Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Back to Awards and Funding for Pre-doctoral Students


Elizabeth Ann Olson received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamline University and earned both a Master of Arts degree and doctor of philosophy from Michigan State University. She earned her Specialist in Aging Certificate from The University of Michigan. Professor Olson taught at Lansing Community College and Michigan State University before coming to Wayne State University in 1987. An involved educator and active member of the university community, Dr. Olson served as Assistant Professor for the Institute of Gerontology, the Department of Community Medicine, the Department of Sociology, and the Department of Occupational Therapy.

Professor Olson was dedicated to broadening the scope and continuing the mission of the Institute of Gerontology. While serving as the Associate Director for Education, Professor Olson brought national acclaim and prominence to the Institute. Professor Olson single-handedly developed and managed the Institute of Gerontology's continuing education activities while directing the largest Graduate Certificate in Gerontology program in the country. Further information on Professor Olson's work is available.

While Professor Olson's contributions to the support of the Institute are vast - she served on the Institute's Management Team, contributed to many professional organizations, participated in funded research projects, published in academic literature, successfully sought grant support for educational activities, and chaired a number of committees - her primary concern was for her students and her colleagues.

Professor Olson led by example, serving and guiding with grace and dignity. She died April 6, 1998 at the home she shared with her husband Don. The Institute of Gerontology establishes this award fund to honor Professor Olson's accomplishments and to celebrate her dedication to the field of gerontology education.

This award fund is established to recognize scholastic achievement, to encourage continued progress and to provide financial assistance to predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees affiliated with the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University. This endowed fund will be administered according to the following provisions:

  1. To be eligible for awards, individuals must be a member in good standing of the Institute of Gerontology's predoctoral or postdoctoral training programs.
  2. Recipients will be selected on the basis of scholastic achievement and potential in the field of Gerontology Education.
  3. This award shall be used to sponsor the recipients' attendance at the Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting.
    1. Recipients will be required to make a formal presentation highlighting research, programs, or some other topic related to the field of Gerontology Education.
  4. Recipients will be selected by the Institute of Gerontology Graduate Research and Training Committee using a procedure established by the director of the Institute in accordance with the policies and practices in effect for scholarships at the university.
  5. Applicants must submit the following items to the selection committee:
    1. a presentation abstract for submission to the conference.
  6. The recipient will be expected to perform the following:
    1. attend the conference;
    2. present at the conference if the submitted abstract is accepted; and
    3. present at the Institute of Gerontology.

For more information regarding the Elizabeth A. Olson Gerontology Education Memorial Award Fund, please email Peter Lichtenberg at p.lichtenberg@wayne.edu or telephone 313-664-2633.

This award has been established using the combined solicited gifts from friends and family members made in memory of Elizabeth A. Olson. Those who would like to help honor Professor Olson and further the cause of gerontology education are encouraged to participate. Contributions should be made payable to "Wayne State University" and directed to:

The Elizabeth A. Olson Gerontology Education Memorial Award Fund
Wayne State University
Fund Office
P.O. Box 4602
Detroit MI 48232-9743