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C. Joanne Grabinski ’63, gerontology educator and author looks back

Joanne Grabinski with development officer Marie Jennings

Joanne Grabinski with development officer Marie Jennings

“Fifty years ago this fall, a dream came true for me as I began my freshman year in the College of Home Economics at Oregon State,” wrote Joanne Grabinski ’63 recently. “I thought I was going to become a dietitian, but Betty Hawthorne wisely recognized that was NOT the right career path for me. Instead, she took me to meet May DuBois and Isabelle McQuestin in Home Economics Education. Thanks to Dr. Hawthorne’s direct and wonderful insight and guidance, I found my professional home as an educator–first in secondary education and then on to community college and university teaching and program administration. Other memorable professors who helped shape my teaching style include Mary Sue Wallace, Del Schalock, Mary Ann Staton, Marvin Dubbe, in three terms of Honors English, was instrumental in supporting my love of writing and helping to hone my technical and professional writing skills.

Several years ago, when she was in Michigan for a conference, I visited with Marie Jennings, the college’s development officer, who opened doors for me to connect with the new college that incorporated Home Economics. It has now been my privilege to speak and/or present at the OSU Gerontology Conference three different years. What fun it is to get to come home to OSU in the spring to see the gorgeous campus in bloom and to work with great colleagues like Sally Bowman, Karen Hooker, Alexis Walker, Joe Hendricks, Rick Settersten, and Tammy Bray.

It is both my beginnings and my more recent experiences at Oregon State that inspire and encourage my continuing work as a gerontology educator and author. “I am so proud of and grateful for my Oregon State roots.”

Joanne is president, educator and consultant of AgeEd and author of 101 Careers in Gerontology. Her recent projects include authoring a chapter “Beyond Lectures and Tests: Facilitating Applied and Interactive Social Insurance Learning Experiences” in the new book, Social Insurance and Social Justice; authoring an article “Addressing the Gap between Academe and Professional Career Environments” for AGHExchange, the newsletter of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education; interviewed by ESPO, the student section of the Gerontological Society of America for a two-part column for Gerontology News: ESPO and the Economy (Part 1): Outlook, Impact and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and ESPO and the Economy (Part 2): What Can I Do?; selected as co-author for new book, A Guide to Aging Networks, Programs and Services. The publication date is tentatively set for November 2010 in time to be launched at the annual scientific meeting of the Gerontological Society of America.