Public Release: 

Carstensen to receive GSA's 2014 Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology Award

The Gerontological Society of America

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Laura Carstensen, PhD, of Stanford University as the 2014 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 67th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 5 to 9 in Washington, DC. 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.

At Stanford University, Carstensen is the Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Professor in Public Policy, a professor of psychology, and the founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. She is a noted expert on socioemotional selectivity theory, a life-span theory of motivation. For more than twenty years, her research has been supported by the National Institute on Aging, and in 2005 she was honored with a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

With her students and colleagues, she has published more than 150 articles on life-span development. Carstensen has served as a mentor to a wide array of PhD students, as well as undergraduates and post-docs. She has advised many individuals who went on to academic careers both within and outside the U.S.

Her most current empirical research focuses on ways in which motivational changes influence cognitive processing. Carstensen is a fellow in a number of professional organizations including the Association for Psychological Science, the American Psychological Association and GSA. She has chaired two studies for the National Academy of Sciences, resulting in the noted reports "The Aging Mind" and "When I'm 64." She is a member of the MacArthur Foundation's Research Network on an Aging Society. She is also the 2014 recipient of GSA's Robert W. Kleemeier Award, and has previously earned GSA's Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award and Distinguished Career Contribution to Gerontology Award. She has additionally been selected as a Guggenheim Fellow and received Stanford University's Deans Award for Distinguished Teaching. Carstensen received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Rochester and a PhD in clinical psychology from West Virginia University. Carstensen is a GSA fellow, which represents the Society's highest class of membership.


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 branch, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.