Institute Alumni

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Giving to the Institute of Life-Span Development and Gerontology

  • Scholarships and awards have been created by alumni, faculty, and friends in collaboration with the Institute of Lifespan Development and Gerontology to recognize outstanding students and to provide financial resources to help in their education.

The Dr. Harvey L. Sterns Scholarship was established in 2021 by colleagues and friends of Harvey L. Sterns, Ph.D., to honor his distinguished 50-year career with The University of Akron and as part of UA's We Rise Together Campaign. The scholarship reflects Dr. Sterns' passion for his field and for the UA students to whom he dedicated his career.

Dr. Sterns retired from UA in 2017 and participated in the Transition After Retirement Program for 3 years. In May 2021, he stepped away from his role as Director of the Institute for Life-Span Development & Gerontology (which he founded) and transition to Director Emeritus and Life Fellow of the Institute. Sterns also served UA as a faculty member in the Adult Development and Aging and Industrial/Organizational Psychology graduate programs, and has chaired the specialization in Industrial Gerontological Psychology. In addition, he has been a research professor of gerontology in Family and Community Medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University. 

Dr. Sterns received his A.B. in biology and psychology from Bard College in 1965 and his M.A. in experimental psychology from State University of New York at Buffalo in 1968. He earned his Ph.D. in life-span developmental psychology from West Virginia University in 1971, with additional training in gerontology at the University of Southern California and Pennsylvania State University.

Since joining UA in 1971, Dr. Sterns has become nationally and internationally recognized for his work in the psychology of adult development and aging, industrial gerontology, and research on cognitive intervention and aging. For five decades, he has addressed issues related to training and retraining, career development, retirement, and age discrimination in the workplace. He served as Co-Chair of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education Committee on Business and Aging, and served as Chair, Task Force on Accreditation and Member of the Executive Committee of the Association for Gerontology and Higher Education. He currently is President of the Board of Governors, Accreditation for Gerontology Education Council.

Dr. Sterns is a licensed psychologist in Ohio and a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, and Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. He has served as president of Division 20 Adult Development and Aging of the American Psychological Association, Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, and Sigma Phi Omega National Academic and Professional Society in Gerontology. He is a past board of trustee member of the American Society on Aging. He has served or serves on the editorial boards of International Journal of Aging and Human Development, Gerontology and Geriatric Education, Developmental Psychology, Psychology of Aging, Experimental Aging Research, The Gerontologist, Research on Aging, and Women and Aging.

He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Direction Home and the Akron Canton Area Agency on Aging and Disabilities. He chairs the city of Akron’s Senior Citizen Commission to the Mayor and City Council and has served as President of Jewish Family Services, as well as Chair and Trustee of Mature Services, Inc. (now Vantage Aging). His many accolades include being honored by Menorah Park Center for Senior Living with The Dr. Arnold L. Heller Memorial Award, which recognizes individuals and organizations in Northeast Ohio for their compassion, competence, and devotion to the field of gerontology.

Dr. Sterns has published extensively on cognitive intervention, work and retirement, career development, training and retraining, and self-management of career and retirement. He is the author of more than 100 journal articles and book chapters and has co-edited three books related to gerontology and geriatric education.


The Dr. Harvey L. Sterns Scholarship is open to University of Akron undergraduate students pursuing a certificate in gerontology in the Institute for Life-Span Development and Gerontology. Candidates must be in good standing with the University, have demonstrated need, and may be enrolled full or part time. The scholarship is renewable if the recipient continues to meet the above-stated criteria.

Selection of the recipient will be made by the University's Scholarship Committee.

 Funding Arrangements

The Dr. Harvey L. Sterns Scholarship is funded through contributions from alumni, colleagues, friends, family, and organizations. The first scholarship will be distributed in fall 2022. The number of scholarships, as well as timing and amounts, will be determined by the candidate’s need and availability of funds.



Additional contributions to The Dr. Harvey L. Sterns Scholarship are welcome, and all contributions shall be subject to the terms of this agreement. To donate to The Dr. Harvey L. Sterns Scholarship, click here to give online or contact Dr. Jennifer Stanley at 330-972-8376.

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