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International gerontologists visit WKU & Bowling Green

International gerontologists from Canada, Nigeria, Switzerland and the Netherlands visited WKU and the city of Bowling Green on Wednesday (Feb. 25) for a showcase of the city’s Christian Care Communities before attending the Association of Gerontology in Higher Education meetings in Nashville later this week.

The visitors received a guided tour of Bowling Green from volunteers of the WKU Honors College before meeting with Mayor Bruce Wilkerson, lunch and a guided tour from Village Manor Executive Director Heather O’Banion. Laura Monarch, director of WKU Study Abroad and Global Learning, presented an informational session on faculty exchange programs.

Dr. Kelly Fitzgerald, an internationally recognized expert in global aging and disaster planning and management, led a tour of community research collaborators. Dr. Fitzgerald is a Senior Scientist with WKU’s Center for Gerontology and is based in Zurich, Switzerland. Dr. Fitzgerald is a WKU instructor giving lessons through distance education.

This visit was an opportunity to highlight community research collaborators in Bowling Green, a member of the World Health Organization’s “Age Friendly Cities” network, while working with international gerontologists with varied research interests.

“This is a great opportunity that could potentially lead to projects down the road. Their visit to WKU shows firsthand how we really are a leading American university with international reach,” said Dr. Dana Burr Bradley, director of WKU’s Center for Gerontology.

The WKU Center for Gerontology is guided by the belief that optimal aging is attainable on both the individual and community level and requires implementing holistic strategies. The Center for Gerontology is an applied research center funded partially through the Applied Research and Technology Program (ARTP). Efforts include promoting age friendly communities, enhancing long term care delivery, preventing disease, injury and disability, and maximizing financial and physical independence.

Contact: Payton Taylor, (270) 745-3177

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