Agricultural Sciences

First group of Intergenerational Leadership Institute participants to graduate

A celebration of intergenerational living, learning and leadership

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Eight older adults will be acknowledged at a ceremony at 2 p.m. on Sept. 22 at Penn State's Nittany Lion Inn for their accomplishments, community service and leadership in generating new programs and activities for strengthening intergenerational bonds and improving quality of life in the State College, Pennsylvania, area. 

The honorees are the first group of graduates of Penn State's Intergenerational Leadership Institute (ILI), a certificate training program for older adults. The ILI is both a lifelong learning program and a civic engagement program. This yearlong program is designed to build participants' intergenerational programming skills, extend their leadership skills and provide them with opportunities to translate their intervention ideas into concrete plans, programs and campaigns.

Attendees at the event will have an opportunity to honor these ILI graduates, view highlights from their ILI-inspired intergenerational endeavors, and celebrate their transition from ILI participants to ILI Fellows, a designation which signifies that they have demonstrated their leadership skills and abilities in the intergenerational programming arena.

The following individuals have completed all three phases of the ILI training program:

  • Dorothy Christensen, of State College
  • Susan Haagan, of Bellefonte
  • Grace Hampton, of State College
  • Sandy Lopez, of Boalsburg
  • Nicholas ("Sunny") Rehler, of Julian
  • Marsha Sackash, of Boalsburg
  • Fran Scalise, of State College
  • Christine Tyler, of Milesburg
  • Qiao Li, a visiting scholar from Jiangnan University and future coordinator of an ILI Chapter in Wuxi, China

ILI-inspired projects that will be highlighted at the ILI graduation ceremony include the following:

— SAVOR (Sharing And Valuing Our Relationships): State College Meals on Wheels clients (primarily isolated older adults) and Penn State students come together for regularly planned meals, fellowship and activities based on common recreational interests.

— Weaving Wisdom uses the arts to provide a framework for planning activities, school curricula, and interactive exhibits that promote intergenerational and intercultural understanding in diverse cultural contexts, including in West Africa and the U.S.

— Intergenerational Pen Pal Program enhancement: Program assessment and strategic planning for this program run by RSVP-Centre County.

— Food that’s Real for the Family Meal: A series of family gatherings which provide opportunities to learn about, prepare and enjoy healthy foods together.

ILI sponsors and partners include the Penn State Intergenerational Program, Penn State Extension, Penn State Center for Healthy Aging, RSVP – Centre County, OLLI at Penn State, University Park, and the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Those planning to attend should RSVP by contacting Matt Kaplan,, by Sept. 12.

Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated August 25, 2017