Student Scholarships

Recognizing our commitment toward the promotion of leadership in Aging Services, GGS sponsors an annual gerontology scholarship award program. This program provides scholarship opportunities to outstanding graduate and undergraduate students who are committed to pursuing a career in the field of aging. Applicants must be members of the Georgia Gerontology Society.

Two scholarships are awarded each year. The Robert P. Wray Scholarship of $2,000 is awarded to one undergraduate student, and the Virginia M. Smyth Scholarship of $3,000 is awarded to one graduate student to promote students’ interest in age-related issues and to promote professional development in gerontology.

The Robert P. Wray Scholarship

Robert P. Wray was an active GGS member, a founder of numerous service programs in Pennsylvania and Georgia, and was the first Director of the University of Georgia Gerontology Center. He was first posthumously honored in 1989 by designation of the Wray Legislative Award. However, Society members quickly realized that this educator’s memory would be best honored through naming of the annual gerontology scholarship award.

The Virginia Smyth Scholarship

The Virginia Smyth Scholarship is presented annually to offer financial support to persons seeking to advance their careers in aging. The fund, established in 1998, provides scholarships for graduate study in gerontology and promotes leadership development in the field of aging to include a broad knowledge base, strong organizational skills and a vision for the future. The Scholarship was first awarded in 2004 and named for Virginia Smyth, a founding member of GGS and the spirit behind the establishment and endowment of the GGS Scholarship Fund.

Scholarship Submission Information Memo (PDF)

Scholarship Application Instructions (PDF)

Older Adult Scholarships


As a network that educates, serves and advocates for older adults and their families, GGS is proud to sponsor an annual gerontology scholarship award program for older adults. This program provides scholarship opportunities to attend the annual conference to older adults. By making these awards, we aim to promote continued interest and involvement in aging-related issues.

The scholarship award winners will be recognized at the GGS annual conference at the award ceremony. Conference fees will be waived for the winners and they each will receive hotel and mileage reimbursement. Included with the scholarship award is also a one-year membership to GGS.

Older Adult Scholarship Instructions (PDF)

2017 Scholarship Winners


Nicole Hammett

College/University: University of Georgia

Nicole Hammett is working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia. She hopes to use her major, her past experiences, and her future career to enhance the lives of elderly adults by treating them with the dignity and respect they deserve, by empowering them to make their own decisions, and by helping them to live an independent, high quality of life for as long as possible through the practice of elder law.


Taylor Kennedy

College/University: University of Georgia

Taylor Kennedy is a first-year graduate student at the University of Georgia pursuing an MSW with a clinical concentration and an MPH with a concentration in gerontology. She is interested in researching and learning more about oncology social work, hospice, and grief counseling as she hopes to have a career in one or more of these specific areas of interest. No matter what area of interest she chooses to pursue within the field of gerontology, she wants to support individuals and families during the moments of grief, shock, anger, denial, and every other emotion and challenge they will face.