The Graduate Practicum Experience

Each summer,  first-year gerontology master’s students go out into the field for a practicum. And each fall they return with experiences that shape their studies and careers. These transformative experiences are shared in a formal presentation to faculty and students a few days before classes start in August.


Anjali B.K. Anjali B.K.

Practicum locations 
The Knolls of Oxford, and the Preference for Everyday Living Inventory project (PELI) at Scripps Gerontology Center.

Highlighted goals

  • Gain understanding of nursing home system in U.S.
  • Improve communication skills with residents and staff
  • Compare the health care services in Nepal and the U.S.
  • Gain experience as part of a research team

Key takeaways

Anjali appreciated the broad range of experiences in her placements, from rotating departments and spending time with residents at The Knolls to working with large data sets for the PELI project.

Pallavi TimilsinaPallavi Timilsina

Practicum location
Bihani Social Venture, Kathmandu, Nepal 

Highlighted goals

  • Gain work experience in a professional organization
  • Enlarge network in the field of aging in Nepal
  • Gain knowledge about research, case studies, and practical settings

Key takeaways
Pallavi applied her background in nursing and knowledge gained in gerontology classes to projects such as training caregivers in old age homes and creating a bi-lingual geriatric assessment tool. Her advice to incoming students, “Take your time to think about your areas of interest.”

Morgan LiddicMorgan Liddic

Practicum location
Hospice of Central Ohio, Westerville, OH 

Highlighted goals

  • Learn about the hospice industry including areas like care, staff, and regulation guidelines
  • Better understand the challenges patients and families face at the end-of-life
  • Network with those working in end-of-life care

Key takeaways

Morgan contributed many tools to Hospice of Central Ohio including presenting an in-service on Elderspeak and developing a questions tool to help patients and families start conversations about hospice. She was able to gain a better understanding of the clinical aspects of hospice care as well as first-hand experience with some challenges facing hospice organizations.

Amanda HorneAmanda Horne

Practicum location
Armed Services Arts Partnership (ASAP), Washington, DC

Highlighted goals

  • Gain hands-on knowledge of a non-profit that worked with veterans of all ages
  • Learn more about grant writing
  • Learn more about how to help trauma and mental health

Key takeaways

“I was constantly surprised by the interaction between different aged cohorts when they had military culture in common.” Amanda also shared “Everything is a learning experience – even if things do not go as planned.”

Keren MabisiKeren Mabisi

Practicum location
Oxford VillAGE Network, Oxford, OH 

Highlighted goals

  • Gain knowledge about grassroots and non-profit organizations
  • Broaden knowledge about the field of gerontology beyond the classroom

Key takeaways

Keren gained valuable experience working on projects such as the Oxford VillAGE Network resource directory, Meals on Wheels in Oxford, and Age Friendly Oxford.  She also visited the Liberty Mobility Now project in rural Van Wert, Ohio. “Be open to new opportunities and step out of your comfort zone” is advice she shares with future interns.

Meghan YoungMeghan Young

Practicum location
Impact Broward, Fort Lauderdale, FL 

Highlighted goals

  • Non-profit organizational development
  • Knowledge of local aging services
  • Network and getting involved in programs

Key takeaways

Meghan was able to apply knowledge gained in her first MGS year on topics such as evaluation research/program evaluation, survey design, and grant writing to projects she worked on at Impact Broward. She also developed a creative caregiving guide and gave a presentation about OMA to volunteers and staff of Senior Companion and R.E.L.I.E.F. volunteers.

Wendy DeLeonWendy DeLeon

Practicum location
AgeOptions, Oak Park, IL 

Highlighted goals

  • Gain the knowledge to develop a bi-lingual process and materials to expand the Take Charge workshops program in the Latino community
  • Identify potential workshop host sites
  • Assist in recruitment and retention of workshop participants

Key takeaways

Wendy was trained to lead workshops on information and self-management skills for older adults with diabetes and their caregivers. In addition to leading workshops, she identified effective ways to conduct outreach into the Latino community.

Photos from the 2017 practicum presentations