(COLLEGE STATION, TX) — Marcia G. Ory, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health recently was selected co-recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology Award from the Gerontological Society of America.

The GSA states the “Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology Award is given to individuals who have fostered excellence in and had a major impact on the field by virtue of their mentoring, and whose inspiration is sought by students and colleagues.”

Dr. Ory, professor of social and behavioral health at the HSC-SRPH, is director of the school’s Aging and Health Promotion Program, a unit designed to enhance the health and well-being of older adults by bridging the gap between research and practice.

“Receiving this award is a great honor,” Dr. Ory said. “One of my greatest professional joys is to stimulate the careers of others. I consider mentoring an important aspect of any job, and encourage my colleagues at the Texas A&M Health Science Center to engage in an active mentoring relationship. The benefits to all will be substantial.”

Her mentoring of students and early careerists gained the attention of colleagues and the GSA.

“Not only is she a great resource for substantive material, she has helped me better define my career goals and identify concrete strategies for achieving them,” said David W. Coon, Ph.D., colleague and former mentee. “In sum, numerous students, new professionals and colleagues are extremely grateful to Marcia G. Ory for her inspiration, support and guidance, as well as her overall influence on the field of social gerontology. Dr. Marcia Ory embodies all the essential characteristics of an outstanding mentor, and augments these characteristics with a limitless energy and enthusiasm for the field.”

Dr. Ory is always looking for resources to recruit new investigators into the field of aging, such as the use of supplemental funding awards to help bring minority and disabled researchers into National Institutes of Health-supported research.

“Dr. Ory also remains committed to finding opportunities for minority researchers to encourage them to become part of the research network, such as collaborating with colleagues to secure minority supplement applications,” Dr. Coon said. “For example, Dr. Ory is currently directing an NIH-funded 21-site health maintenance consortium where her mentoring skills are already in evidence by having dedicated herself to furthering training experiences for minority researchers.”

— Rae Lynn Mitchell