Professor Morton develops pen pal class project to combat seniors' social isolation during pandemic
Assistant Professor of Sociology, Patricia Morton, spearheaded a pen pal project in her Aging and the Life Course class in partnership with Lindsay Charlefour, the Director of Life Enrichment at Waltonwood senior living communities. Instead of writing letters, seniors and students meet regularly on Zoom. Morton says, "My motivation for this project stemmed from the increasing social isolation that all Americans, but particularly older adults, have been experiencing during this pandemic. I wanted to utilize technological advances to combat social isolation and foster connections across generations and geography. I also wanted to provide students with the opportunity to learn from older adults and understand how a person’s life history shapes the trajectory of their life course." The project was featured in the Charlotte Observer and plans are in the works to make the project a regular part of course curriculum. Creative content and service-led learning are what makes the sociology department special at Wayne State University.