- Listen to Ron's Interview with Carly Roman -
A Gerontologist’s Journey, from GlamourGals to ‘Generativity’
Many aging experts become focused on the field when they become, well, older. Not so with Carly Roman. Carly’s interest was first piqued as a high school student on Long Island, when she founded a local chapter of GlamourGals, a national group that provides free makeup and manicures, in addition to social connection, for older adults. Through her undergraduate and graduate education, culminating with a PhD degree at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, Carly founded two more local chapters of GlamourGals—and along the way has broadened her compassion for seniors into a passion for developing pragmatic programs that benefit older adults and those who support them. In today’s episode, Carly, currently the Innovation Manager at the Motion Picture & Television Fund in southern California, will talk about her core philosophy of “positive psychology”—shedding light on the positive aspects of aging—and “generativity,” the feeling of meaningfully contributing to another person’s well-being—as well as yourself. In her current position, she focuses on strategies to provide health and wellness, social services, and programs for working and retired members of the entertainment industry. More broadly, she is committed to bridging the gap between research and practice to ensure that older adults have opportunities to feel valued and stay socially connected through intergenerational programs. Drawing from her varied experiences, including those through the National Science Foundation, the Archstone Foundation and Dorot, Carly will talk about her vision for an age-integrative, rather than age-segregated society. How do we change our age “silos” to create enriching experiences for all ages? How do we ow shift resources to deal with the reality of people living longer, reconciling the desire for independence above all, while still being safe? And how do we paint a more realistic picture of the aging process? Not that age doesn’t matter, but that people should be valued, first, for their achievement, so that we no longer find ourselves saying, “Well, that’s really amazing—for someone their age!”
Dr. Carly Roman is a gerontologist, currently serving as the Innovation Manager at the Motion Picture & Television Fund. A graduate of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology PhD program, Carly’s research on understanding intergenerational connections and how they benefit older adults was supported by the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship. In addition to her intergenerational research, Carly is a leader in intergenerational programming as a three-time chapter founder and current Advisory Council member of GlamourGals, a national organization in which students provide free makeovers and manicures to senior living residents. With a background in positive psychology, Carly aims to shed light on the positive aspects of aging and the ways in which older adults can meaningfully contribute to others. Carly is committed to bridging the gaps between academia and practice to facilitate development and implementation of evidence-based programs benefiting older adults and those who support them.