For students like Kamryn Kasler, a native of Ohio, pursuing a Master in Gerontological Studies (MGS) was an easy decision after completing her Bachelor's degree in Gerontology from Miami University in 2020. During Kasler's undergrad, she gained practical experience at the Cleveland Department of Aging and placement with the Executive Director of Scripps Gerontology Center, Katy Abbott’s Preferences for Everyday Living Inventory (PELI) research team.
Currently, Kasler's work with Preference-Based Living consists of assisting in collecting and analyzing data, creating manuscripts, and supporting the onboarding of student members to the team. The work surrounding Preference-Based Living is a critical tool in helping communities assess person-centered preferences while integrating work into care and guides for quality improvement. Kasler's involvement has impacted her experience directly and professionally, "It makes me feel that I am truly making a positive impression on the individuals we serve while advancing the field of person-centered, preference-based care."
After completing her first year of the MGS program, Kasler was granted an intern position with the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging in Cleveland, Ohio. She had the chance to contribute to two research projects: Best Practice Caregiving and a Dementia Friends pilot study supported by the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP). In conversation, whenever Kasler mentioned her association with Miami University - a spark would ignite as many faculty and staff within the department or Scripps research center are well connected throughout the gerontology world. "Being associated with this program has helped me expand my network and seek career-building opportunities. Anyone joining this community will find it supportive, enthusiastic, and ambitious!"
Kasler has developed academic writing and qualitative research methods while working closely with Abbott. The growth opportunities have boosted her confidence as an aspiring gerontologist. The mentorship from Abbott continues to fuel Kasler as a student and a professional. "Katy inspires me to take on new projects and life with confidence and passion and to take it all one step at a time; just do what you can!". As Kasler finishes her final semester at Miami, she assures that the next generation of gerontologists will strive towards persistence, and a hunger to innovate the industry, while drawing from other disciplines to solve emerging wicked problems. Watch for what comes next for Kamryn as she enters the job market!
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