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Research Opportunities

2017 Age Friendly UMBC: Accessibility for All

Alison Larsen, Amy Huber, Ravi Bhatt, Melody Khosravi
Galina Madjaroff, Aging Studies

There is a lack of accessibility for older adult students as well as older faculty and staff on the UMBC campus. After speaking to many older adults and touring multiple successful Erickson Living communities, it has become abundantly clear that UMBC must make improvements to the campus in order to improve accessibility both inside and outside the classroom. In order to gain knowledge on the accessibility issue, both students and older adults took a survey on how to improve the UMBC campus in order to make it a welcoming and inclusive environment for older students, faculty, and staff. The survey results revealed many issues on campus such as nonfunctioning handicapped doors, lecture halls without ramps, unmarked handicapped entrances, and unclear handicapped routes throughout campus. The research that was done will help to make positive changes to the campus in order to make UMBC as diverse in age as it is in culture and ethnicity.


Myung Sun Jung
B.S. INDS: Patient-focused Neurology
Relationship between Bilingualism and Alzheimer’s Disease

Fine Arts Building
Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

Judah Ronch
Erickson School of Aging Studies
Tabassum Majid
Integrace Institute at Copper Ridge
Stephen Freeland
Interdisciplinary Studies


Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day 2015
URCAD 2014

Presenting at URCAD 2014 Marcus Hockaday, Kathleen Greaney, Jamie Jaegers with Instructor Galina Madjaroff in support (L to R)

The 19th Annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD) was held on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. This eight-hour event featured research, scholarship, and creative work carried out by UMBC undergraduates.

Student work is shared through oral presentations, posters, artistic exhibits and performances & film; including work from our own undergraduate class. This event was open to the public. We challenge all of our MAgS students to change the paradigms of Aging; are you a “game changer“? (See below, “BreakingGround with Connect”.)


BreakingGround with Connect

Marcus Hockaday, Kathleen Greaney, Jamie Jaegers, Arielle Ngameni Mouani
Galina Madjaroff, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Management of Aging Services

This research focuses on the lack of intergenerational relationships between UMBC students and the elderly. To build upon these relationships, UMBC students were paired with senior citizens at the Charlestown Retirement Community, located in the Baltimore area. These students lead basic technology courses for seniors interested in acquiring new technology skills. The elderly – a vulnerable target population with legitimate need for assistance – received life-changing guidance from these students. The computer and other forms of advanced technology are intuitive, even second nature to most UMBC students, but older adults found them to be intimidating. In order to evaluate the efficacy of the intergenerational relationship building, the students will conduct a short qualitative study by interviewing the seniors about their experience. Preliminary interviews suggest that seniors are eager to learn new technological skills and are excited to work with UMBC students to achieve formal use of technology, an intergenerational relationship, and learn more about the facilities use of connecting residents through the web.

This work was funded, in part, by BreakingGround.

Featured Researchers

Nida Yousfi

Nida Yousfi

My name is Nida Yousfi, and I am currently a senior at UMBC studying Information Systems. I am an undergraduate research assistant for Galina Madjaroff. Her research focuses on how technology affects the elderly. Specifically, we are looking at older couples in which one partner has been recently diagnosed with cognitive impairment. Our focus is to see if the assisted technology product—Amazon Alexa—eases some of the burden of the care giver as well as aids the person with the cognitive impairment. As an IS major and someone who enjoys working with the elderly, I find this research truly intriguing, as it allows for me to gain insight on how simple functionalities in a product can make a difference in the lives of the people who use it.

Marcus Hockaday

Marcus Hockaday ’14

Designing Accessible Hardware for Older Users:
‘It’s Never 2 Late’ Touchscreen Interface Study”

With a growing older adult population, it is beneficial they are connected with new and emerging technologies that improve their quality of life. A large part of this population is residing within retirement communities and as a society we could consider finding more accessible and intuitive technologies that promote engagement and quality of life. During this study, residents of Charles County Nursing & Rehabilitation Center (CCNRC) Family of Care will participate in a focus group providing their opinions on the design of a hardware that supports the IN2L’s touchscreen computer. The findings will be useful for future touchscreen computer hardware designs to better enhance the life of older adults.

Read more about Marcus Here…