Monthly during the MTSU academic year, University Honors College students become the apples of the AdamsPlace residents’ eyes.
That’s because the students assist the residents, who might have issues with Apple computers, laptops, iPhones and iPads, plus Kindles, Nooks and more.
The residents, all retired but busy with modern technology, appreciate the students’ help. The students, nearly all in their late teens or early 20s, enjoy solving technical issues and spending time with the older generation — and the feeling is mutual.
For the Jan. 28 resumption of the collaboration, which included cake and other treats and drinks as a way for AdamsPlace to thank the students and Honors College, more than 20 residential residents sought tech assistance from seven students in this generational swap meet.
The brainchild of Susan Lyons, event coordinator for the Honors College, the technology collaboration has been a hit and success since January 2014. Lyons rounds up the students; Betsy Bonds, activities director at AdamsPlace has no trouble finding seniors needing assistance with their phones, computers and other technology.
“It’s a great partnership,” Bonds said. “The students love the residents and the residents love the students. The residents here are relatively computer-savvy.”
AdamsPlace, located at 1925 Memorial Blvd. in Murfreesboro, is a provider of residential and assisted living for older adults.
Bonds, front-desk staff member Paige Rijoff and other AdamsPlace personnel have to assist residents with technology during the weeks MTSU does not come, so they say the students’ visits “have been a relief.”
Transplanted Texans Nancy and Louis Bittrich are among the many residents receiving technical support.
“They are so kind and patient,” Nancy Bittrich said of the students. “If they don’t know, they’ll find the answer or get someone else to help.”
Dani Dye of Franklin, Tennessee, an MTSU senior exercise science major planning to graduate in August, said the most recent trip was her second time to help.
“It’s fun to meet all of them,” Dye said. “You know you’re really helping somebody with their technology functions. It’s really nice to do that and fun figuring out more about technology and realizing you are teaching them.”
The residents include MTSU alumna Liz Rhea and staffers Faye Brandon and Ida Read. Brandon, a former Health, Physical Education and Recreation faculty member, and Read, a catalog librarian, retired after years of service to the university.
One of the residents’ favorite go-to techies is senior Joseph Mosqueda of Crossville, Tennessee.
Honors College Dean John Vile and publications coordinator Marsha Powers joined colleague Lyons and the students on the visit.
In addition to sharing about the Honors College’s assets, Vile told residents he often seeks tech support from the college’s students.
The next scheduled technology collaboration at AdamsPlace will be Wednesday, Feb. 25.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)