A graduate student in West Virginia University’s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences has won a prestigious scholarship for her work and research with the elderly.

Mindi Spencer, a doctoral candidate in the Life-Span Developmental Program in WVU ’s Department of Psychology, is the recipient of a $10,000 AARP Scholar Award for the 2005-2006 school year.

Spencer was one of only 30 students named, from more than 170 applicants representing 100 colleges and universities across the nation.

The award, said Dr. JoNell Strough, associate professor of psychology and coordinator of the Life-Span Program at WVU , speaks both to Spencers abilities and the strength of WVU s psychology program in general.

Mindi’s receipt of this award is indicative of her prowess as a scholar and demonstrates that the students in the graduate training programs in the Psychology Department at West Virginia University are among the best in the country,Strough said.The award is nationally competitive and highly prestigious.

Spencer is a Charleston native and the daughter of Gary Spencer. She earned a bachelors in biology, a gerontology certificate and a masters in psychology, all from WVU .

The AARP , with more than 35 million members, is the leading non-profit membership and advocacy group for Americans aged 50 or older. It was formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons.