Stories Connecting Generations


SCG, to me, means many things. It means connecting with someone from a diverse generation. It is about interacting with strangers and allowing them to astonish us; it is practicing how to be curious and learning how to be a “free” listener. It is about transforming the stories we hear into forms of visual art.
— Manacy Pai

Manacy Pai is a co-founder of Stories Connecting Generations (SCG). She is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Kent State University. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Florida State University in 2008. Her research, teaching, and service interests are in the areas of social gerontology and medical sociology. Her current work assesses the correlates and consequences of cognitive decline in older adults. Manacy’s website

A conversation can be life changing. Connecting with someone from a diverse generation gives us the opportunity to learn more about ourselves, and each other. Through SCG, we are visually communicating stories as ways express and share these interactions in new ways. — Jessica Barness

Jessica Barness is a co-founder of Stories Connecting Generation (SCG). She in an Associate Professor in the School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University, and she received her MFA in Design from the University of Minnesota in 2012. Her work focuses on critical practices of design and issues of power and representation. Jessica’s website

When I was first introduced to this project, I was elated and eager to help. My job was to get our senior population excited about this Project. Well, I soon found out my task was not very hard at all. The senior participants loved the idea of sharing their deeply personal stories while being paired with a student that they didn’t realize at the time, would become friends after the project was complete. Each student sat and listened, engaged with their paired senior friend. The art produced was a one-of-a-kind original, portraying a beautiful story that needed to be told.  — Kelly Fogel

Kelly Fogel is a community team member for Stories Connecting Generation (SCG). She has dedicated her career to developing new and innovative ways to improve the quality of life of individuals in her community and beyond. From health and wellness to art, sales, fundraising, and community outreach. Her extensive professional background, combined with her passion for helping others, has empowered her to be an advocate for individuals and families who are experiencing a very delicate time in their lives. After personally experiencing hospice and the role it can have on an individual and their family, Kelly decided to bring her business expertise to the healthcare field. Currently, as a Provider Liaison at Crossroads Hospice, Kelly works with well over 100 organizations across northeast Ohio to deliver essential services, primarily to assisted living and long-term care facilities. In addition, Kelly fosters relationships with the residents of each facility by working with many individuals, as well as organizing group activities, events, and contests to boost morale.

Older adult participants come from a variety of community settings, including the Kenmore Senior Center, The Inn at CoalRidge in Wadsworth, Barberton Senior Center, and Medina Senior Center, all located in Ohio.

Students are undergraduate and graduate Visual Communication Design and Sociology majors at Kent State University. They were enrolled in the Glyphix Design Research Lab course during spring semesters 2022 and 2023.