Two Quinnipiac students move into Masonicare in Wallingford as residency program starts second year

Two Quinnipiac students move into Masonicare in Wallingford as residency program starts second year


WALLINGFORD — Two Quinnipiac University students moved into rooms at Masonicare Tuesday as part of a program established last year that aims to bridge the generation gap and give healthcare students real life experience.

The “Students in Residence” program promotes intergenerational experiences between students and elderly residents, said Grace Martha, program coordinator.

Students live in their own room in Masonicare’s Ashlar Village and interact with residents while attending classes at Quinnipiac.

The program launched last year and after an “incredibly successful” first year, Martha said, Masonicare decided to continue it. Junior Sarah Cullen and graduate student Kevin Currie — were accepted through an application process. On Monday, they moved into their rooms at Ashlar Village and met residents for the first time.

Currie graduated from Quinnipiac with a degree in marketing and is now pursuing his MBA.

He hopes to learn more about the growing field of healthcare and connect with residents.

“They just have amazing stories, which I just want to soak up. I want to be a sponge this year,” he said.

Currie said he was encouraged to participate after talking to the two students who participated last year — Joe Huberman and Victoria Kozar. Both told Currie their experience was overwhelmingly positive.

“I could tell they were really genuine in what they were saying and their message was that this has changed them in more ways than they could have ever imagined for the positive by just learning from these residents and vice versa,” he said.

Cullen, a junior, is pursuing a degree in occupational therapy. She hopes that spending time with Masonicare residents will “give me more of a broad view of how their lives work.”

“It’s a great way to kind of get to know how the older population functions on a day-to-day basis,” she said. “I’m hoping to build a lot of great relationships. I know that the older generation has a lot to offer.”

Martha said that in screening applicants, the program wanted students with good character, charisma and autonomy.

While the program has only accepted two candidates each year, Martha said more students could be accepted in future years.

“We certainly wouldn’t rule out expanding the program,” she said.

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