Erickson School/UMBC Inaugural Class Honored in Congressional Record

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The Erickson School at UMBC reached an important milestone in December 2008 when it awarded Baccalaureate and Master’s degrees in the Management of Aging Services to its first graduating class. On February 6, 2009, Maryland Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D) placed a statement in the Congressional Record honoring the School’s first graduating class of 24 Master’s and four undergraduate students. The Senator’s statement, below, recognizes the establishment of the Erickson School as a professional program designed to meet the urgent needs of America’s rapidly growing aging population and honors the school’s leadership and first graduating class.
J. Kevin Eckert

Congressional Record: February 6, 2009 (Senate)
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


Mr. CARDIN:  Mr. President, I congratulate the first graduating class of the Erickson School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, UMBC. In December 2008, the Erickson School awarded degrees in the Management of Aging Services to 4 bachelors and 24 masters candidates.

In just 4 years, the Erickson School has grown from a vision of its founding benefactor, John Erickson, to a fully operational professional school addressing the leadership needs in the burgeoning arena of aging services. With the graduation of its first class, the school has begun to establish a community of change agents dedicated to improving the lives of older Americans.

Our Nation faces an urgent need for qualified professionals in the public and private sectors of health care and aging services to deal with our growing aging population. Every 8 seconds, a U.S. resident turns 60 years of age. By 2030, Americans 65 and over will increase from 12.5 percent to 20 percent of the population. Of particular significance is that the fastest growth is among those ages 85 and over. Between today and 2040, this group will increase by another 258 percent, a tribute to improvements in medicine and public health.

The job of caring for an aging population is one that cannot be outsourced. The demographic shift we are witnessing will demand the development of innovative and entrepreneurial services and products. Every aspect of our society will likely be transformed, from the workplace, to the way in which we provide health care, to the assumptions underlying fundamental Government programs.

The Erickson School’s first graduates are positioned to respond to the urgent challenges and opportunities presented by the speed and scale with which the U.S. population is aging. This class includes the CEO of a Maryland retirement community, the executive directors of the Baltimore City and County departments of aging, and other experienced aging services professionals from across the Nation.

I ask my colleagues to join me in commending the leadership of Dean J. Kevin Eckert and congratulating the graduates. They are:  Jessica Hallis, Tara McDonnell, Jena Rathell, Juliet Strachan, Eleanor Alvarez, Brenda Becker, Rebecca Bees, Richard Compton, Benjamin Cornthwaite, Seth Dudley, Christopher Emmett, Arnold Eppel, Diana Givens, Christopher Golen, Steve Gurney, William Holman, Jennifer Holz, Dorothea Johnson, Waclawa Kludziak, Susan Kraus, Jonathan May, Christine Mour, Margaret Mulcare, George Pasteur, Jr., Judith Shapiro, Chris Stewart, John Stewart, and Nathaniel Sweeney.

The Erickson School will be a world leader in meeting the demands for new human capital, as well as policy analysis, research, and executive education. Erickson School alumni are at the leading edge, a new group of professionals that will revolutionize not only the field of aging services but also the way society views aging. They are part of a transformative force that will steer the field of aging services in new directions, and I am pleased to honor them today.

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