The Gerontology Institute's spring award ceremony and annual picnic was held May 9 at Indian Creek Recreation Area. After a festive barbeque picnic and social hour, spring semester graduates of the gerontology certificate programs and the recipients of the Institute's annual outstanding student, faculty, alumni, and service awards were honored during the award ceremony.
Dr. Frank Whittington, Director of the Gerontology Institute, welcomed guests and expressed gratitude to family and friends for their support during the academic careers of the graduating students. He congratulated the students and then presented the Certificates in Gerontology. Danielle Hall-Wills who anticipates graduating summer semester with a B.A. in Sociology was awarded an Undergraduate Certificate. Baozhen Luo, Nancy Murray, and Michael Wyatt were awarded Graduate Certificates. Nancy holds a M.A. in Anthropology and Michael a M.S. in Urban Policy Studies, both from Georgia State. Baozhen plans to continue her studies as a doctoral student in Sociology.
The annual award presentations recognize students, faculty, and professionals for their outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the field of gerontology. The Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award was given to Robert Young who graduated last May with a B.A. in History and completed an Undergraduate Certificate in Gerontology in December. Baozhen Luo received the Outstanding Graduate Certificate Student Award and DaVette Taylor-Harris who graduated in December was presented the Outstanding Master's Student Award.
The Distinguished Faculty Award was presented to Dr. Sharon King, Assistant Research Professor in Gerontology, for her many contributions to the GSU gerontology programs and especially for her diverse and innovative research initiatives. Recognized for an outstanding career in health care and gerontology as a planner, provider, and teacher and mentor, Addie Sims was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. She currently serves as the Director of Grady Health System's 60 Plus Services. This year's Distinguished Alumni Award was given to Rebecca Stahr '00, principal and founder of Lifespring Environs, Inc, an interior design firm specializing in universal design living spaces. Rebecca was recognized for her efforts to educate professionals in the housing and building industries about the special needs of older people and for her involvement in key organizations nationwide that promote universal design.