Oct. 21, 2021 - Pioneers of Northern Kentucky’s Age-Friendly University (AFU) initiative will present their findings after participating in a national study, Taking the Pulse of Age-Friendliness in Higher Education in the U.S. Today. A grant from the Retirement Research Foundation for Aging funded the study that involved multiple Age-Friendly Universities across the country.
The AFU initiative is an international effort to support intergenerational learners. To earn the designation as an Age-Friendly University, institutions must commit to ten principles related to ‘age-friendly’ programs and policies. NKU received the distinction in 2020.
“Adult students 25 and older make up 35% of our nation’s collegiate population, which will continue to grow as we reach 2024,” said NKU’s Age-Friendly University Initiative Founders. "Creating an age-friendly university will be vital to these students in the coming years."
The study uses the newly developed AFU Inventory and Campus Climate Survey, a survey used to assess NKU's age-friendly practices and its perceived age-friendliness. The insights about AFU practices and NKU’s efforts to advance age inclusivity will be presented during Spotlight on Scholarship Oct. 21 at 2:30 p.m. Presenters include NKU faculty and staff members: Sara Conwell, Amy Danzo, Dr. Allyson Graf, Dr. Suk-hee Kim and Dr. Katherina Terhune.
Sara Conwell is an assistant director of Adult Learner Programs and Services at NKU. She has led a university-wide project regarding degree completion for the past two years. She is also the President of NKU’s Staff Congress and NKU representative for Project Graduate.
Amy Danzo is the director of Testing Services and Adult Learner Programs and Services. She leads NKU’s Adult Learner Advisory Board, as well as efforts to increase access to higher education for adult learners. She is also heavily involved in NKU’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts and is one of the lead writers for NKU’s yearly DEI report.
Allyson Graf is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Science. Her teaching, research and service center on healthy aging and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. She is the current chair of the NKU Age-friendly Coalition.
Katherina Terhune is an associate professor and the MSW Program Director in the School of Social Work. Her teaching and research efforts focus on mental health, aging, caregiving and ways to enhance gerontological literacy among students. She is a member of the Academic Program Development Workgroup for the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education.
Suk-hee Kim is an associate professor in the School of Social Work and faculty fellow for the Institute for Health Innovation Center. She is an Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education representative at NKU. She is also a proactive scholar, researcher and educator in gerontological research and opioid addiction studies.
NKU’s Age-Friendly University Coalition aims to respond to the educational needs and interests of adult learners and to enhance the visibility and availability of gerontological education and programming at NKU through the advancement and institutionalization of the 10 Age-Friendly University Principles.
About NKU: Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of over 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky and bustling downtown Cincinnati. We are a regionally engaged university committed to empowering our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. While we are one of the fastest-growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit nku.edu.