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Gene Cohen Presents Creative Age at Payne Stancil Lectureship - 2004

September 4, 2003

Dr. Gene Cohen, Director of the Center on Aging, Health & Humanities at George Washington University, spoke about the indomitable human spirit of life-long creativity to a multi-disciplinary crowd attending the 2003 Barbara Pittard Payne Stancil Lectureship and the 30th Anniversary Celebration of Gerontology at Georgia State. Holding his audience’s rapt attention, Cohen presented the idea that “advancing age could offer exciting opportunities for personal growth and profound satisfaction.” Drawing from his recent book, “The Creative Age: Awakening Human Potential in the Second Half of Life,” he also presented his own new conceptualization of adult developmental stages, focusing on late life growth.

In his positions of Professor of Heath Care Sciences and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at GWU, Dr. Cohen spends much of his time actively disseminating knowledge about aging to the media and regularly appearing on national television shows. He has co-founded the Creativity Discovery Corps to identify and preserve the creative accomplishment and rich histories of under-recognized older adults, launched SEA Change, a new public education program on aging targeting the young, and developed three new intergenerational board games that have received national recognition.

Dr. Cohen established the Center on Aging at the National Institute of Mental Health and served as its chief from 1975-1988. At the National Institute on Aging, he served as Acting Director and chaired the federal government’s Task Force on Aging Research, for which Institute Director, Dr. Frank Whittington, worked as Senior Research Policy Advisor while on leave from Georgia State in 1991-93.

Attendees enjoyed a welcoming reception in the Gerontology Institute’s offices, followed by a luncheon and Dr. Cohen’s lecture in the Student Center. Later that afternoon, Dr. Cohen met with Institute faculty and students for a roundtable discussion on careers in aging, describing several of his own creative endeavors at George Washington University.