Wayne State University

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A Tie for Winner of the 2016 Olson Memorial Award for Best Paper in Gerontology

Congratulations to pre-docs, Nasim Ferdows and Qijing Yu. The selection committee judged these papers to be in a dead heat for first place for this award. Both submissions were equally strong, well written, and have important and intriguing findings. Both winners will receive $500 as part of this award. Below are the titles and abstracts of their submissions. 
Again, congratulations to both Nasim and Qijing on this impressive achievement!

Healthy Aging after Age 65: A Life Span Health Production Function Approach 
Abstract: This paper examines the determinants of healthy aging using Grossman’s framework of a health production function. Healthy aging is produced using a variety of inputs, determined in early life, young adulthood, mid-life and later-life. A healthy aging production function is estimated using nationally representative data from the 2010 Health and Retirement Study on n=9,478 non-institutionalized seniors. Using a simultaneous equations mediation model we quantify how childhood factors contribute to healthy aging, both directly and indirectly through their effects on mediating adult outcomes. We find that favorable childhood conditions significantly improve healthy aging scores, both directly and indirectly, mediated through education, income, and wealth. We also find that good health habits have positive effects on healthy aging that are larger in magnitude than the effects of childhood factors. Our findings suggest that exercising, maintaining a proper weight, and not smoking can more than compensate for unfavorable conditions experienced as a child.

Socioeconomic Status Linked to Differences in Hippocampal Volume in Childhood 
 Abstract: The development of the hippocampus is affected by environmental factors that can be captured by an individual’s socioeconomic status (SES). It is unclear, however, whether the relation between SES and hippocampal volume is stable across age. We investigated the relation between hippocampal volume, estimated by rigorous manual demarcation with high reliability, and SES in children (N=31, 8-12 years-old) and young adults (N=32, 18-25 years-old). There was a positive relation between hippocampal volume and SES in the group of children, but not in the adults. Bigger hippocampal volume was also associated with better memory, suggesting that the SES-related hippocampal volume may contribute to individual differences in memory.

IOG Sweeps Top Awards at 2016 WSU Graduate & Post-Doc Research Exhibition

Christina Wong won 1st Place
Nasim Ferdows and Lingfei Tang won 2nd Place
Qijing Yu and Andria Norman won 3rd Place.

They competed among 125-150 graduate students from disciplines across campus and were recognized for their hard work, dedication, and ability to clearly communicate your work to others.

2015 Graduate Trainee Awards

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan $3,000 Dissertation Grant – Nasim Ferdows, Christina Wong

Elizabeth Olson Award for Best Gerontology Paper  – Mike Sugarman
Charles Gdowski Memorial Award – Mike Sugarman
Graduate Professional Tuition Scholarship for – Pamela May
Ross and Margaret Stagner Memorial Award  – Mike Sugarman
Gerald Rosenbaum Clinical Psychology Award  – Annalise Rahman-Filipiak

1st Place Presentation: Sheria Robinson for “The experiences of Black elders Managing Chronic Pain.”
1st Place Poster: Muzamil Arshad for his translational neuroscience poster, “Characterizing Age Related Differences in White Matter Microstructure.”

2014 Graduate Trainee Awards

Elizabeth Olson Award for Best Gerontology Paper – Annalise Rahman-Filipiak
John Teahan Memorial Award for exceptional clinical skills – Mike Sugarman

1st Place Presentation: Peng Yuan for “Prefrontal Cortex and executive Functions in Healthy Adults.”
1st Place Poster: Ana Daugherty for “Age, Sex and Regional Brain Correlates of Path Complexity in Virtual Water Maze Navigation.” This poster also took 3rd prize at the 2014 WSU Graduate Exhibition.