Stahl Earns GSA’s 2012 Donald P. Kent Award


For Immediate Release
August 13, 2012

Contact: Todd Kluss
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Stahl Earns GSA’s 2012 Donald P. Kent Award

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — has chosen Sidney M. Stahl, PhD, as the 2012 recipient of the Donald P. Kent Award.

This distinguished honor is given annually to a GSA member who best exemplifies the highest standards for professional leadership in gerontology through teaching, service, and interpretation of gerontology to the larger society. It was established in 1973 in memory of Donald P. Kent, PhD, for his outstanding leadership in translating research findings into practical use.

The award presentation will take place at GSA’s 65th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 14 to 18 in San Diego. 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.

Stahl retired in April 2012 from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), where he served as the chief of the Individual Behavioral Processes Branch within the Behavioral and Social Research Program. In this capacity, he was instrumental in determining and establishing the NIA’s national research agenda on processes linking health and behavior, cognitive functioning, emotional well-being, human factors, and integrative approaches to the study of social and psychological influences on health and well-being over the life course.

He also was instrumental in creating the NIA’s Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research program, which has helped hundreds of new scholars become independent researchers in minority aging. Stahl was one of the first to use this type of mentoring model at the National Institutes of Health and it has been explicitly copied by several other institutes because of its success.

Stahl additionally has worked to foster programs of research in the identification, prevention, and treatment of elder abuse. His expertise was recognized when he was asked to brief then U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno on the national research agenda in this area in 2000. Currently, he serves as an expert consultant to the U.S. Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging in implementing the portion of the Affordable Care Act that creates an Elder Justice Coordinating Council. The council is tasked with coordinating activities throughout the federal government on elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. 

Prior to joining the NIA, Stahl was a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Purdue University. He received a PhD in sociology from the University of Illinois. Stahl 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 5,400+ 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 Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education.


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