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Home About Us Press Room Archived Press Releases 2013 Press Releases MacDonald Earns GSA’s 2013 Baltes Foundation Award

For Immediate Release
August 15, 2013

Contact: Todd Kluss
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(202) 587-2839

MacDonald Earns GSA’s 2013 Baltes Foundation Award

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — has chosen Stuart W.S. MacDonald, PhD, of the University of Victoria as the 2013 recipient of the Margret M. and Paul B. Baltes Foundation Award in Behavioral and Social Gerontology.

This distinguished honor, given annually, recognizes outstanding early career contributions in behavioral and social gerontology. Individuals who have received their doctorate within the last ten years are eligible. The award is given by GSA in conjunction with the Margret M. and Paul B. Baltes Foundation.

The award presentation will take place at GSA’s 66th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 20 to 24 in San Diego. 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.

MacDonald is an associate professor and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar in the Department of Psychology at the University of Victoria. His research focuses on cognitive aging and early identification of those at risk for cognitive decline and disease, such as Alzheimer's disease.

He examines patterns and predictors of cognitive decline in older adults, paying particular attention to variability, or inconsistency, in responses over time. His research suggests that variability in response profiles may be more sensitive than mean performance for early identification of those at risk of cognitive decline, dementia, or death. Recently he expanded this research to include variability in physiological function and brain activity.

MacDonald is a long-standing member and now co-investigator of the Victoria Longitudinal Study, and a collaborator of the Aging Research Center at the Karolinska Institute. He also leads the PREVENT study at the University of Victoria, the goal of which is to search for markers, both biological and behavioral, that may be present before the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease begin to show.

He and his team are now able to detect the first signs of decline up to eight to ten years in advance of diagnosis. With improved methods, he hopes to push back early detection even more. By focusing on markers of biological vs. chronological age, MacDonald’s research targets changes in critical physiological processes that may more accurately index the progression from normal to pathological cognitive aging. If his lab is successful at identifying early markers, they will be able to facilitate targeted intervention strategies very early on in the disease trajectory.

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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.