Meet an Aging Studies Major
Our majors have a wide range of reasons for choosing Aging Studies, and equally diverse plans for future careers. We have great students in our program and we want to share them with you.
Meet our Aging Studies major, Grace Goodhew!
Grace was interviewed by Shelby Smith, an Aging Studies Major and student assistant at the Gerontology Institute.
Q: Why did you come to Ithaca College?
Grace: I’ve lived in Ithaca my whole life. I found out in March of my junior year of high school that I was eligible to graduate a year early. I hadn’t applied to any schools and so I kicked my butt to get stuff finished. I started at Ithaca as a continuing education student in the community. In my first semester at Ithaca [August 2009] I took my SATs. Also during my first semester I took Introduction to Aging Studies with Dr. Bergman and I knew that was what I wanted to be doing, so I stuck around.
Q: What year are you?
Q: What got you interested in the program you are studying?
Grace: My introduction to Aging Studies class. I took it because a family member recommended that I check out the Gerontology Institute, and I took my first aging studies class. I also did service learning at Titus Towers and I loved it.
Q: What was your best experience with the Gerontology Institute and why?
Grace: Being part of the Gerontology Institute, we’ve gotten a taste of all the important factors of everyday life, not just of aging. We get to take biology, sociology, and psychology. Other disciplines don’t necessarily let you take excerpts from all these different fields.
Q: What is the most challenging thing about being an aging studies major?
Grace: Trying to describe it to other people. People don’t really understand what it’s about, or why we would want to study older adults.
Q: Why should other students consider a major or minor in gerontology?
Grace: Because you learn a lot of life skills that aren’t necessarily just associated with aging. It’s about communication in general, and how to help others.
Q: What was your best experience with working with older adults and why?
Grace: During my internship [at Shellpoint Continuing Care Retirement Community in Fort Meyers, Florida], I got to see all the people that either live there or are being taken care of there, and the best experiences were getting to know all about them just by talking to them. I knew that taking 5 minutes out of my day to say hi was significant for them. I really liked that.
Q: What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do?
Grace: When I’m having one-on-one discussions with older adults, knowing that they feel heard and I’m honing my listening skills so that they can be heard makes me feel very happy.
Q: What are your future aspirations after college?
Grace: I have a plan. I’m applying [for jobs on cruise ships] so next year I can teach yoga on cruise ships with retired people and continue to work with older adults while practicing yoga. I’m also applying to graduate schools for health care administration: I want to end up administering a nursing home within a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) and seeing what happens after that.
Q: What other hobbies/extracurricular activities do you enjoy?
Grace: I’m a puppy raiser for guiding eyes for the blind. (Josette, the dog in the picture is the dog she’s been raising for guiding eyes). I’m also a yoga teacher and practitioner.