Age-Friendly University

Wayne State University has been designated as an Age-Friendly University (AFU), yet another important step toward ensuring that opportunity remains equitable campus-wide. The Age-Friendly University Global network is an innovative consortium dedicated to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion within higher education and confirms that combating ageism is an important dimension of that strategy. Wayne State Age-Friendly University Fact Sheet

Age-Friendly University Principles

  1. Encourage the participation of older adults in all core university activities, including educational and research programs.
  2. Promote personal and career development in the second half of life and support those pursuing second careers.
  3. Recognize the diverse educational needs of older adults, from early school-leavers to those seeking advanced degrees.
  4. Foster intergenerational learning to facilitate expertise sharing across age groups.
  5. Widen access to online educational opportunities for older adults.
  6. Ensure that the university’s research agenda addresses the needs of an aging society and promotes public discourse on higher education’s role.
  7. Increase students’ understanding of the longevity dividend and the richness aging brings to society.
  8. Enhance access for older adults to health, wellness programs, and cultural activities.
  9. Actively engage with the university’s retired community.
  10. Maintain regular dialogue with organizations representing the interests of the aging population

Questions regarding the Age-Friendly University initiative? Contact WSU Age-Friendly University committee co-chairs:

Thomas B. Jankowski, PhD
Associate Director for Research
Institute of Gerontology & Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute
Faith Hopp, PhD
Associate Professor
School of Social Work

Wayne State Accessibility Training – The Office of Marketing and Communication's Virtual Accessibility Training offers a variety of self-paced trainings related to accessibility. Annual training is required for University staff (e.g. administrators, faculty, support staff, student employees) responsible for creating or distributing information used to conduct core University business with online content to students, employees, guests, and visitors with disabilities.

Let us know what your WSU unit is currently doing to promote age inclusivity.
Fill out this brief survey

WSU age-friendly programming and resources


Age-friendly Technology

Introducation to Computer and Technology Tool kit: co-created with Detroiters aged 65+, for people ages 65+.

Placeholder image

Adult Learners

WSU offers an Adult Learner success team to guide older adults through special programs and campus resources that assist new and returning learners.

Placeholder image

Institute of Gerontology

The Institute of Gerontology (IOG) has established itself as a leader in gerontology focused on research, advanced pre- and post-doctoral student training, community outreach, and continuing education.

Placeholder image

School of Social Work Gerontology Certificate

The Gerontology Certificate is 12 credit multi-disciplinary program designed to prepare graduate students, individual practitioners, and professionals to work in the field of aging in a variety of settings.

Placeholder image

Gaining Momentum toolkit

Language around age matters. Developed by the FrameWorks Institute this resource offers materials to build framing concepts and skills to advance aging and combat ageism.

Placeholder image

Tools to advance age inclusivity in higher education

A guide to help cultivate thriving age-inclusive environments. Created by the Gerontological Society of America, Academy for Gerontology with support from AARP.

WSU Age-friendly University Steering Committee

Boris Baltes, PhD
Senior Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Associate Vice President of Academic Personnel

Alex Boesch, MEd
Intercultural Training Director, VP Academic Affairs

Scott Bowen, PhD
Chair, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Deborah Charbonneau, PhD
Associate Professor, School of Information Sciences   

Mariane Fahlman, PhD
Professor, Kinesiology Health and Sports Studies

Faith Hopp, PhD, Co-chair
Associate Professor, School of Social Work

Thomas B. Jankowski, PhD, Co-chair
Associate Director for Research, Institute of Gerontology & Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute

Loraleigh Keashly, PhD
Associate Dean for Curriculum and Student Affairs, College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts

Carrie Leach, PhD
Assistant Professor (Research), Institute of Gerontology

Cathy Lysack, PhD
Professor, Occupational Therapy, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Peter A. Lichtenberg, PhD
Director, Institute of Gerontology & Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute

Charles Manke, PhD
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, College of Engineering

Arthur F. Marotti, PhD
Director, Emeritus Academy

Cynthera McNeill, DNP
Director, Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program

Annessa Morely
Sr. Director, Alumni Relations, Executive Director of the Alumni Association

Karen Mourtzikos, MD
Associate Vice President of Wayne State University Health Affairs, School of Medicine

Donyale Padgett, PhD
Associate Professor of Commuication and WSU Chief Diversity Officer

Kevin Rashid
Academic Services Officer, Irvin D. Reid Honors College

Wassim Tarraf, PhD
Associate Professor, Institute of Gerontology and Department of Healthcare Sciences

Thomas Walker, PhD
Associate Dean, School of Information Sciences

Jane Warkentin
Clinical Programs Manager, Dean's Office, Law School

Tamarie Willis
Project Manager, Center for Behavioral Health and Justice