The Gerontological Society of America will award Barry Edelstein, Eberly Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology at West Virginia University, with its 2015 Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology Award at the annual meeting this November.

The award is given to individuals in the Society’s Behavioral and Social Sciences Section who have made a major impact on their prot�g�s and inspired students and colleagues.

Edelstein was nominated by Amy Fiske, associate professor of psychology at WVU, and Julie Wetherell, professor of psychology at the University of California, San Diego.

“Barry has made major contributions to the field, in part through his exceptional mentoring,” Fiske said. “Nearly every professional geropsychologist I know has a story about how they have been inspired by him. The opportunity to work with Barry was one of the main reasons I joined the faculty at WVU, and the mentoring I received from him as a junior colleague has contributed immeasurably to my career.”

Edelstein began working as a mentor 41 years ago when he joined WVU. Along with providing students with advice for their future course work, he also supervises their research and clinical work.

“I really enjoy working with my students,” Edelstein said.

One day a week, Edelstein goes to the Hopemont Hospital, a nursing home in Terra Alta, West Virginia. There, he works with graduate students who assess and develop treatment plans for residents that have various mental health issues.

Edelstein’s research mostly focuses on anxiety in older adults. He and his students compare how older and younger adults cope with anxiety. They also have been developing tests for anxiety in older adults.

“There are virtually (no tests) that have been developed for older adults, usually just young people,” Edelstein said. “Older adults tend to experience anxiety differently than younger adults; they show different symptoms.”

The Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology Award will be presented to Edelstein at the Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be from Nov. 18-22 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Founded in 1945, the Gerontological Society of America 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 5,500 members – is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers and the general public.



CONTACT: Devon Copeland, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences,

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