Zarit’s Schmitt Russell lecture to discuss family care

March 2, 2009

Dr. Steven Zarit, professor and head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, will present the 2009 Pauline Schmitt Russell Research Lecture at Penn State.

Zarit’s lecture, titled "Family Care in a Changing World," will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, March 16 in the Bennett-Pierce Living Center, 110 Henderson Building. The event, sponsored by the College of Health and Human Development, is free and open to the public.

Zarit has been described as a "pioneer and a founder of the field of clinical gerontology." He was one of the first researchers to study the burden Alzheimer’s or dementia patients have on family care givers. Zarit has shown that it is possible to predict the onset of disability through the use of psychological measures, and he has developed clinical models that are aimed at improving the health care and living conditions of older adults. His research has led him to publish over 100 works over the last ten years, including several books.

Zarit has maintained this impressive research agenda while serving as head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies since 2003. He also serves as associate editor of the journal Aging and Mental Health. He has received numerous honors and awards, including the 2004 M. Powell Lawton Award from the Gerontological Society of America and the 2006 M. Powell Lawton Award from Section II of Division 12 of the American Psychological Association.

Zarit received his B.A. in political science from the University of Michigan, his M.A. in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania, and his Ph.D. in human development from the University of Chicago, where he also completed postdoctoral studies. He came to Penn State in 1986.

The Schmitt Russell Lecture is delivered each year by the most recent recipient of the Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Research Career Award, which recognizes a faculty member for outstanding research contributions throughout his or her career that have also significantly influenced his or her discipline. The award was created through an endowment by Leo P. Russell, a 1941 industrial engineering graduate, in honor of his late wife, Pauline Schmitt Russell, who received her Home Economics degree from Penn State in 1948.

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Editors: For additional information, please contact the College of Health and Human Development Office of College Relations at 814-865-3831 or healthhd@psu.edu.