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September 19, 2007

Professionals Across Industries Attracted to Unique Masters Degree Program in Aging Services

CONTACT: Kavan Peterson
Phone: 410-455-1896
Email: kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – The first class of graduate students in the Erickson School’s new Masters in the Management of Aging Services (MAgS)program at UMBC includes professionals as varied as company CEO’s, nursing administrators, retirement community directors, marketing executives, publishers and the executive directors of aging departments in Baltimore City, Harford and Baltimore County.

Unlike any other graduate degree, the MAgS program weaves together disciplines in management, public policy and the study of human aging. Integrating these core disciplines combines skills and knowledge necessary for leaders creating and providing products, services and making policy for older adults, said Erickson School Dean Kevin Eckert.

“From healthcare and housing to finance and development, the Masters in Management of Aging Services is designed specifically to prepare individuals for leadership roles unique to the 21st Century,” Eckert said.

Designed for working professionals, the program is offered in a 15-month executive masters format. The program begins with an intensive one-week session Sept. 23-29, followed by sessions every two to three weekends and concludes with an integrative capstone exercise addressing a relevant issue for each student’s specific organization or agency. The program has attracted 27 students from eight states who will attend as a single cohort and graduate together in December 2008.

With America’s population of 65 and older expected to skyrocket to 77 million by 2030, there will be unprecedented opportunities and challenges to meet the needs of older adults.

"With the launch of the master's program, the Erickson School is positioned to prepare many of the nation's leaders in the aging field," said UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III.

As part of the school’s mission to change the way society thinks about aging, the master’s program will kick-off with an unconventional course designed around Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear. The play, about a dying patriarch who tears down his family with him, offers universal insights to the controversies and concepts of aging in our society, says world-renowned geriatrician Dr. Bill Thomas, a professor at the Erickson School and an international authority on geriatric medicine and aging.

“King Lear is a fabulous study for these students because it shows the consequences of failing to understand and appreciate the true nature of old age,” Thomas said in an interview on National Public Radio Sept. 7. “Although it can seem very dramatic and tragic, it’s not far off from what a lot of people experience as they encounter conflict between generations in old age.”

The MAgS program will be lead by a group of nationally recognized scholars and professors specializing in each of the Erickson School’s core disciplines of management, policy and aging. Distinguished faculty include:

• Dr. Bill Thomas, a Harvard-educated physician, international authority on geriatric medicine and eldercare and self-proclaimed “nursing-home abolitionist.”
• Dr. Judah Ronch, a national expert on geriatric mental health issues and a pioneer of reforms in the long-term care and aging services industry.
• Joseph A. Gribbin, Ph.D., an Associate Commissioner on loan from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and expert on the nation’s social insurance programs.
• William E. Fulmer, Ph.D., a national expert on organizational strategy and service excellence, a former senior vice president of the Executive Development Center of the Harvard Business School and former dean of University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business.

For more information, click here to download the MAgS brochure.

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About The Erickson School:

The Erickson School grew from a unique partnership between two visionaries, John C. Erickson, Founder and Chairman of Erickson Retirement Communities, and UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III. They recognized that a public research university with a strong emphasis on public policy— as well as one of the nation’s largest gerontology doctoral programs—was an ideal home for a school intended to touch

every phase of aging in America. Launched with a $5 million gift from the Erickson Foundation, the institution they created integrates aging, management, and policy in each of its programs, with a strong emphasis on preparing leaders for the 21st century. The School offers credit and non-credit educational programs at the undergraduate, masters, and executive levels. Through a federally funded center, the School also conducts intensive research to address the pressing practical and policy issues of our nation’s rapidly growing aging population.

Posted by kavan at September 19, 2007 4:05 PM