* Center on Aging and the Life Course

November 6, 2007

Undergrads visit graduate instructor who lives at retirement center

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - About 50 Purdue University undergraduate students who are curious about the life of a graduate student living at a retirement center will visit the woman and her roommates on Nov. 8.

Twenty-seven-year-old Karis Pallone, a sociology and gerontology graduate student, is in her third year of living at Westminster Village, 2741 N. Salisbury St, West Lafayette. Students from her "Intro to Sociology" class will visit her from 7-9 p.m. at the center to eat ice cream and play games with the residents.

"My students often ask what it's like to live at the retirement center, so I decided to invite them over," says Pallone, who will live at the center through May. "It's like living with 200 grandparents."

She is the third Purdue student to live at the center as part of the Bridge program. In the program, students rent rooms and are required to eat five meals a week with residents, serve on a resident council committee and attend two resident events a month.

 "The advantage of this program is not only for the student who lives there, but his or her students, professors and others who hear about the experience," says Gerry Hyner, a professor of health and kinesiology and director of the gerontology program.

The gerontology program is part of Purdue's Center on Aging and the Life Course.

"The Bridge program provides lessons in gerontology that cannot be learned in the classroom or on the job," says Joe Boorman, executive director of Westminster Village. "It helps the student gain an insight into the aging process that can be gained best by becoming intimately involved in the lives of those who are living it. It is a true gerontology lab."

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, (765) 494-9723,

Sources: Gerry Hyner, (765) 494-3151,

Karis Pallone, (765) 494.1638,

Joe Boorman, (765) 463-7546,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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