IAP Alumni Profiles

Alexis ’14

"IAP has helped me get my current job! My supervisor from IAP is now one of my encouraging and inspirational colleagues. This opportunity has opened doors I never thought possible! I am also a volunteer with a program which works with youth who have been in the juvenile justice system. We place youth in an internship which helps fund their restitution. They are matched with older adults to learn about professional development and shared life experiences. I found this opportunity through the IAP listserv. I am so appreciative of creating these connections; I do look forward to seeing which doors will be opened in the future."

Susie ‘14

"Through IAP I gained a wealth of knowledge about the aging population which has helped me tremendously with my current position as a social worker in a nursing home. Understanding the dilemmas that families experience as their loved ones change has been a challenge.  However, because of IAP I had a better understanding, not only from the course work, but from the additional components of the program as well.  Programs like IAP help us gain better awareness and insight into the issues at hand and also sheds light upon the often-overlooked needs of the aging population."

Teresa ‘13

"I applied for IAP because I wanted to work with the elderly upon graduation. I worked in low level jobs for the elderly when I was younger, mostly as a caregiver. I wanted to  help more than I could with those jobs, and a better education and understanding of the population would help. My IAP internships with the Alzheimer's Association and with Schenectady ARC, as well as my first-year case management internship, prepared me well for my current work as a Geriatric Care Manager and Program Coordinator. I regularly use information from IAP seminar presentations, and from the incredible supervisors, colleagues, and fellow IAP students I met along the way. I am fairly certain I would not have been considered for my position without my IAP education, and I am so grateful for the opportunities and experiences in the program."

Karen ’12

"IAP was one of the best opportunities throughout my higher education. I connected with other students who shared my passion for working with older adults. The biweekly seminars facilitated new learning, and the extra day in field prepared me well for entering the workforce and my first job at CHOICES (a geriatric case management program at St Peter’s Hospital). Being involved with IAP jump-started my career by introducing me to the vast network of aging service providers in the Capital Region. I am still involved with the program; I supervise IAP students, which has been a wonderful experience."

Maria ’12

"After working with a woman diagnosed with dementia during my first year of the MSW program, I thought that the IAP opportunity was too good to pass up. Although IAP required an extra day in the field and a rotation between two field placements, the experience was well worth it. I interned at Schenectady ARC and the Alzheimer's Association and I focused on both my clinical skills and macro level issues related to aging. I obtained a good understanding of dementia and knew that it would be part of my future career. Another benefit of IAP was the additional support from peers in the program and extra time dedicated to processing what I was learning in the field. The focus in aging helped me get a job in Managed Long Term Care soon after graduation, which then helped me land my current job at the Alzheimer's Association, NYC Chapter. I am the Social Worker for Early Stage Services; I facilitate groups and consultations for people diagnosed with Early Stage Alzheimer's Disease or a related dementia. The IAP program provided me with the education, support, networking, and field experience to prepare for the real world. Furthermore, IAP helped me build the stepping stones for the career I truly wanted."

Kristen ’08

"I am forever indebted to the IAP program, both for the education and the new doors that it opened.  Since graduation, I have stayed at the organization that I was fortunate enough to intern at –AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons).  As an intern in the AARP New York state office, I was able to dive deep into grassroots advocacy work, learning how to get the public engaged in fighting for state and federal issues.  I found I had a great passion for ensuring our message was relevant, engaging and easily understandable for a wide variety of diverse populations.  This passion led me to a new role with the national office of AARP, where I focus solely on crafting our message and campaign materials for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  I’m blessed to be able to say that I have some small part to play in improving the lives of adults 50+ around the world now!"

David ’05

"Although I don't work exclusively with older adults, I do have clients who are above age 60. I am their therapist; most have concerns about healthy aging and remaining independent. I also facilitate therapy groups that include older adults. IAP influenced me by supplying me with a strength-based curriculum pertaining to aging. Too many times we hear only the down sides of getting older and the losses involved. My IAP classes helped me think of aging in a different, more positive light. I'm better equipped to have frank discussions with older adults about things they can do to incorporate health and wellness into their lives and remain active and independent. It helps tremendously that, as I'm aging myself, I can apply these same principles to my own life to remain healthy and active. I'm glad that I had the education to relate to the older adults with whom I work."

Lisa '04

“My year in the Internships in Aging Project as a field intern with the New York State Office for the Aging provided me the knowledge, skills and context I needed to work successfully as a macro social worker in the field of aging. I am currently the Director of Operations in the Center for Excellence in Aging Services. The Center seeks low-cost, evidence-based and sustainable solutions to increased need for services for seniors. The Center’s projects include care management for seriously and persistently mentally ill older adults living in the community; a systems change project to incorporate the needs of persons with dementia and their caregivers into point of entry systems; and a quality improvement/quality assurance project for participants in state funded Medicaid long term care home services programs. I am encouraged by the innovation and creativity I see in communities as they seek solutions to these concerns. For example, the Center recently assisted a community coalition in writing a grant to develop a health education and wellness initiative to decrease health disparities.

Prior to my involvement with the Internships in Aging Project, I had little experience with older adults in formal settings. My interest in the project was driven more by personal experiences and the unfolding reality that we are all growing older; that makes this work seem all the more important. The work I do is not only to make things better for older persons today, but for the future of all of us who hope to live out our lives with dignity in community with our families and those with whom we have shared our lives. If anything I do through the Center brings us a step closer to that, then my work here will have been truly successful.”

Marcie ‘03

“As an intern I learned about assessments, surveys, program evaluation, and resources in the community. I use the resources and skills that I gained on a daily basis as the program manager and social worker of a medical adult day program. Since then I have worked as the director of a senior center and an operations manager. I have used all of the micro and macro skills that I learned. I have worked on policy and procedures, program evaluations and community referrals and direct case management."

Tammie ‘02

“After graduation I work primarily with adults with intellectual disabilities and my agency uses my knowledge and awareness of aging to look at ways to meet the needs of our aging consumers. We have developed an ‘aging in place’ committee that is making changes to the houses, examining different approaches for day services, and considering a dementia center. As we all know, the concerns and issues related to the aging are increasing in number and that is where the focus is right now. Just recently I began work at the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and will be working with consumers of all ages.”

Tianna '01

“Through my IAP internship I worked with family caregivers of the elderly, presented education programs, lead support groups, and worked on a pilot project to evaluate an intervention for caregivers. This experience, together with the knowledge and confidence I gained through IAP, enabled me to be hired by Senior Services of Albany for a federally-funded demonstration project. I led about 150 conference call support group meetings during the 3-year project. Because of the national importance of this grant project, I have presented this work at conferences across the country. I now coordinate a multi-agency evidence-based health promotion project called Women take PRIDE at Senior Services of Albany. Before IAP I would have never imagined that my first full-time social work position would be so rich in opportunity and be such a combination of direct practice, administration and research.” Update: "As of 2013 my practice has transformed into Macro-level work through a move to the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA).  I am relishing the challenge of learning new skills and stretching myself as a leader.  My positions as Aging Services Representative and now Aging Services Program Coordinator within Local Program Operations involve providing technical assistance and oversight to Area Agencies on Aging (AAA).  I am involved in several workgroups tackling policy and program issues and supervise staff.  IAP truly set me on a path to being a leader in the field of aging."