Director of Scripps Gerontology Center receives national award

A softcover textbook with the title "Global Aging" sits on top of a stack of papers on a conference room table. A person whose face is not visible sits at the table, facing the book. She has one hand on the bottom of the book. The other hand sits on top of the first one. A laptop computer is visible in the left side of the background.

Suzanne Kunkel co-edited Global Aging: Comparative Perspectives on Aging and the Life Course, a text that provides a much-needed resource to faculty and introduces students to the topic of global aging.

Miami University’s Suzanne Kunkel received the 2015 Clark Tibbitts Award from the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education for her outstanding contributions to the advancement of gerontology as a field of study.

The award is the highest honor given by the association annually to educators, scholars and leaders in the field.

“Dr. Kunkel is recognized throughout the world as a leading scholar in aging and gerontological studies,” said Jim Oris, the associate provost for research and scholarship and dean of the Graduate School. “This is a fitting honor for one of our top leaders and scholars at Miami University, and we are proud of her accomplishments.”

Kunkel has served as director of the Scripps Gerontology Center since 1998. In addition to her leadership and scholarly work at the center, she has mentored a number of students while serving as a faculty member in the department of sociology and gerontology for the past 24 years.

Alumna Dawn Carr (Miami ’09) said, “As a doctoral student, Suzanne provided a supportive and loving environment, giving me the tools I needed to find my voice as a scholar and cultivate a passion for gerontological research.”

Kunkel is a respected researcher and scholar in areas of demography, global aging, long-term care needs of aging populations and the aging network. She has authored or edited nine books, 40 journal articles and book chapters, and more than 40 research reports and other publications. She has given more than 200 professional presentations.

In his introduction of Kunkel for the Tibbitts award, Frank Whittington of George Mason University lauded “… Suzanne Kunkel’s work as an observer and interpreter of the field of gerontology and as one of its foremost educators.”

Kunkel’s book, Aging, Society, and the Life Course, co-authored with Leslie Morgan and entering its 5th edition, has introduced countless students to the study of aging since 1998. Some of those students first exposed to gerontology through this textbook have subsequently earned advanced degrees and are now educating others about social gerontology.

Her recently published text Global Aging: Comparative Perspectives on Aging and the Life Course, co-edited with Frank Whittington and J. Scott Brown, is already providing a much-needed resource to faculty and will be introducing students to the topic of global aging in years to come.

Kunkel received the award from the association at its annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee, in February.

Written by Matt Cable, Coordinator of Research Dissemination & Communication, Scripps Gerontology Center, Miami University. Originally appeared on Miami University’s News and Events website.

Photos by Scott Kissell, Miami University Photo Services.

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