Prof earns gerontology award

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Photo of Phyllis Greenberg, Gerontology Graduate Program coordinator and associate professor of Community Studies

Phyllis Greenberg, Gerontology Graduate Program coordinator and associate professor of Community Studies.

The Minnesota Gerontological Society will honor Phyllis Greenberg, associate professor in St. Cloud State University’s Department of Community Studies, with its 2011 Dutch Kastenbaum Award at the 2011 Minnesota Gerontological Society Conference on Friday, April 29, at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center.

The Minnesota Gerontological Society established the Outstanding Gerontologist Award in 1984 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to bettering the lives of older persons throughout Minnesota. The contributions can be in the field of aging through practice, research, or academics.

 In 1998 the award was renamed the Dutch Kastenbaum Award to honor Abraham "Dutch" Kastenbaum, who was trained as a social worker and was a champion in beginning service programs for older people. His weekly television show, Senior Citizen’s Forum, ran for almost 25 years.

Each year, a committee composed of the past three Kastenbaum awardees reviews all nominations and decides on the current year Outstanding Gerontologist.

"MGS is pleased to honor Dr. Greenberg as an accomplished teacher who continues to expand the understanding of students and the community about older adults and issues in the aging process," according to the Society’s announcement of the award. "She has been influential in the field of gerontology as a professor and through her research. Greenberg has made special contributions to our understanding of addictions of older adults, as she has secured funding and conducted research examining the treatment methods/protocols for older adults with co-occurring disorders of chemical addictions and mental health. Her work has been funded by grants from the State of Minnesota and she has worked with Senior Helping Hands/Recovery Plus at St. Cloud Hospital and the Fountain Center in Albert Lea, Minn."

Greenberg teaches an extensive range of undergraduate and graduate courses on aging at St. Cloud State and has been instrumental in preparing future leaders in the field of aging, supervising many in the Master’s thesis Gerontology Program and nurturing students in their careers in the gerontology field.

The success of her students, who have gone on to become practitioners and researchers such as long term care ombudsman, senior center directors, and doctoral students, is a testament to the impact she has had and continues to have on the local, regional, and national field of aging.

Greenberg regularly involves her students in her research and many have had the opportunity to co-present with her at professional conferences.  

In addition to her classroom teaching and research, Greenberg continues to serve the community.

She has presented at national and regional conferences on the many facets that influence addiction and aging. She is active in many local, regional, and national organizations concerned with older adults. She is co-faculty advisor for Sigma Phi Omega (National Academic Honor and Professional Society in Gerontology) and the Gerontology Club at SCSU. She is a part of the Central Minnesota Aging Network Association, the Minnesota Gerontology Educators Network, and the Gerontological Society of America. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Minnesota Gerontological Society, and the Women’s Studies Advisory Board at St. Cloud State University.

For more information about the Minnesota Gerontological Society or the April 29 MGS Conference, visit

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