While many of Towson University’s faculty and staff are hard at work building and maintaining ongoing relationships with external partners, I would like to highlight one in particular—Marlene Riley, who was recently recognized by the Baltimore County Department of Aging (BCDA) for her work with their senior centers.

Marlene, Clinical Associate Professor and Associate Graduate Faculty in TU’s Department of Occupational Therapy & Occupational Science, has been working with BCDA since 2006. Most recently, Marlene collaborated with BCDA on their Reimagine Aging initiative, which aims to challenge the stereotypes of getting older. Through this effort, graduate occupational therapy students interviewed and developed stories about several older adults, nominated by the BCDA Senior Centers, to highlight their unique talents and participation in activities during their older adulthood years. These students also hosted an inter-generational focus group including college students, middle aged adults, and older adults to explore their perspectives on aging. Additionally, one student also developed a reminiscence program in the spring, called Melodies and Memories, which was implemented with the Center Connection group at the BCDA Pikesville Senior Center. Lastly, they worked with the Bykota Senior Center to have their basketball team play during half-time at the Towson University Women’s Basketball game at SECU Arena in February.

Related—Riley was one of only six occupational therapists nationally to receive the American Occupational Therapy Association’s first Emerging and Innovative Practice Award

In addition to the Reimagine Aging initiative, Marlene and her students participate in two annual BCDA events including Get Ready! Get Fit! Get Set! 5k Run/Walk, which raises funds and awareness for fall prevention, and the Senior Expo, held at the Timonium Fairgrounds, where students provide screenings and resources for hand and arm strength and function. Students also accompany Marlene to the individual BCDA Senior Centers to perform screenings focusing on fall prevention and joint protection.

Marlene Riley and her students participate in the Get Ready! Get Fit! Get Set! 5k Run/Walk

The list of the work that Marlene and her team has done in the past goes on, and will, no doubt, continue to grow in the future, which is why she was presented with the Legacy Award by Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Joanne Williams, Director of the Baltimore County Department of Aging, on May 18, 2017.

Congratulations Marlene, on this well-deserved recognition for your diverse and valuable work with BCDA. We look forward to seeing how you and all of Towson University can continue to collaborate on this partnership in the coming years.