who work with older adults. IASWR, or the Institute for Social Work Research, is assisting with this initiative by advancing social work education, practice and policy through promotion of leading edge geriatric research. The National Coalition of Leaders, NCL is an umbrella group of social work educators and practitioners who are working together cooperatively with the goal to educate Congress that social work can improve the quality of life for older adults. More generally, AGHE, the Association for Gerontology Education in Higher Education, fosters research, instructional, and service programs to enhance the capacities of institutions of higher education on the field of aging. GSA, or the Gerontological Society of America, represents a broad coalition of all professionals who promote multi- and interdisciplinary research in aging. As I said, I'm finding out about more relevant groups every day. Readers should visit the CSWE website for links and information on all the activities going on in social work education about gerontology.

Finally, there is grant project out of Boston University School of Social Work: the Institute for Geriatric Social Work, or IGSW. The project provides social workers with knowledge and skills needed to work effectively with the burgeoning aging population. The Institute also conducts research and seeks to influence policy makers on issues related to geriatric social work. IGSW has announced TIP grants - seed money - for things like conferences and other resources related to community education around aging issues, for practitioners and others; I strongly urge BSW programs to apply for TIP funding.

I've found that most people involved in this geriatric enrichment effort sit on numerous geriatric boards as advisory members in order to stay current. Coordination, cooperation and sharing are the order of the day, so that there is no duplication of services, and service gaps can be more easily identified.

Pedagogy: And now there's a BPD Mit Joyner award. What's that all about?

It came as something of a surprise to me; I did not know about the award until the APM, held in Anaheim. In order to coordinate all the activity around the grant, the BPD Board of Directors formed a task force on aging (we're now a standing committee of BPD). We did a lot of things in a short period of time - this was a worker bee committee, as well as a creative think tank! We did some big and little things around sustaining the momentum of the grant, including capturing some small grants to advertise and promote the grant efforts. Remember those nice black bags handed out at the Fall Conference in Pittsburgh? The BPD Gerontology Committee did that. The committee also sponsored an aging resource fair in Reno, where we honored people and programs that had helped out so far, and are graduating "aging savvy social workers".

At the APM, Jack Sellers told me to be sure to attend the AGE-SW meeting. I got distracted and was actually in another meeting when he pulled me out by the ear and sat me down as AGE-SW work was honoring various members. And then it was announced: The Mit Joyner BPD Gerontology Leadership Award for a BSW educator and/or student who contributed to the field of gerontology. The award will be given annually at the BPD Conference along with our Federico and Wahlberg awards. Upon receiving this great honor at the APM, I told the audience I always thought you had to die to get an award named after you, and perhaps they knew something I didn't! Let's hope not.

Continued on the next page...

Spiral, Horizontal Line Spinning

BPD Update Online, Volume 26, No. 2, Spring 2004

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