Recent BSW graduate Wendy Myers placed second in the Student Poster Award category at the Southern Gerontological Society’s 34th Annual regional conference in May in Charlotte, N.C. for her undergraduate poster, “Pathways to Homelessness of Older Adults Living in Extended Stay Hotels.”
Myers, whose passion and research interests are community development, aging, homeless older adults and public health, says the purpose of the study was to identify what factors contributed to older adults moving to extended stay hotels and what barriers prevent exits from hotel homelessness.
“I was able to use data collected for my research project and evaluate the pathways to homelessness through loss,” says Myers. “I also looked at the mental and physical health challenges of older adults living in extended stay hotels in the Gwinnett area.”
The project was made possible by Myers’ faculty sponsor, Terri Lewinson, assistant professor of Social Work and the John A. Hartford Geriatric Social Work Initiative. Lewinson was selected as a 2012 Hartford Faculty Scholar in Geriatric Social Work and received funding to complete a research project focused on evaluating and improving the field of geriatric social work.
Myers has also presented this research at the Georgia State Undergraduate Research Conference (GSURC), the Southeast Student Mentoring Conference in Athens, Ga., and the Andrew Young School Public Service and Research End Event.
The 34-year-old Philadelphia, Miss., native is a first generation college graduate. Prior to coming to Georgia, Myers completed two years of study as a psychology major at Mississippi State University and East Central Community College.
“My great aunt was a social worker back when women didn’t have a degree,” says Myers. “Although she has passed, she really inspired me to go into the field.” She plans to continue her graduate studies at Georgia State in the advanced social work program and will graduate next May with an MSW degree.
“Ten years from now, I hope to have completed my doctoral studies and built up my practical experience in the field,” says Myers. “I want to continue to make a positive impact to the larger community.”
Download the abstract for Myers’ project at http://digitalarchive.gsu.edu.