Growth, Leadership & Service

The spring 2015 semester for the Upsilon Chapter at the University of South Florida has been a time of growth, commitment, leadership and service for our members. As many of our past officers graduated and moved on to different pursuits, our chapter was faced with the challenge of officer transition for all leadership roles. We continued past traditions of monthly general body meetings, representing our chapter and recruiting new members during the Careers in Aging Networking Event and volunteering, while adding new traditions to create a more meaningful, richer heritage for current members. Our chapter is actively holding weekly socials, including attending sporting events, spinning, dining, bowling and a house party potluck to celebrate our participation and fundraising milestones in University of South Florida’s Relay for Life, a philanthropic event that raises awareness and funds for The American Cancer Society. Additionally, we are volunteering weekly at a local nursing home where we interact with residents in a variety of activities. Recently we helped them decorate for a themed Wizard of Oz party and we are having an upcoming bingo game planned with donated prizes. Many of our members have an interest in working with individuals with dementia. We have planned a special spring visit with our advisor to Arden Courts Memory Care, a small assisted living facility specializing in dementia and memory care, to take residents outside, give them flowers, and sing. We are especially excited about the privilege of proposing a crest for the Sigma Phi Omega National Honor Society and have been collaborating our ideas on how to make each element as special and significant as being a part of this society has been for the Upsilon Chapter. Submitted by: Nina S. Dearwater

Welcoming 26 New Members

The Gamma Upsilon Chapter at UMass Boston welcomed 26 new members at its induction ceremony on April 2. New members came from all academic levels, including 3 undergraduates (19 students from the Masters in Aging Services program) and 4 doctoral students. Preceding the induction ceremony was our Careers in Aging event, which featured a panel of 3 UMass Boston alumni discussing their career paths. Panelist Kristen Porter is a current SPO member and has just defended her doctoral dissertation. She is the CEO of Zen Executive LLC, a consulting and event production firm with a focus on social justice, located in Boston, Massachusetts. Kristen will start a postdoctoral position at ACRIA in NYC to further her research on aging with HIV/AIDS. Caitlin Coyle, a current postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Health Policy & Management at Yale’s School of Public Health, joined Kristen. Caitlyn is furthering her research interests in social aspects of health and health services for older adults and people aging with disabilities. Our third panelist, Lisa Gurgone, received her graduate certificate in Women in Politics and her MS in Public Affairs. Lisa is the executive director of the Home Care Aide Council, a nonprofit trade association focused on improving quality of care by empowering the home care aide workforce, located in Belmont, Massachusetts. Submitted by: Ceara R. Somerville