"STudents and ELderly Linking Around Relationships" strives to develop positive relationships among students and elders within the community. The group focuses on changing negative stigmas associated with elders and students alike and replacing them with positive views of both. Through community based activities the group creates a positive atmosphere and educates students of all majors on the needs of the elderly within the community along with informing them about the many opportunities for careers working with elders.
Recipient of Two Awards from USI Student Development Programs
At the USI Student Development Programs' 2017 Leadership Awards April 12, the USI STELLAR student organization received two top awards: the Community Outreach Award, and also President of the Year, presented to Rebecca Lucas, a Health Services Long Term Care Administration major and Master of Health Administration 4+1 student.
Dr. Kathy Elpers, associate professor of Social Work, first started connecting her students with Seton Residence and other facilities more than 16 years ago. This outreach led to the development of the STELLAR, which stands for "STudents and ELderly Linking Around Relationships.” Dr. Elpers continues to serve as co-faculty advisor for the group, along with Dr. Katie Ehlman, associate professor in Gerontology.
This interdisciplinary group of students performs service work in local long-term care settings over the course of the academic year. The students connect with approximately four long-term care settings each year and visit each setting once a month in small groups.
Sigma Phi Omega
Sigma Phi Omega (SPO), the national academic honor and professional society in gerontology, was established in 1980 to recognize excellence of those who study gerontology and aging and the outstanding service of professionals who work with or on behalf of older persons. The formation of a society provides a much needed link between educators, practitioners, and administrators in various settings where older persons are served.
VALUE OF Sigma Phi Omega for students:
Student and Professional membership criteria: