BSR Broadcasts: Jan Abushakrah and the Geronauts–Embracing the Challenge and Leading the Change!

Jan Abushakrah

As a species, we are entering uncharted territory: with humans living longer, healthier lives than ever before, the existing paradigm of aging is undergoing a truly radical shift. Here at Better, Smarter, Richer, we love seeing how it affects entrepreneurship in this country via the blossoming of encore careers, but really, it affects every facet of our lives. That’s why this week’s BSR Broadcast will be absolutely fascinating: meet Jan Abushakrah, Director of the Portland Community College Gerontology Program—a true expert on aging.

Jan grew up on an Oregon berry farm, and has a had a rich and varied career: she earned her doctorate in Sociology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and her dissertation, Women Minding Their Own Businesses, was a qualitative exploration of the paths of 50 women entrepreneurs. She also directed the Palestine Human Rights Information Center in Jerusalem, covering the Occupied Territories for 15 years, and her human rights work and interest in entrepreneurship clearly inform her current passions.

Today, in addition to directing the Gerontology Program, Jan also teaches many of its core courses. She has been a leading force in promoting PCC’s initiatives to address the needs of older workers and students returning to college to enhance their skills and direct their energies into new career directions. Over the last several years, Jan has overseen the development several short-term, job-related certificates in diverse areas to prepare professionals and workers at all levels to deliver high quality services, resources, and care to our aging population.

Most recently, signaled by the “Geronaut” rebranding of the Program, Jan and her amazing faculty team are exploring the new frontiers of unprecedented longevity in areas such as optimal aging, cognitive health and brain fitness, creativity and aging, alternative housing, livable communities, and engaged advocacy. Becoming a Geronaut entails a Mindset Shift – first, by retooling and redirecting one’s skills, knowledge and attitudes in an empowered and entrepreneurial direction, and second, by envisioning culture change in traditional aging services and possibilities for new ways of aging. Geronauts embrace the challenge and lead the change!

This will be such a wonderful Broadcast; you’ll be able to stream or download Jan’s conversation with Jackie on Wednesday afternoon, and can listen any time after that as well. Remember, the BSR Broadcasts (Jackie’s weekly show on Solo Pro Radio) are now available for listening right on the Better, Smarter, Richer website!

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