Getting More Out of Your Education with Gamma Upsilon

Members of Gamma Upsilon, the University of Massachusetts Boston chapter of Sigma Phi Omega, comprise all level of students from those pursing a certificate in gerontology, Masters in Aging Services, and PhD. The officers of Gamma Upsilon for the 2016-2017 academic year are:

President: Natalie Pitheckoff

Vice President: Molly Evans

Secretary/Treasurer: Bryceton Proctor

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kyungmin Kim

In an effort to increase our impact, Gamma Upsilon will be hosting more events and activities on and off campus. We have already started this year off strong by organizing a restaurant fundraiser on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association. The restaurant fundraiser was held at the 99 Restaurant in Quincy, MA on September 14, 2016 from 4:00 to 10:00 pm. Around 25 people attended the event.

Monthly observances around issues that impact older adults or the field of gerontology began to be selected in October. Every month the name of the observance, facts, statistics, diagrams, and infographs on the topic have been displayed in the PhD lounge and window facing the hallway. So far, October was long-term care planning month, November was national caregiver month, and December is world AIDS month. This activity raises awareness of topics/issues that might not be fully addressed in our courses. It also creates an opportunity for conversation and has the potential to educate both those within the University of Massachusetts Boston gerontology community and those passing by.

Other exciting events are being planned for the rest of the year. For example, an intergenerational movie matinee will be co-hosted between the Osher Lifelong Learning Center and Gamma Upsilon in January. As of now, we are planning to show The Intern followed by a robust conversation on work and volunteering in later life. A professor with research experience in those areas will be selected as a discussant.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s

            Over the summer, Gamma Upsilon began planning, fundraising, and recruiting individuals to participate in the 2016 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The walk was held on the morning of Sunday, September 25th at the North Point Park in Cambridge, MA. Our small but mighty group of around 10 people represented the University of Massachusetts Boston at the walk. Our group completed the 3.5 mile course in support of the millions of older Americans afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. In addition to walking, we were able to donate over $2,100 to the MA/New Hampshire chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The Gerontological Society of America Conference

26 students including Gamma Upsilon members from the University of Massachusetts Boston presented at the 69th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) in New Orleans, LA. Some topics included oral health, transportation, social engagement, and healthy aging. Several members of Gamma Upsilon also assisted at the university booth where conference attendees could stop by and learn more about the gerontology programs offered through the University of Massachusetts Boston. Prior to attending the conference, Gamma Upsilon sponsored a “practice day” event for students to present their posters and presentations to faculty members, researchers, and students of the gerontology, public policy. and nursing departments. With posters lined along the halls of the department, Gamma Upsilon offered pizza and drinks to all attendees.