Gerontology Center Appoints New Leader

September 1, 2009

Dr. Martin Sliwinski, professor of human development and family studies, has been appointed director of Penn State’s Gerontology Center, effective August 14, 2009.

“Penn State’s Gerontology Center has a long history of research focused on adult development. Many of the people associated with the Gerontology Center are pioneers in the field of adult development and aging. The possibility of being a part of that was very exciting,” says Sliwinski.

As director, Sliwinski intends on enhancing ways to reach out to the elderly. “Pennsylvania has the second-oldest population of any state, but unfortunately, many of those people do not live in State College,” he says. “We need to find innovative methods to connect with seniors across Pennsylvania.” He plans on integrating commonly used technology (such as the internet, smart phones, and the gaming devices) into current data collection and intervention efforts.

“I am delighted to have Marty join the college, the department of human development and family studies, and the Gerontology Center. He’s in a great position to lead the center, bringing excellent expertise, strong research skills, a penchant for collaboration, and a high level of energy and enthusiasm,” says Dr. Nan Crouter, Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Dean of the College of Health and Human Development.

Sliwinski has significant experience in gerontology, statistics, and psychology, which includes over fifteen years of continuous funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Currently, he is the principal investigator on an NIA grant examining stress, aging, and working memory. His past research experience has focused on aging and its effects on cognitive functioning, and in the course of this research he has collaborated with many Penn State faculty members.

“Penn State is widely known for their interdisciplinary research,” says Sliwinski. “I’m looking forward to involving faculty from across the University to push our center in new and innovative directions.”

Sliwinski is editor of Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition. He has published many articles in gerontological journals and he has been invited to speak at numerous conferences and universities around the world.

Prior to joining Penn State, Sliwinski was a professor of psychology at Syracuse University and before that, an associate professor of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He received his B.A. in interdisciplinary studies from Georgetown University in 1986 and his Ph.D. in psychology from the City University of New York in 1992.

Housed within the College of Health and Human Development, the Penn State Gerontology Center promotes interdisciplinary research that explores the diversity and complexity of the process of human aging.

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Editors: Martin Sliwinski can be reached at mjs56@psu.edu or 814-863-9980. For additional information, please contact the College of Health and Human Development Office of College Relations at 814-865-3831 or healthhd@psu.edu.