United Active Living and St. Mary’s University have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see the two work collaboratively on programs that will benefit the University’s students and the residents of United’s Fish Creek community.
“One of the cornerstones of United’s philosophy is community – an active community within our four walls, but also involvement in the larger community,” said Gail Hinchliffe, president, United Active Living. “St. Mary’s is very much involved in the greater community, and we have already been involved with them in a student-in-residence program that is proving very beneficial. The MoU opens the door to an even deeper partnership in such areas as learning, the arts and research.”
The agreement outlines cooperation in the areas of:
- Students-in- residence
- Use of space
- Joint clubs and activities
- Joint scientific or academic conferences
- Continuing education
“We’re particularly interested in the opportunities around research into aging and how United’s innovative social approach benefits older adults,” said Bob Hann, VP Student Services, St. Mary’s University. “Dr. Alisa McArthur is an associate professor of psychology at the University who has a deep interest in cognition and aging, who will be teaching courses at United’s Fish Creek community and invite residents to participate. As well, this partnership will continue the innovative student-in-residence program and possibly a writer-in-residence program that will further connect our two communities.”
St. Mary’s student Bryanne Kennedy is currently living and working alongside Fish Creek residents in the student-in-residence program. She moved into the community in August, and will stay until the semester ends next spring. You can read about this unique program here.
“The research side of this partnership is intriguing because our whole philosophy is based on socialization rather than on a medical focus,” said Gail. “Research is showing that older adults thrive and their well-being improves when they are actively involved in creativity such as the arts, music, writing and dance. Much of the research on aging is based in medicine. But people are more than that. We think there is much more that can be learned on the social side and how that affects wellness.”
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