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Marni Gold: President and Founder of A.G.E.S.

Many Ohio University students are known to be overachievers. Ambitious students come to campus as freshman and dive into the sea of extracurriculars that OHIO has to offer. The common attitude among the bobcat community is that with everything from sailing club to student newspapers, there is a club or organization for everybody. However, what is a student to do when there is not an organization that meets his or her specific needs and interests?
This was the question that junior Marni Gold found herself faced with last year while searching for clubs and organizations that would help prepare her for a career as a speech language pathologist. Many students with interests and goals such as Marni are involved with the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association. Through NSSLHA, students are able to volunteer and reach out to local community members. What NSSLHA is lacking, according to Gold, is a focus geared toward the elderly community.
Gold found some of what she was looking for in Respite, an organization that allows students to provide care to adults with disabilities and other challenges. Through Respite, she helped care for a very elderly woman and a man who suffered from a traumatic brain injury. The work she did with them and the care she was able to provide for the elderly inspired her to start an organization of her own with a tailored focus on gerontology.
A.G.E.S., Aging and Gerontological Education Society, has become OHIO’s first student organization aimed towards promoting the importance of gerontology and providing students the opportunity to work with the local elderly community.
“A.G.E.S. has been something that I have done a lot of research on,” explained Gold. “The club already exists at Ithaca College in New York, so I decided to get in touch with the president of the organization there. With the help from her, I was able to start A.G.E.S. on our campus this semester. It has taken a lot of time and has been a lot of work, but I have really enjoyed it.”
Step by step, Gold completed the necessary courses of actions to turn her dream into a reality. After securing a faculty advisor, Cathy Glenn, the next step was to have her plans approved by the Campus Involvement Center. With a committee of students behind her, Gold contacted local facilities to see if any would be interested in working with A.G.E.S. volunteers.
Gold has high hopes for the organization’s freshman year. With nearly 100 members already, she hopes to have a group large enough for a dance held at Baker Center to get the new members acquainted. She also hopes to team up with local facilities to plan fun nights on campus for their residents filled with arts and crafts, baking and other activities.
With an organization such as A.G.E.S. on a resume, students will stand out in the eyes of health care professionals, hopes Gold. From an educational standpoint, the purpose of A.G.E.S. is to prepare students for a career in the healthcare field. Students will get the opportunity to see first hand what working in an environment such as a long term care facility is like. However, Gold feels that there is a much greater benefit to joining this organization.
“We really don’t realize what a difference an hour can make to an older adult. It is important [for students] to see how easy it is to brighten up someone’s day just by taking the time to visit with them.”

If you are interested in joining A.G.E.S. or would like more information on the organization, contact Marni Gold at mg118909@ohio.edu


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