Center for Generational Studies

  • Elderly people sitting around table smiling.
  • Elderly man and younger woman shaking hands after chess match.
  • Event of generational studies.
  • People in line getting food.

What is the Center for Generational Studies?

The Center for Generational Studies (CGS) is a research center of the University of South Alabama (USA) that was founded in 2011 through a partnership with Via Health Fitness and Enrichment Center. The Via Center is a community-based, multi-purpose center primarily serving older adults with programming that facilitates the practice of preventative healthcare, physical fitness, continuous learning, socialization, and recreation.  As a partner in the CGS, the Via Center implements intergenerational programming  and serves as a “living laboratory” to research and create solutions for similar issues (health, technological innovation and social connections) among youth, older adults and families. These intergenerational programs serve more than 400 older adults and youth.  The CGS has additional valuable partnerships with community-based agencies including:

  1. the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission – Area Agency on Aging, sponsor of the annual Legacy Leadership Institute that has trained more than 300 seniors as advocates and volunteers;
  2. the AHEPA 310 Foundation, creator of the AHEPA Scholarship Program
  3. the Gulf States Health Policy Research Center that sponsors current research on intergenerational social networks and health.  The CGS seeks to build collaborations among Community and University partners to bring a life span and intergenerational focus to research. 

Faculty members interested in this area of research are encouraged to apply to become Generations Faculty Fellows; students working in these areas of research or programming are encouraged to seek recognition as Generations Scholars. Information:

Current Research at the CGS (2018-present)

The Center for Generational Studies is currently partnering with the University of Georgia, funded by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The project will develop, test, and implement disaster mitigation strategies in the community of Bayou la Batre AL. The CGS researchers will conduct a social network analysis and use CBPR methods of data collection, analysis, and community-based training related to disaster management for Cambodian and Laotian communities.