Founded in 1976, the mission of the Minnesota Gerontological Society (MGS) is to serve as a bridge between academics, research and practice in the field of aging. To meet this mission, MGS has created two scholarship funds and annually awards financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students studying in a field related to gerontology in Minnesota.

MGS will be awarding four $1,000 scholarships for 2017 – 2018.

Application Deadline: March 1, 2017

MGS 2017-18 Scholarship Application

Elva Walker Spillane Scholarship

MGS created a new scholarship fund in 2014 to memorialize the life and work of Elva Walker Spillane. Elva dedicated her life to service and advocacy in the field of aging services. She was a founding member and former President of MGS, founding member and served eight years on the Minnesota Board on Aging, volunteered her leadership on the Boards of the National Council on Aging and AARP, and tirelessly supported many more local, state and national organizations.

The goal for this scholarship fund is to raise $50,000 which will allow MGS to provide two annual scholarships. To date, $26,000 has been raised. Beginning 2015, MGS will award one annual scholarship. An additional scholarship will be awarded as soon as the goal is reached.

Donate to the Elva Walker Scholarship Fund

Gerald Bloedow Scholarship

In 1994, MGS established the Bloedow Scholarship fund to honor the lifelong contributions of Gerald Bloedow to the field of aging and to provide financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students to further their education in gerontology.

Gerald Bloedow was Director of the Minnesota Board on Aging from 1966 until 1994. Prior to this he directed many community organization projects for the Governor’s Citizen Council on Aging. Gerald was a founding member of MGS in 1976. The fund was established by Elva Walker Spillane and Ann Wood to honor the lifelong contributions of Gerald Bloedow to the field of aging and to provide assistance to students in this field.

Four scholarships will be awarded for the 2017-18 academic year, two Gerald Bloedow Scholarships and two Elva Walker Spillane Scholarships.

To Apply for a Scholarship

All applications must be received by March 1st, with scholarship decisions to be made no later than March 31st. Scholarship recipients should plan on attending the MGS Spring Conference at the Earle Brown Center in Brooklyn Center on Friday, April 28th to receive their award.

Interested applicants should complete the following steps:
  1. Fill out the Scholarship Application Form.
  2. Provide a copy of your most recent transcript (official copy not required) from your college or university.
  3. Submit a letter of no more than three pages, responding to the following questions:
    Why are you interested in a career in gerontology?
    What have you done to prepare yourself for a career in gerontology?
  4. Email all items by March 1st to Jim Tift
Scholarship recipients will be chosen based upon the following criteria:
  • Demonstrated interest in and preparation for a career in gerontology
  • Creativity, initiative, organizational and writing skills

Past Elva Walker Spillane Scholarship Recipients

  • 2016: Beau Cummings, J.D. in law at MN State University Moorhead
    Rachel Potter, BS in Social Work at Winona State University
  • 2015: Mary Whipple, UMN Doctoral Candidate, School of Nursing

Past Gerald Bloedow Scholarship Recipients

  • 2016: Jessica Finlay, PhD in geography with minor in gerontology at U of M
    Ana Westervelt, M.A. in Public Health at U of M
  • 2015: Wendy Hazuki Martin, UMN Bachelor’s nursing student;
    Reenu Bajracharya, St. Cloud State Master’s gerontology student;
    Elizabeth Dembski, Winona State Master’s social work student
  • 2014: Katherine Johanson, Marissa Parkman, and  Rebecca Davis
  • 2013: Emily Matthews and Supriya Sarkar
  • 2012: Erin Morcomb and Joseph Halvorson
  • 2011: Azizah Jordan and Moira Olson
  • 2010: Tracy Kiebler and Meaghan Mohr Gesino
  • 2009: Rusudan Kilaberia, Sonia Pond and Gretchen Van der Linden
  • 2008: Carolyn Bothwell, Charissa Eaton and Julie Torelli
  • 2007: Kathleen Beddo, Katie Griep and Sara Lassig
  • 2006: Kristina Patel and Pam Zimmerman
  • 2005: Rajean Moone and Elizabeth Palo
  • 2004: Corjena Cheung and Harriet Mednick
  • 2003: Kathy Siegling