The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — has chosen Deborah T. Gold, PhD, of the Duke University Medical Center as the 2013 recipient of the Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology Award.
This honor is given to individuals who have not only fostered excellence in the field, but have made a major impact by virtue of their mentoring, and whose inspiration is sought by students and colleagues. To be eligible, the mentor must have had influence on graduate, undergraduate, and professional students as evidenced by the number and accomplishments of these mentees. The winner's influence on the next generation of gerontologists also may be evident through training programs, written materials associated with pedagogy, research supervision, or clinical training. Membership in GSA's Behavioral and Social Sciences Section also is required.
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 http://www.geron.org/annualmeeting for further details.
At Duke University, Gold is an associate professor of medical sociology in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Sociology, and Psychology and Neurosciences; director of the Postdoctoral Research Training Program and a senior fellow in the Duke Aging Center; director of the Undergraduate Program in Human Development; and director of the Leadership in an Aging Society Program. Gold's research focuses on the psychosocial consequences of chronic illness in late life. In particular, she has studied the impact of an exercise and psychosocial intervention on women with osteoporosis living in retirement communities as well as the impact of chronic pain on community-dwelling older women with osteoporosis.
She has had a unique and important role in mentoring dozens of students who successfully completed graduate degrees and went on to take prominent roles in the field of gerontology. She was recognized for her efforts as the 2009 recipient of Duke University's Outstanding Postdoc Mentor Award.
Gold currently serves as the chair of GSA's Task Force on Mentoring and has been instrumental in the development of numerous mentoring programs within the organization. She helped to develop GSA's Mentoring Consultancies, which pairs experienced researchers and teachers with emerging professionals in an informal setting. Furthermore, she worked with colleagues to launch the ongoing Behavioral and Social Science Fellows/Emerging Scholar and Professional Organization Mentoring Symposium at GSA's Annual Scientific Meeting to provide students and junior faculty with access to the expertise of more senior members of the GSA community. She also is a GSA fellow, which represents the Society's highest class of membership, and a former chair of GSA's Behavioral and Social Sciences Section.
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.
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