a publication of the sexuality and aging consortium at widener university

2013 Sexuality, Intimacy & Aging Conference Success!

By Melanie Davis, PhD, CSE and Robin Goldberg-Glen, PhD, MSW
Conference Co-Chairs and Consortium Co-Presidents

Melanie Davis, Gayle Appel Doll, Robin Goldberg-GlenThe response to the 3rd Annual Sexuality, Intimacy & Aging Conference was a tremendous success! It provided wonderful learning and networking opportunities for professionals, paraprofessionals, students and consumers. The photo at left shows us with Advisory Board Member and plenary speaker Gayle Appel Doll (Shes in the center; Melanie’s on the left; Robin’s on the right).
We had presenters and attendees from across the country — many participants said they returned because our previous conferences were so helpful to them.
One of the most rewarding comments we received countless times was,  “This was the best conference I have ever attended.” One person attended after learning about the conference from two Consortium members who conducted a consumer program in Doylestown, PA. She said her goal was to increase her knowledge so she could talk to seniors in her own community.
Several Widener students who volunteered and attended the conference are now considering coursework and possibly careers in aging.  Many reported that they had no idea about the problems older adults faced in relation to sexuality and and aging. Kudos to the young man who walked by the conference registration table, asked what was going on, and decided to attend!
Thanks to Consortium’s Student Board Member Katie Murray, we had a vibrant student poster session. Several of the said they never thought professionals would be so interested in research conducted by undergraduates and graduates.  One exclaimed happily, “I was even asked by several people to mail them a copy of my work. I never thought of my work as being that important to others.”  We are grateful that conference participants motivated future professionals by taking time out to converse with them.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our speakers and presenters, who shared their expertise and passion over the two-day conference. We also send tremendous thanks to our sponsors and advertisers, especially Whole Foods in Wynnwood, PA and Buy the Dozen Bakery of Narberth, PA for donating breakfast both days. We also thank our conference co-sponsors, the Widener University Center for Social Work Education, Center for Human Sexuality Studies, and Center for Psychology.
If you couldn’t attend this year’s conference, please plan to come in 2014. We re only going to get bigger and better!  We look forward to seeing all of you again and hope to plan many other surprises for our attendees.

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