We foster collaboration among behavioral and social scientists, physicians, nurses, biologists, psychologists, social workers, educators, economists, policy experts, practice leaders, those who study the humanities and the arts, and many other scholars and researchers in aging. We believe the intersection of research from diverse areas is the best way to foster ingenuity, achieve the greatest impact, and promote optimal experiences of aging.

CEO Blog

  • Your Hard Work Rewarded: The Scholarship Continues on GSA’s Meeting Platform
    by James Appleby
    November 7, 2020

    To the 4,000+ researchers, clinicians and educators who’ve joined us so far for the GSA Annual Scientific Meeting Online: Thank you for making a difference. In the middle of a pandemic, the science and insights you presented moved the field forward. You made the meeting a success and paved the way for GSA to host more online conferences for you in the future should the need arise. The content on the meeting platform will be accessible through the end of this year. (We’re still accepting new registrations through the end of the year, too.) This new format brought a valuable alternative to in-person meetings. Chief among the benefits is the easy access to so much scholarship.

  • New: Engage in GSA Meeting Presenter Discussions (Live Q&A with Speakers)
    by James Appleby
    November 2, 2020

    As we countdown to the kickoff of the live portion of the 2020 GSA Annual Scientific Meeting on Wednesday, November 4, please be sure to select which of the Presenter Discussions you wish to attend and “favorite” them so they will appear in your customized daily schedule. There are multiple ways to explore the Presenter Discussion schedule; we encourage you to visit the Presenter Discussion tile on the meeting home page to view the full schedule.

Stay Connected

GSA 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting Online

GSA Connect

GSA offers its members exclusive access to interactive professional networking. This tool encourages online resource sharing, discussion of hot topics in the field, and other ways to collaborate with your GSA peers.

  • Membership Directory
    Members can find each other by name, institution, section, fellow status, and more.
  • Interest Groups
    GSA has many interest groups that are formed around a topic or issue that cuts across disciplines.

The Gerontological Society of America Congratulates 2020 Awardees

For Immediate Release
May 27, 2020

Contact: Todd Kluss
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(202) 587-2839

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the country’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — is proud to acknowledge the work of 30 outstanding individuals through its prestigious awards program.

GSA salutes outstanding research, recognizes distinguished leadership in teaching and service, and fosters new ideas through a host of awards. Nominated by their peers, the recipients’ achievements serve as milestones in the history and development of gerontology.

The award presentations will take place at GSA’s 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 4 to 8 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators, and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process. Visit for further details.


Donald P. Kent Award
Recipient: David J. Ekerdt, PhD, FGSA, of the University of Kansas
This award is given annually to a GSA member who best exemplifies the highest standards for professional leadership in gerontology through teaching, service, and interpretation of gerontology to the larger society.

Robert W. Kleemeier Award
Recipient: Matt Kaeberlein, PhD, FGSA, of the University of Washington
This award is given annually to a GSA member in recognition for outstanding research in the field of gerontology.

Margret M. and Paul B. Baltes Foundation Award
Recipient: William J. Chopik, PhD, of Michigan State University
This award acknowledges outstanding early career contributions in behavioral and social gerontology. This award is given by GSA in conjunction with the Margaret M. and Paul B. Baltes Foundation.

M. Powell Lawton Award
Recipient: Sara J. Czaja, PhD, FGSA, of Weill Cornell Medicine
This award honors contributions from applied gerontological research that have benefited older people and their care. This award is sponsored by the Abramson Senior Care’s Polisher Research Institute.

Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Contributions to Healthy Aging
Recipient: Karl Pillemer, PhD, FGSA, of Cornell University
This award recognizes instances of practice informed by research and analysis, research that directly improved policy or practice, and distinction in bridging the worlds of research and practice. This award is funded by the New York Community Trust through a generous gift from the Maxwell A. Pollack Fund.

Minority Issues in Gerontology Outstanding Mentorship Award
Recipient: Roland J. Thorpe, Jr., PhD, FGSA, of Johns Hopkins University
This award recognizes outstanding commitment and dedication to mentoring minority researchers in the field of aging.

Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Research Award
Recipient: Marie Boltz, PhD, GNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN, of Penn State College of Nursing
This award is presented to a GSA member who has a record of outstanding and sustained contribution to geriatric nursing research

Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education

Clark Tibbitts Award
Recipient: Jan Abushakrah, PhD, FAGHE, of Portland Community College
This award is given to individual or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of gerontology and/or geriatrics education.

Hiram J. Friedsam Mentorship Award
Recipient: Karen Kopera-Frye, PhD, MPA, FGSA, FAGHE, of New Mexico State University
This award recognizes individuals who have contributed to gerontological and/or geriatrics education through excellence in mentorship to students, faculty, and administrators.

Distinguished Faculty Award
Recipient: Mary W. Carter, PhD, of Towson University
This award recognizes persons whose teaching stands out as exemplary, innovative, of impact, or any combination thereof.

Rising Star Early Career Faculty Award
Recipient: Laurinda Reynolds, MA, of American River College
This award recognizes new faculty whose teaching and/or leadership stands out as impactful and innovative.

David A. Peterson Award
Recipients: Brenda H. Vrkljan, PhD, of McMaster University; Amanda Whalen, BA, of McMaster University; Tara Kajaks of McMaster University; Shaarujaa Nadarajah of McMaster University; P.J. White, PhD, of McMaster University; Laura Harrington, PhD, MBA, of McMaster University; Parminder Raina, BSc, PhD, CAHS, of McMaster University
For the article “Creating an Intergenerational University Hub: Engaging Older and Younger Users in the Shaping of Space and Place”
This award honors excellence in scholarship in academic gerontology and/or geriatrics for an article in a volume of Gerontology & Geriatrics Education.

Behavioral and Social Sciences Section

Distinguished Career Contribution to Gerontology Award
Recipient: Jutta Heckhausen, PhD, FGSA, of the University of California, Irvine
This award recognizes career contributions that have articulated a novel theoretical or methodological perspective or synthesis that addresses a significant problem in the literature.

Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology Award
Recipient: Karen Fingerman, PhD, FGSA, of the University of Texas at Austin
This award is given to an individual who has fostered excellence in, and had a major impact on, the field by virtue of their mentoring, and whose inspiration is sought by students and colleagues.

Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award
Recipients: Deborah S. Carr, PhD, FGSA, of Boston University
For the book, “Golden Years? Social Inequality in Later Life”
Recipients: David W. Eby, PhD, FGSA, of the University of Michigan; Lisa J. Molnar, PhD, FGSA, of the University of Michigan; Renée M. St. Louis, MPH, of the University of Michigan
For the book, “Perspectives and Strategies for Promoting Safe Transportation Among Older Adults”
Recipients: Hans-Werner Wahl, PhD, FGSA, of Heidelberg University; Denis Gerstorf, PhD, FGSA, of Humboldt University Berlin
For the article, “A conceptual framework for studying COntext Dynamics in Aging (CODA)”
This award recognizes insightful and innovative publications on aging and life course development in the behavioral and social sciences in two categories: (1) Book Category and (2) Article Category.

Biological Sciences Section

Nathan Shock New Investigator Award
Recipients: Isabel Beerman, PhD, of National Institute on Aging; Morgan E. Levine, PhD, of Yale University
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to new knowledge about aging through basic biological research.

Social Research, Policy, and Practice Section

Elaine M. Brody SRPP Thought Leader Award
Recipient: Robert B. Hudson, PhD, FGSA, of Boston University
This award acknowledges outstanding career contributions in social research, policy, and practice.

Carroll L. Estes SRPP Rising Star Award
Recipient: Cal J. Halvorsen, PhD, MSW, of Boston College
This award acknowledges outstanding early career contributions in social research, policy, and practice.


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 5,500+ 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 section, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education.

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