We’re redefining what’s age-appropriate.

Archana Raghavan

Pharm.D., Class of 2018

Bertha Rolfe

School of Pharmacy, Class of 1947

A dance between a 91-year- old and a 25-year- old isn’t something you see every day. The PALETTE program aims to change that in the name of promoting positive attitudes toward aging. By connecting health professions students and older adults through creative expression, PALETTE fosters meaningful relationships that redefine the way future clinicians perceive and interact with older adults, ultimately improving their delivery of care.


Program founder Sadie Rubin, M.S.S.W., is concerned we’ve been thinking about aging the wrong way for a long time. She wanted to create something new, so she reached out to Emily Peron, Pharm.D., in the VCU School of Pharmacy and Tracey Gendron, Ph.D., in the VCU Department of Gerontology. Their brainchild, PALETTE, gets participants to see each other as people through art and dance. Moreover, it connects our multidisciplinary campuses and schools in a new and exciting way.

Learn more about PALETTE at paletteprogram.org.

Explore VCU programs

$9.8M in research funding

See more facts and rankings »


Organically developing intergenerational relationships is at the center of the PALETTE program. None of the students or older adults in the pilot program had art or dance experience, but they all had a willingness to learn together. The experience is important because Archana doesn’t want to see her future patients as just science. She wants to see them as the human beings they are.

Explore VCU culture

Founded in 1898, Virginia’s oldest pharmacy school

See more facts and rankings »

Connect with us.