It is difficult to overstate the important role AAGE has played in my academic career ever since I joined the organization as a graduate student. It has not only been a place to network, but a place to be nurtured, a unique home for those of us who do the kind of work and ask the kind of questions that do not fit neatly into the standard frameworks of either gerontology or anthropology. Through AAGE, I have made lasting connections and friendships with people all over the world, from senior scholars and students.
My first encounter with AAGE was at the AAA meeting in San Jose in 2006. I remember the feeling of being overwhelmed at my first AAA meeting, and finding myself at a panel on aging organized by Jay Sokolovsky and Maria Vesperi. I was invited to dinner that night, and soon the nerves turned to exhilaration. I would soon be writing for Anthropology & Aging Quarterly, and a few years later, I became the Editor-in-Chief. At the 2010 AAGE dinner in New Orleans, we hatched plans for what would become the first book in the new Berghahn series on global aging, Transitions and Transformations: Anthropological Perspectives on Aging and the Life Course (2013). When another longtime AAGE member, Sarah Lamb, launched a new book series on aging with Rutgers University Press, she connected with me, and soon my first monograph appeared in that series too. I never felt very good at networking, but AAGE made it easy! Being part of AAGE is the best way for me to continue to stay connected to the people who, through their amazing work, are building a field that will only continue to grow in importance as the world ages.
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