Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date

April 2021


This poster descrbes a unique interprofessional honors course offered at St. Catherine University that blends women's literature and the science of aging. The course, taught by two professors, one a poet, the other a healthcare professional, was taken by honors students pursuing a variety of majors in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences, and the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health. Students participated in both classroom and community engaged service learning activities, beginning each class session with a poem written by an older woman on a topic related to the material addressed in the text. During seven weeks of the semester students were paired with women from the Sisters of St.Joseph community. Goals of this engagement were to: build relationships with older women, increase awareness of the Sisters of St.Joseph's teachings, understand the aging process through the eyes of an active older woman, and discover the power of poetry to express both the postive and negative experiences of aging. At the end of the semester students created a three part paper: 1. summary of the science of aging, 2. the narrative story of their older partner, 3. a reflection of the student's experience. Student evaluation and feedback from the Sisters of St.Joseph indicated an overall positive experience.