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Doolen Scholarships awarded to continue studies in gerontology

6/3/2013 | Tim Gilles, University-wide Student Programs | 217-333-2030;

[ Email | Share ] CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Two University of Illinois graduate students have been named the 2013-2014 Paul D. Doolen Graduate Scholars for the Study of Aging.

Erin Olson, of Champaign, and Jessica Wilson, of Chicago, will receive $3,500 each to continue their studies in gerontology.

Olson, who won in the behavioral-social sciences category, is enrolled in the College of Applied Health Sciences and is pursuing a doctorate in kinesiology and biobehavioral health.

Her research is focused on physical activity behavior in persons with Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome by modeling how self-efficacy and self-regulatory capacity affect physical activity behavior over time.

Olson received her bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science from Colorado State University and her master’s in exercise, nutrition and eating behavior from George Washington University.

Wilson, who won in the biological-biomedical sciences category, is enrolled in the College of Medicine and is pursuing an M.D./Ph.D. in pharmacology.

Her research is in the field of neuroscience, with particular focus on the dynamic interplay among aging, neurodegenerative disease and the neuronal plasticity that buffers these processes. She is investigating the effect of the scaffold protein Intersectin1 on the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Arizona State University.

The Doolen Scholarship is awarded annually to graduate students in their second year of study, or beyond, whose principal scholarly interest is in aging.

The scholarship was established in 1986 by an endowment from the Retirement Research Foundation in Oak Park, Ill., to honor the late Paul D. Doolen, a long-time member of the U. of I. Foundation board of directors and a 1927 U. of I. graduate.

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