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Home About Us Press Room Archived Press Releases 2013 Press Releases Parmelee Earns GSA’s 2013 M. Powell Lawton Award

For Immediate Release
August 15, 2013

Contact: Todd Kluss
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(202) 587-2839

Parmelee Earns GSA’s 2013 M. Powell Lawton Award

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — has chosen Patricia Parmelee, PhD, of the University of Alabama as the 2013 recipient of the M. Powell Lawton Award.

This distinguished honor recognizes a significant contribution in gerontology that has led to an innovation in gerontological treatment, practice or service, prevention, amelioration of symptoms or barriers, or a public policy change that has led to some practical application that improves the lives of older persons. It is sponsored by the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life’s Polisher Research Institute and is named in memory of M. Powell Lawton, PhD, for his outstanding contributions to applied gerontological research.

The award presentation will take place at GSA’s 66th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 20 to 24 in New Orleans. This conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators, and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process. Visit www.geron.org/annualmeeting for further details.

At the University of Alabama, Parmelee is the director of the Center for Mental Health & Aging and a professor in the Department of Psychology. She is internationally known for her work on quality of life and quality of care for chronically ill older persons. Her current research interests span  the interrelations of physical and mental health, with particular emphasis on associations among pain, disability and mental health among chronically ill older adults; quality of long-term care, and particularly staffing issues in residential care settings; and interventions to support family caregivers.

Parmelee’s work on the intersection of pain and depression among older adults, especially among those diagnosed with osteoarthritis, has shaped the fields of gerontology, psychology, and medicine in very significant ways. Her focus on the daily processes of pain and well-being has made unique contributions to the understanding of how chronic pain influences mental health on a day-to-day basis.

Parmelee is a GSA fellow, which represents the Society’s highest class of membership, and a fellow of the American Psychological Association.  She previously held positions at the Emory University School of Medicine and the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Parmelee also has served as the vice president for outcomes management at Genesis Health Ventures, a multi-state long-term care corporation; as the associate director of research and senior research psychologist at the Philadelphia Geriatric Center; and as an associate professor of clinical epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

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The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,400+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

Click here for a printable PDF version of this press release.

Mildred M. Seltzer Distinguished Service Recognition

Presented to C. Joanne Grabinski, PhD, Eastern Michigan University, and Mary Alice Wolf, PhD, Saint Joseph University.

This award honors colleagues who are near retirement or recently retired. Recipients are individuals who have been actively involved in AGHE through service on committees, as elected officers, and/or have provided leadership in one of AGHE’s grant-funded projects.

Administrative Leadership Award

Presented to Tammy M. Bray, PhD, Oregon State University

This award honors administrators on AGHE member campuses who have made exceptional efforts in support of gerontology or geriatrics education.

David A. Peterson Gerontology & Geriatrics Education Best Paper of the Volume Award

Presented to Nina M. Silverstein, PhD, University of Massachusetts Boston; Elizabeth Johns, MS, University of Massachusetts Boston; and Judith A. Griffin, MA, MS, University of Massachusetts Boston, for the article “Students Explore Livable Communities.” Honorable mention is given to Emily J. Robbins, MS, Miami University; Jennifer M. Kinney, PhD, Miami University; and Cary S. Kart, PhD, Miami University, for the article “Promoting Active Engagement in Health Research: Lessons Learned from an Undergraduate Gerontology Capstone Course.”

The purpose of this award is to recognize excellence in scholarship in academic gerontology in AGHE’s official journal, Gerontology & Geriatrics Education.

Graduate Student Paper Award

Presented to Deborah Gray, MBA, University of Massachusetts Boston, for the paper “Weight and Wealth: The Relationship between Obesity and Net Worth for Pre-Retirement Age Men and Women.”

This award acknowledges excellence in scholarly work conducted by an AGHE Annual Meeting student attendee.

Book Award for Best Children’s Literature on Aging

Presented to Caitlin Dale Nicholson and Leona Morinn-Nelson for “Niwechihaw/I help” in the primary reader (pre-K to 2nd grade) category, and Ann Grifalconi and Jerry Pickney for “Ain’t Nobody A Stranger to Me” in the elementary reader (3rd to 5th grade) category.

This award recognizes portrayals of meaningful aging in children’s literature.