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Two professors to be inducted as fellows of the Gerontological Society of America
June 14, 2018

By: Katherine Prull '19

Associate professors Dr. Karen Zurlo and Dr. Emily Greenfield have been awarded fellow status through the Social Research, Policy, and Practice section of The Gerontological Society of America (GSA). Dr. Zurlo was the 2017 GSA recipient and will be inducted this year alongside Dr. Greenfield who was awarded the honor this year. This is the world's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. Both fellowships were unanimously approved by the GSA's Council due to Zurlo's and Greenfield's outstanding and continuing work in the field of gerontology. 

Given their extensive research in the field, this fellowship is apropos. Dr. Zurlo's research interests include gerontology, retirement, financial well-being, health, life course development, social welfare policy, psychosocial interventions, and international social work. Dr. Greenfield's research interests include aging, life course human development, social relationships and health, and supportive services for older adults and family caregivers. 

"I have been a member of GSA for the past ten years and am honored to be awarded the title 'Fellow'",  Zurlo shares. "I highly value the scholars I have met and the collaborations I have pursued through GSA. In 2015 I traveled with a delegation from GSA to Shanghai, China and presented at a conference there. My interest in older adults and their economic security has found a research home at GSA."

Zurlo conducts qualitative and quantitative research on older adults and retirement-related topics that include financial well-being, health, life course development, and intergenerational issues. One strand includes her dissertation research, which evaluates the mediating effects of control beliefs on the relationship between demographic characteristics of older adults and their financial well-being. The other strand includes international research assessing poverty, globalization, and the welfare state. This second strands incorporates her interests in global aging, poverty and social policy. 

Greenfield reflected on this award as well. “The Gerontological Society of America has been my professional organization since the very beginning of my own graduate training," Greenfield explains. "This makes it especially meaningful to become a GSA fellow. As a fellow, I hope to continue the value of ‘good scholars-good people,’ which characterizes the research excellence and generative spirit of so many accomplished and long-standing GSA members.”

Greenfield's research also aims to support efforts to improve social environments for diverse populations of older adults and families. Her areas of scholarly expertise include age-friendly community initiatives, aging-in-place supportive service programs, civic engagement in later life, and the lifelong effects of family violence in childhood. She uses a range of methodologies in her work, including secondary analysis of quantitative data, in-depth qualitative interviewing, and collecting new survey data. 

The GSA will be celebrating this accomplishment with the induction of Zurlo and Greenfield at the 70th Annual Scientific Meeting in November during the Section Luncheon Business Meeting and Awards Presentation. Congratulations to both of our oustanding professors for this great honor. 

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