The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Eric R. Kingson, MPA, PhD, of Syracuse University's School of Social Work as the 2015 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 68th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 18 to 22 in Orlando, Florida. This conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators, and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process.
At Syracuse University, Kingson is a professor of social work and a faculty affiliate of the Aging Studies Institute. He is a past chair of the GSA's Social Research, Policy and Practice Section as well as a fellow within the Society. From 1984 to 1985, he directed GSA's Emerging Issues in Aging Project, leading to the publication (with Barbara Hirshorn and John C. Cornman) of "Ties that Bind: The Interdependence of Generations" (Seven Locks Press, 1986) and a companion report, "Investing in America's Families: The Common Bond of Generations" (1986), which was the basis of a hearing by the House of Representatives Special Committee on Aging.
Kingson previously served as policy advisor to two presidential commissions: the 1982-1983 National Commission on Social Security Reform and the 1994 Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform. A member of the organizing committee and then founding board member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, he was re-elected to its board in 2015. An active volunteer on the Obama Campaign's Retirement Security Policy Advisory Committee beginning in July 2007, he later served on the advisory committee to the Social Security Administration's transition team.
He is the founding co-director of Social Security Works and the founding co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Coalition, 300 national and state organizations dedicated to preventing Social Security cuts and laying the foundation for its expansion as an instrument of social justice. Currently on leave from these organizations, he is running for election to the House of Representatives in New York's 24th congressional district.
An author of articles and books for both academic and general audiences, Kingson studies, researches and writes about the politics and economics of the aging of America, retirement, interdependence of generations and the future of Social Security. His most recent book (co-authored with Nancy J. Altman) is "Social Security Works: Why Social Security Isn't Going Broke and Why Expanding It will Help Us All" (The New Press, 2015).
The Gerontological Society of America