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The mission of the Minnesota Gerontological Society (MGS) is to bridge research and practice in the field of aging, with emphasis on developing and supporting tomorrow’s leaders. To meet this mission, MGS has created three scholarship funds and annually awards financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students studying in a field related to gerontology or geriatric health in Minnesota. 100% of donations to these funds support scholarships.

(Scroll down for Scholarship Recipients)

Robert L. and Rosalie A. Kane Scholarship Fund

This scholarship fund was established to honor the lives and tireless advocacy work of Robert L. and Rosalie A. Kane. The Kane Scholarship fund was jump-started by a contribution from an anonymous donor less than a month before Robert Kane’s sudden death on March 6, 2017. Rosalie passed on May 5, 2020. Upon their arrival in Minnesota in 1985, both were active members of MGS. In 2003, they were co-awardees as Gerontologist of the Year because of their leadership in long term care and dedication to improving and transforming care systems for older adults. The first Kane scholarship was awarded in 2018.

Robert L. Kane, MD, was the Minnesota Chair of Aging and Long Term Care at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health where he was a professor for more than thirty years. He was a distinguished researcher, author, and dedicated advocate for better management of chronic illnesses and improved delivery of long term care. Rosalie A. Kane, Ph.D., was a professor of social work and public health for more than 45 years and spent more than three decades at the University of Minnesota where she worked up until the time of her death. A pioneer in her field, Rosalie’s academic work focused on case management, community-based care, and transforming long term care systems to be more person-centered. She was a relentless champion for the rights of seniors and adults with disabilities to self-advocate. Rosalie was a prolific author, unafraid to challenge established norms in her work.

Donate to the Robert L. and Rosalie A. Kane Scholarship Fund

Elva Walker Spillane Scholarship Fund

MGS created this 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.

Donate to the Elva Walker Scholarship Fund

Gerald Bloedow Scholarship Fund

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.

Donate to the Gerald Bloedow Scholarship Fund

Past Scholarship Recipients

Robert & Rosalie Kane Scholarship Recipients (began in 2018)

  • 2024: Christina Cauble, University of Minnesota, Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership Policy and Development; Specialization in Adult Education and Gerontology, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • 2024: Neha Reddy, Medical Degree - Neurology, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • 2023: Emily Merkel, University of Minnesota, MPH
  • 2023: Dana Urbanski, University of Minnesota, PhD Speech
  • 2022: Meena Murugappan, PhD Candidate in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • 2022: Hawking Yam, PhD Candidate in Health Service Policy & Administration, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • 2021: Emma Hintz, Doctor of Physical Therapy Student, University of Minnesota
  • 2021: Ellie Krienke, Medical Student, University of Minnesota
  • 2020: Odichinma Akosionu UMN PhD
  • 2020: Michelle Berning UMN MD
  • 2019: Melinda Holmstadt, University of Minnesota, PhD Candidate, Physical Therapy
  • 2019: Colleen Peterson, University of Minnesota, PhD Candidate, Epidemiology
  • 2018: Kristi Oeding, PhD, Speech/Language/Hearing Sciences, University of Minnesota

Elva Walker Spillane Scholarship Recipients (began in 2014)

  • 2024: Grace Savard, Master's Degree in Public Health Administration and Policy, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • 2023: Chinyin Oleson, St. Cloud State University, English
  • 2022: Maria Kroeber, Bachelor of Science Student Communication Sciences and Disorders; Gerontology Minor, St. Cloud State University
  • 2022: Hannah Schulz, Bachelor of Science Student Psychology, Minnesota State University-Mankato
  • 2021: Azziza Ali, Bachelor of Social Work Student, Winona State University
  • 2021: Jessica VanderWerf, Bachelor of Psychology, Gerontology Minor, St. Cloud State University
  • 2020: Hannah Weegman WSU Nursing
  • 2020: Kelsey Hermanson WSU Social Work
  • 2019: Soore Ademuwagun, St. Cloud State, MS Candidate, Gerontology
  • 2019: Stephanie Larson, University of St. Thomas, MSW Candidate, Social Work
  • 2018: Lisa Moen, PsyD, St. Mary’s University
  • 2018: Alissa Pool, DNP, University of Minnesota
  • 2017: Amanda Clemens, MS Gerontology student, St. Cloud State University
  • 2017: Ruth Rath-Nesvacil, PhD, University of Minnesota
  • 2016: Beau Cummings, J.D. in law at MN State University Moorhead
  • 2016: Rachel Potter, BS in Social Work at Winona State University
  • 2015: Mary Whipple, UMN Doctoral Candidate, School of Nursing

Gerald Bloedow Scholarship Recipients (began in 1994)

  • 2024: Fyzeen Ahmad, Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • 2024: Anika Rossow Strasser, Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • 2023: Babita KC, St. Cloud State University, MS Gerontology
    Mary McKay, WSU, MSW
  • 2022: Claudia Burgos Zuniga, Master of Gerontology Candidate, St. Cloud State University Amy Dircks, Master of Social Work Candidate, St. Mary’s of Minnesota
  • 2021: Abiodun Olufemi Jegede, Master of Gerontology Student, St. Cloud State University
  • 2021: Abby Teply, Master of Clinical Psychology Student, Minnesota State University – Mankato
  • 2020: Tarynn Johnson SCSU Gerontology
  • 2020: Annie Myers UST Social Work
  • 2019: Luke Gietzen, Minnesota State University Moorhead, BA Candidate, Gerontology
  • 2019: Ansel Schmidt, University of Minnesota, DPT Candidate, Physical Therapy
  • 2018: Kassara Kneeland, MSW, St. Catherine/St. Thomas University
  • 2018: Samantha Peterson, BSW, Winona State University
  • 2017: Leah Oien, BA Gerontology student, MN State University Moorhead
  • 2017: Brianna Lauer, PhD Physical Therapy student, Univeristy of Minnesota
  • 2016: Jessica Finlay, PhD in geography with minor in gerontology at U of M
  • 2016: Ana Westervelt, M.A. in Public Health at U of M
  • 2015: Wendy Hazuki Martin, UMN Bachelor’s nursing student;
  • 2015: Reenu Bajracharya, St. Cloud State Master’s gerontology student;
  • 2015: 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

Minnesota Gerontological Society (MGS) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 3050 145th St. W #377 Rosemount, MN 55068

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please email us at info@mngero.org

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