Shannon Jarrott, director of research for Adult Day Services, director of intergenerational programs, and associate professor of human development in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has received the university's 2013 Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence.

Established by the university's Commission on Outreach and International Affairs with the support of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence is presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions by Virginia Tech faculty members who have extended the university's outreach mission throughout the commonwealth, the nation, and the world. Recipients are nominated by their peers, receive a $2,000 cash prize, and are inducted into the university's Academy of Outreach Excellence.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1999, Jarrott led the initiative to create the award-winning Neighbors Growing Together intergenerational program, which brings together preschool children who attend the Child Development Center for Learning and Research and elders in the university’s Adult Day Services program. As a university-based, shared-site initiative, the program is the only one of its kind in the country.

Jarrott has earned an international reputation for her initiatives to use intergenerational strategies to meet community needs. She researches and disseminates evidence-based practices to enhance client services, student learning, and community-based programs. Jarrott’s research focuses on intergenerational community building, which she has supported locally, nationally, and globally through her instruction and scholarship.

Jarrott’s most recent grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture will enable her to study the feasibility of extending the benefits of intergenerational relationships to children beyond their time at the program sites. By collaborating with Extension and 4-H representatives, the study will enhance the sustainability of intergenerational programming in several locations.

Jarrott is widely viewed as an expert in intergenerational programming and has led workshops and webinars for practitioners around the world.  She readily gives of her time to professional organizations that serve older adults, such as Generations United, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, and the National Adult Day Services organization. She is a current or recent member on community advisory boards for groups that provide long-term care.

“Shannon is a distinguished scholar who has been devoted to research and direct evidence-based programming that brings elderly people together with younger people to benefit the elderly, youth, and society,” said Anisa Zvonkovic, professor and department head in human development. “I can think of no more widespread issue. Her work has a clear impact on individual and societal improvement.”

Jarrott earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis and her master’s degree and Ph.D. from Penn State.



Written by Catherine Doss.

Share this story