Community Partner Profile: Jan Abushakrah

Jan Abushakrah

Jan Abushakrah

•Portland Community College Gerontology Faculty Dept Chair, Advisor & Instructor
•PhD in Sociology with some coursework related to aging
•Case Worker, Old Age Assistance
•ADRC of Oregon Advisory Board

How She Became Interested in the Field of Aging

In her previous lives, she worked in the Old Age Assistance Program for the County of San Mateo, California, and taught sociology and directed the Women Studies Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she also received her PhD in Sociology. In the fall of 1980, ​s​he traveled around the world while teaching on Semester at Sea – a transformative process that turned her into a “citizen of the world.” Seizing an opportunity to work on an Education for Peace Project bringing together Israelis and Palestinians, ​s​he packed my bags for what she thought would be a year or two working on the project. ​She eventually moved on to direct the Palestine Human Rights Information Center in Jerusalem. ​15 years later, with her mother’s health failing – her family and she returned to her birthplace in Oregon. Soon thereafter, ​s​he was hired by PCC. She taught sociology, before moving full-time into Gerontology.

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