WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) has chosen Jon Hendricks, Ph.D., of Oregon State University as the 2008 recipient of its Robert W. Kleemeier Award. This distinction is given annually to a GSA member in recognition for outstanding research in the field of gerontology.
The award will be given at GSA’s 61st-annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from Nov. 21-25, 2008 in National Harbor, MD. The actual presentation will occur on Sunday, Nov. 23, at 10 a.m. at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. The conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary interactions among clinical, administrative, and research professionals who specialize in the study of the aging process.
Hendricks is a fellow of GSA who also served as chair of its Behavioral and Social Sciences Section. From 1995-96, he was president of the Society’s educational branch, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. Hendricks authored the successful 1977 book “Aging in Mass Society: Myths and Realities” and, for more than three decades, he has been at the forefront of research on the sociology of aging.
Hendricks is also the editor of over three dozen books, as well as over 135 articles, chapters, and other periodicals in gerontology. He is the previous winner of GSA’s Kalish Innovative Publication Awards and the Distinguished Career Contribution Award. In 2004, he earned the Tibbitts Award from the Association of Gerontology in Higher Education, the highest honor in that field.
Hendricks introduced the idea of “chaos theory” to social gerontology in the mid-1990s by proposing that aging is not a linear function but an increasingly dynamic one that results in unpredictable change. “Joe’s work is one of the very few most creative and original contributions in the field,” said Toni Calasani of Virginia Tech in nominating Hendricks for the award.
Hendricks is also the founding dean of the Oregon State University Honors College, which he led from 1995. The college is one of only 12 degree-granting colleges of its kind in the United States, and the credentials of its students rank seventh in the U.S. News and World Report listing.
The Kleemeier Award was created in 1965 in memory of a former president of the Society whose contributions to the quality of life through research in aging were exemplary. The winner traditionally presents a lecture at the Annual Scienific Meeting the following year. The Kleemeier Award Lecture is traditionally one of the conference’s highlights.