Student Scholarships

Recognizing our commitment toward the promotion of leadership in gerontology, 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. The student membership rate is $25/year. If the membership fee creates a financial hardship for you, please email is discuss your options.

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.

 Applications due:  April 16, 2022

Announcement       Application and Instructions                          

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.

Older Adult Scholarships

As a network that educates, serves and advocates for older adults and their families, GGS sponsors an annual gerontology scholarship award program for older adults. This program provides a scholarship opportunity to attend the GGS Annual Conference for older adults in Georgia. By sponsoring this award, we aim to promote continued interest and involvement in aging-related issues across the lifespan.

Applications due:  April 16, 2022


2021 Scholarship Winners


Kari Smith

Kari Smith is the recipient of the Robert P. Wray Scholarship. She is working on her Bachelors Degree in Public Health from Georgia College and State University Her goal is to obtain a Masters degree and work in the Health Administration position.

Although she is pursuing public health, she wears many hats. She is also a small business owner of Dolce Torta and in the process of a family business with her father. With the help of God she wishes to excel in all of her endeavors.

With this scholarship, it proves she has what it takes to further her education and become something great in this world.


Victoria Helmly

The Virginia M. Smyth Graduate Student Scholarship was awarded to Victoria Helmly, who will begin the 3rd year of her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice & Criminology at Georgia State University.

Her research interest is aging in prisons, including end-of-life care and issues of death and dying in prison.

Her research interest in a Criminal Justice department is unique, therefore, she is intentional in pursuing opportunities outside of her department to network and build knowledge and skills in gerontology and aging issues.


Rochelle Mack

Ms. Rochelle Mack is a retired health care professional who has been in the industry since she was 18. Her commitment to “Keep Moving” is what keeps her motivated.

Rochelle shared, ” Receiving this scholarship means the passion that I have will continue as I age into the Aging Population. Continuing the work which is in high demand for Seniors will allow me to be that voice, ears & eyes for many. “