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Article: the Work of Dr. Patrick Arbore

Our thanks to alum Joyce Ciriales for finding this article in the Health section of a Philadelphia paper about the work of our very own Dr. Patrick Arbore:


Old people can be bullies. Here’s what to do about it

Most of us probably think of kids when we think of bullies. Patrick Arbore thinks of an old man he watched trip a frail old woman in the senior facility where they both lived. He also thinks of a group of women elsewhere who taunted a new resident  for speaking Spanish, and of an elderly resident who made a manager’s life so miserable that she quit. The bully smiled broadly when the manager announced her resignation.

“That teenage boy who was the terror in your high school grew up and he just got better at it,”  said Arbore, who spoke Thursday at Philadelphia Corporation for Aging‘s Regional Conference on Aging, a three-day event that drew about 600 professionals who work with older adults and their families.

Arbore, who grew up on a Western Pennsylvania dairy farm, also thinks of his father and grandmother, who he says were bullies. Exposure to them made him repress his own anger, and he became depressed and suicidal.  But his experience also convinced him that both victims and bullies deserve compassion.

“Bullying is taught,” he said, and it often stems from fear and inadequacy. “People who bully have an intense desire to be in control.  What that reveals underneath is insecurity,” said Arbore, founder and director of the Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention and Grief Related Services at the Institute on Aging in San Francisco.

Arbore said he confronted the man he’d seen trip his fellow resident.  She’d managed not to fall, but her lunch went flying.  She cried when she got to her table.  The man refused to meet Arbore’s eyes and denied that he had done anything.  Arbore talked to him again later and his anger spilled out.  He hated the woman, he said.  He hated old people and he didn’t want to be like her.

The man’s actions revealed his “internalized ageism,” Arbore said.

Americans have gotten better at acknowledging bullying in schools, but they’ve been slower to confront the reality of bullying among seniors, Arbore said.  Ten to 20 percent of seniors reported exposure to aggression by other older adults, usually verbal abuse, one study found. He thinks the behavior is underreported.  Seniors are afraid to tell, and staff may be afraid that bullies will focus on them.  The bullies may also be cunning enough to ingratiate themselves with managers.

Senior victims are often smaller and frailer than their bullies.  Some may have dementia or anxiety, or even a history of abuse. Bullying often occurs when the staff isn’t watching, in dining rooms where newcomers are shunned at certain tables and communal areas where a bully controls the television.  Even Facebook can be a forum for bullying and exclusion.

The abuse may leave victims depressed and isolated.  Arbore said bullies are dangerous because they inspire more bullying and fuel hate.

While some victims can learn to be more assertive, others must rely on staff to create an environment where everyone knows that bullying is unacceptable, Arbore said.

Bullies often have no idea how their actions affect others, he said.  Empathy can be taught. Sometimes it’s helpful for a staff member to mediate a discussion between bully and victim, concluding with the bully agreeing to stop.

Staff, he said, can “teach that bully that there are other people  and it’s OK if they are different than you are, and you’re not in charge of the moral compass.”


Welcome Susan Monahan

Susan 1

Many will recognize Susan Monahan, formerly of Mission College, and a dedicated counselor who is responsible for so many students’ successful transfers from community college to a bachelor’s program.  It is our great fortune that she’s now working for us, focusing on making sure that residents and employees in the South Bay know about our evening programs (especially those at Mission College).  We’re thrilled to have her on board!

Susan takes an authentic interest in each person she meets and is a solution-oriented professional who encourages students (and everyone else) to focus on goals and ways of achieving them.  She inspires students with the confidence to know that these are within reach.  We’re proud to know her and to be partnering with her to bring more opportunities to students who are considering a bachelor’s completion… and beyond!

Her dedication makes a real difference in people’s lives; she fits right into the NDNU legacy and Mission to promote social justice and community engagement.  Welcome, Susan!

Campus Events this Week

(This is pretty awesome!)

Career Opportunities

Peninsula Family Service

Site Coordinator, Older Adult Services

Peninsula Family Service strengthens the community by providing children, families, and older adults the support and tools to realize their full potential and lead healthy, stable lives.


The Site Coordinator job duties will encompass both wellness activities and documentation/reporting tasks at the center. Daily activities for this position include: linking clients to center and community activities and services that promote positive health and well-being, providing administrative support for all Older American Act, foundation grants and City- sponsored programs at the center and compiling and monitoring data for reports, preparing reports, preparing monthly newsletter/calendar, marketing materials and general clerical duties.  This position is full-time and reports to the Site Director.

See full job description and how to apply here.

Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center

Community Engagement Specialist

The Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center is a communication and dispute resolution nonprofit organization serving San Mateo County for over 30 years. We are a dynamic organization with a team of 25-30 highly skilled staff and over 150 dedicated volunteers. We partner with individuals, groups, and institutions to empower people, build relationships, and reduce violence through collaborative and innovative processes.


The Engagement Specialist will focus on supporting numerous projects within the organization that focus on community engagement, outreach, facilitation, and providing administrative support. This position will work closely with external partners including the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, San Mateo Police Department and representatives from local government. The Engagement Specialist will act as a bridge between PCRC and the numerous communities within the Peninsula that we serve. Reports directly to PCRC’s Manager of Engaging Communities.

Click here for full job description.

To Apply: Please send your resume and cover letter in pdf format NO LATER THAN Friday, September 22, 2017 at 5:00 PM to: Human

Please include “Community Engagement Specialist” in the subject line of your email.

Internship and Community Engagement Fair. SAVE THE DATE!

Community Engagement Fair

A Reason to Remember

LibraryThe Library and the Dorothy Stang Center have collaborated to bring A Reason to Remember, a traveling exhibit developed by the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, to the Library from August 1st to September 29th.  The exhibit presents victims and survivors of the Holocaust through the stories of five Jewish families living in Roth, Germany.  In collaboration with Professor Miriam Zimmerman, the Library is hosting a panel discussion on September 15th from 2 pm to 4:30 pm.

I visited the exhibit this week and took the above photo.  It is well worth visiting!

Fall Welcome

FallWelcome to fall classes!

Logistics first:  Please check to make sure that you have your syllabus and your text book, have completed your first night assignment, and that you know where your classroom will be!  Fall Term I classes begin this week starting tomorrow, August 28!

Welcome to everyone, those returning with just a few classes to graduation, those who are just getting started, and everyone in-between.  We now have students in Human Services and Intensive Business in classes at four locations:  in Belmont, at Canada College, at Mission College, and in Tracy.  Last year was perhaps our largest graduating class ever, with 90 students graduating, almost evenly divided between Human Services and Intensive Business students.   We are thrilled now to welcome so many new students and look forward to watching our communities on each campus grow as more and more learn about and are welcomed into our community.  You are each on uniquely individualized journeys and we are committed to working together to support your academic and professional goals.

KMThis term we welcome Dr. KeMiT Mawakana.  Professor Mawakana clerked for the United States District Court of the District of Columbia prior to entering private practice where he represented Fortune 500 companies in complex civil litigation.  He has founded, or served as general counsel, for multiple companies and organizations including for-profit and non-profit entities.  In academia, he has taught at Georgetown University Law Center and the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law.  He is nationally acclaimed expert in the field of Contract Law, and has worked extensively with underserved communities and small businesses in organizing and transactional matters.  He will be teaching our Legal Environment of Business class at the Canada campus.

KJGWe also welcome Dr. Kimberley Garth-James, who has been teaching in the graduate and day business programs, but who joins the evening program for the first time this fall.  Dr. Garth-James has been a public servant for about 20 years, working as a consultant and in various roles on the California Governor’s Office Criminal Justice Planning and the State Senate (Appropriations, Ethics and Joint Committees on Penal Code and Prisons); the Department of Defense and US Embassy (Immigration Visa) in London, UK; as a consultant to the US Department of Justice (OJP) and Independent Observer of Prison Industries; a Victims’ Policy Advisor, US Sentencing Commission; and a Commissioner for the Human Rights/Fair Housing Commission in California.  She is also an international speaker on public-private partnerships and eLearning, has worked with the United States on human rights policy, and is the author of three books and multiple articles.  Dr. Garth-James will be teaching Managing Cultural Diversity at our Tracy campus.

Dr. Mawakana and Dr. Garth-James join a wonderful team of professors, many of whom have taught in Human Services and Intensive Business for many years (even decades!):  Dr. Tish Davis-Wick, Dr. Patrick Arbore, Ralph Barsi, Nellis Freeman, Dr. David Hua, Barbara Kapan, Dr. Dyanne Ladine, Dr. Sandra Larragoiti and Dr. Luis Reynoso.  Together, we are thrilled to welcome you to the fall semester and we look forward to learning from and with each other.

Education can be life changing; both an opportunity and a gift.  At NDNU, we are part of a long legacy that supports accessibility to education through social justice and community engagement.  You will see the values of awareness, understanding, freedom, wisdom, critical thinking, empathy, and inclusivity celebrated and embodied in each class and – even more importantly – will see classroom lessons applied for good in our neighborhoods, organizations, and broader world.  In a time where many of these values feel threatened by the tragic events that populate both the news and our experiences, we remain committed to  deepening our understanding, increasing our own consciousness, and supporting each of you in the achievement of your unique personal, academic, and professional goals.

Again, a warm welcome from everyone in the Professional Studies Program,

Dr. Therese Madden, Judy King, Dr. Tish Davis-Wick, and all of our faculty.