All sessions, meals, and breaks will be held at the Wyndham Garden State College, and all times are listed in Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Conference includes the following meals/snacks:

  • light refreshments during breaks
  • lunch on November 3 and 4
  • evening reception with hors d’oeuvres and beverages on November 3

Continental breakfast is available for hotel guests on November 4.

Thursday, November 3
Time Event

8:00–9:00 a.m.

Conference registration

9:00–10:00 a.m.

The Case for Artistic Activism & Age Positivity in Elder Care

Speakers: Meg LaPorte and Jordan Evans (co-founders of Art Against Ageism)

Learn how to promote and practice age positivity as Meg and Jordan lead participants in a conversation that highlights how our beliefs about aging impact health and well-being. Identify creative ways to help promote and view aging as a positive experience for all!

10:00–10:15 a.m.


10:15–11:45 a.m.

What You Need to Know — NATCEP Update

Speaker: Sheri Weidman, MSEd, state coordinator, Nurse Aide Training Program, Pa Department of Education

11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

Networking lunch

1:00–2:00 p.m.

Credentia: Testing Tips and Techniques to Ensure Student Success

Speaker: Jennifer Mankowski

2:00–2:15 p.m.


2:15–3:15 p.m.

Panel Discussion: Recommendations for Improving Resident Center Care in a Long-Term Care Nursing Facility


  • Lisa Valenti, director of staff development/NATP course coordinator, Berks Heim Nursing and Rehabilitation
  • Ashley Bennett, staff development coordinator, Pocopson Home
  • Erin Ulrich, regional training coordinator/NATCEP program coordinator & primary instructor, UPMC North Central Pa. Senior Communities
  • Amanda Ott, Certified Nursing Director LTC/NATCEP instructor and administrator/clinical educator, Guardian Healthcare

3:15–3:40 p.m.


3:40–4:40 p.m.

Breakout Session 1A
Technology Based Educational Method Lessons Learned

Speaker: Judy Rex

3:40–4:40 p.m.

Breakout Session 1B (prerequisite for Dementia Champion session)
Using the Dementia Friends Program to Help Your Students Raise Awareness of Dementia Patient Needs

Speakers: Anneliese Perry, Stacie Bonenberger

Dementia Friends is a global social movement established with the goal of changing the way people think, act, and talk about dementia. Developed by the Alzheimer’s Society in the United Kingdom, the Dementia Friends initiative is underway in Pennsylvania. By helping everyone in a community understand what dementia is and how it affects people, each of us can make a difference for people touched by dementia.

Goal of the session: The goal of Dementia Friends is to help all community members understand five key messages about dementia and commit to their own personal action.

To become a Dementia Friend, you join others in a one-hour Dementia Friends information session. The session will cover five key messages about dementia and touch on what it is like to live with dementia. As a Dementia Friend, you will turn your understanding into practical action that can help someone with dementia living in your community. The action can be as big or small as you choose, because every action counts!

5:00–7:00 p.m.

Happy Hour: Evening reception with hors d’oeuvres and beverages

Paint and Sip: Participants have the opportunity to join a guided paint and sip session during our evening reception. Guests will leave with a 12” X 12” painted sign for their home. This session is at no additional cost but preregistration is required. Additional supplies will not be available on site. 

Friday, November 4
Time Event

7:00–8:00 a.m

Continental breakfast (hotel guests only)

8:00–9:00 a.m

Promoting Non-Ageist Attitudes and Practices in Healthcare

Speaker: Janice Whittaker, MEd, BSN, RN, administrator and community liaison, Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, Penn State

9:00–9:20 a.m


9:20–10:45 a.m

Breakout Session 3A
Wits Workout — An Engaging, Interactive, Activity-Based Brain Health Session

Speaker: Deborah Allen

Wits Workout is an engaging and interactive brain health program for older adults that can be conducted in a variety of settings. Drawing on brain health and aging research, University of Illinois Extension developed Wits Workout to help professionals facilitate brain exercise classes. The Wits Workout can increase socialization, reduce isolation, and promote intellectual engagement in older clients, all of which complement current aging brain health research. 

9:20–10:45 a.m

Breakout Session 3B
Dementia Friends Pennsylvania Champion Training (prerequisite session required)

Speakers: Anneliese Perry, Stacie Bonenberger

The goal of Dementia Friends Champion Training is to equip volunteer Champions with the knowledge and activities necessary to host a Dementia Friends Information Session. Master Trainers will instruct Champions on how to prepare and will provide tips for delivering a successful session. Upon completion of the training, newly trained Champions are asked to register on the Dementia Friends Pennsylvania website and commit to providing four Information Sessions per year.

10:45–11:00 a.m


11:00 a.m.–noon

The Art and Science of Human Flourishing

Speaker: Molly Countermine, associate teaching professor of human development and family studies, Penn State

Join this session as Molly shares her pearls of wisdom about how we can be our best selves in all situations!


Lunch (registration required)

While reasonable efforts will be made to adhere to the advertised package, Penn State Conferences and Institutes reserves the right to substitute speakers and/or seminar content.