Whitlatch Earns GSA’s 2018 M. Powell Lawton Award

For Immediate Release
August 30, 2018

Contact: Todd Kluss
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The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — has chosen Carol Whitlatch, PhD, FGSA, of the Center for Research and Education of the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging in Cleveland, Ohio, as the 2018 recipient of the M. Powell Lawton Award.

This distinguished honor recognizes a significant contribution in gerontology that has led to an innovation in gerontological treatment, practice or service, prevention, amelioration of symptoms or barriers, or a public policy change that has led to some practical application that improves the lives of older persons. It is sponsored by the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life’s Polisher Research Institute and is named in memory of M. Powell Lawton, PhD, for his outstanding contributions to applied gerontological research.

The award presentation will take place at GSA’s 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 14 to 18 in Boston, Massachusetts. 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.

Whitlatch is the assistant director and a senior research scientist at the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, a Cleveland-based nonprofit organization advancing support for older adults and caregivers. She also serves as an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Case Western Reserve University.

She has led cutting-edge research on dementia care and caregiving and has conducted innovative studies in applied gerontological work — advancing the theoretical understanding of the aging process, the practice of improving well-being, and the policies that surround these issues. She began her career examining the experience of family caregivers and the experience and perspective of people with dementia, as well as relationships between those with dementia and their caregivers. This work has been influential in the U.S. and Europe in providing an empirical foundation in person-centered care. In addition to her research, Whitlatch has played a role in policy discussions and has contributed to an increased understanding among policy makers about issues facing persons with dementia and their caregivers.

Whitlatch has published extensively, authoring dozens of journal articles, books, and book chapters. She has served on the editorial board of several journals in the field of gerontology and is a GSA fellow, which represents the Society’s highest category 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 5,500+ 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 unit, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education.

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