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CHP students are winners of Levitt/ILR awards

Published: March 20th, 2017

Category: Faculty, Recent News, Students

Rotblatt and Seider both receive second place prizes at the final judging for the 2017 Robert A. Levitt Awards for Student Research on Aging, sponsored by the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Oak Hammock

Congratulations to LIndsay Rotblatt and Talia Seider, who both received second plaze prizes!

Annually, the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Oak Hammock (ILR) hosts the Robert A. Levitt Awards for Student Research on Aging.  ILR describes itself as a “community of retirement-age members who are engaged in lifelong learning, personal fulfillment and enjoyment through participation in a variety of courses, programs and activities.”

UF students are invited to submit an abstract of their current research; a subset of abstracts are selected for poster presentation at Oak Hammock, a UF-partnered retirement community.  Faculty and ILR members judge the posters, and the “top five” are invited to present orally at the annual exposition.

This year, there were 34 applicants, 16 of whom were invited to present a poster of February 22, 2017.  From this, among the five students selected to present on March 17, 2017, were Lindsay Rotblatt (Michael Marsiske, mentor) and Talia Seider (Ronald Cohen, mentor).  In addition to being Clinical and Health Psychology doctoral students, both students are past or current recipients of fellowship awards on UF’s NIA supported predoctoral T32 training grant, “Physical, Cognitive and Mental Health in Social Context”.

Lindsay Rotblatt presents work on hypertension and cognitive impairment in older adults

Ms. Rotblatt’s talk was entited “The link between high blood pressure and cognitive impairment.

Ms. Seider’s talk was entitled “Activity levels link to preserved brain volume in older adults”. Both second place winners received $700!

Talia Seider talks about cognitive, social and physical activity effects on cognitive performance and neural activity

The college of Public Health and Health Professions did well at these awards, sweeping the top awards. First place ($1,000) went to Sudeshna Chatterjee (mentor David J. Clark), a doctoral student in Rehabilitation Science, who presented her work on using skin conductance and gait speed as measures of the level of challenge of different walking tasks. Their work was with patients in post-stroke rehabilitation.

Honorable mention went to two other participants, one from IFAS and one from the College of Medicine. The formal announcement follows below

Lindsay (left) and Talia (right) await judging results

From: Age Network Announcement List <AGENETWORK_ANNOUNCE-L@LISTS.UFL.EDU> on behalf of Bluck <bluck@UFL.EDU>
Sent: Monday, March 20, 2017 4:06 PM
Subject: Levitt Awards for Student Research on Aging – Winners

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to announce this year’s Levitt Award winners. Please join me in congratulating these students. Thanks to all of the students and mentors who participated in this year’s poster evening and mini-conference at Oak Hammock. Big thanks also to ILR as the sponsor of these awards. See you again next year!

Best, Susan

 ROBERT A. LEVITT AWARDS  –  Student Research on Aging

 The student finalists for the ILR-sponsored 2017 Robert A. Levitt Awards, presented their work in the Oak Room at Oak Hammock, on March 17th, to an actively engaged audience of ILR members. The presentations were of a remarkably high quality – a credit to the skills and dedication of this group of finalists and their mentors. Congratulations to all!

FIRST PLACE ($1,000) Sudeshna Chatterjee, PT MS; PhD candidate. Mentor: Dr. David Clark

Physical Therapy, College of Health and Health Professions

“Measuring the level of walking impairment after a stroke”


Lindsay Rotblatt, MS; PhD candidate. Mentor: Dr. Michael Marsiske

Clinical and Health Psychology, College of Health and Health Professions

“The link between high blood pressure and cognitive impairment”


Talia Seider, MS;  PhD candidate. Mentor: Dr. Ron Cohen

Clinical and Health Psychology, College of Health and Health Professions

“Activity levels link to preserved brain volume in older adults”


Manas Biswal, PhD; Postdoctoral Associate. Mentor: Dr. Alfred Lewin

Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, College of Medicine

“Gene Therapy – a promising treatment for macular degeneration”


Amanda Ford, MS; PhD candidate. Mentor: Dr. Wendy Dahl

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

“Adopting a healthy high protein diet without GI issues”

All of life is a constant education. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Susan Bluck, PhD

Director, Life Story Lab,

Director, Developmental Area

Director, Graduate Certificate in Gerontology

Psychology Department

University of Florida

PO Box 115911

Gainesville, FL