WKU joins network of universities committed to serving older adults
- Malia Carver
- Friday, July 24th, 2020
Western Kentucky University joins the Age-Friendly University (AFU) Global Network, endorsed by the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) with the support of Drs. Jason Crandall and Gretchen Macy. By joining the rapidly growing international network (68 current members) WKU intends to follow the AFU principles and will promote an inclusive approach to health and active aging through research and enhanced learning.
The Age-Friendly University Global Network (AFU) is coordinated by Dublin City University (DCU), which originated the AFU principles. Welcoming WKU to the network, President of DCU Prof Daire Keogh said: "This announcement builds on DCU and WKU's strong existing connections and shared values, as evidenced by the longstanding collaboration between DCU's Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland, and the Center for Gifted Studies at WKU."
WKU is now part of a burgeoning group of universities that understands the importance of supporting lifelong learning and of ensuring that the needs of an ageing society are reflected in our collective research agenda. By promoting intergenerational learning, AFU also recognises the invaluable contribution that older people make to society and to our university communities."
“Membership in the Age-Friendly University Global Network will benefit WKU and students in several ways. First, the City of Bowling Green is already an approved Age-Friendly city so WKU’s approval is a natural progression and allows the university to more closely collaborate and align with the city’s AF initiatives. Second, the WKU Center for Applied Science in Health and Aging (CASHA) continues to grow in numbers and scope of aging-related projects. Affiliating with other aging-focused universities will help create synergy in both research and programmatic initiatives between WKU and those universities. Finally, becoming a part of the network allows WKU, and particularly CASHA, to leverage the network’s national presence to secure additional funding and help create additional community partnerships,” said Dr. Jason Crandall, Director of CASHA.
Becoming a part of the Age-Friendly University (AFU) Global Network provides students the opportunity to learn about emerging age-friendly efforts and to contribute to an educational movement of social, personal, and economic benefit to our campus and community. The AFU Global Network also provides opportunities and innovative practices of teaching, research, and community engagement that WKU can offer.
“WKU, and CASHA in particular, will work to increase opportunities for intergenerational learning and encourage additional engagement with the university’s retired community. The university understands the benefit of intentional engagement with the retired community and the benefits these relationships can provide for students, faculty, and staff. While there are programs in place that foster these relationships, there is an identified need and desire to increase opportunities for intergenerational learning and engagement,” said Crandall.
For more information on the Age-Friendly University initiative and principles, visit https://www.geron.org/programs-services/education-center/age-friendly-university-afu-global-network.