February 25, 2009
When CNN reports on the world’s oldest person, they tend to rely on Guinness World Records, which Time Magazine in 1997 called the “official arbiter of longevity.” It just so happens that Robert Young, the Senior Consultant for Gerontology for Guinness World Records, lives and works right here in Atlanta. Just a few blocks away from CNN world headquarters, Young completed his Master’s thesis, entitled “African-American Longevity Advantage: Myth or Reality?,” at the Gerontology Institute at Georgia State University (founded in 1973, the Institute, located at One Park Place, is dedicated to the study of the aged and aging). And now Young has received national recognition for his groundbreaking work: on November 22, 2008 at National Harbor, Maryland, Young was awarded the Emerging Scholar and Professional Organization’s award for the Best Interdisciplinary Paper in Gerontology by a student member of the Gerontology Society of America (GSA). This prestigious award, decided by a committee of 22 reviewers, is the only nationwide student paper award (the others are for posters or specialized fields) awarded by the GSA open to all graduate gerontology students. Having brought home this award to GSU, Robert gives much of the credit for his recent success in gerontology to his mentors at the Gerontology Institute, including thesis advisor Dr. Frank Whittington and director of student activities Mary Mackinnon.