Florida State University

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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FSU researcher wins mid-career award for research on aging and health

Published: June 13, 2022

BY: MARK BLACKWELL THOMAS, UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS; COSSPP COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

A Florida State University researcher has won an international award for her work on social engagement and healthy functioning for adults in later life. 

Dawn Carr, Ph.D. – an associate professor in FSU’s Sociology Department, Director of FSU’s Claude Pepper Center, and faculty associate at FSU’s Pepper Institute for Aging and Public Policy – earned the 2022 Ewald W. Busse Research Award for excellence in the social/behavioral sciences.

The Busse award is bestowed on a junior-to-mid-career scientist once every four years, in recognition of significant contributions to aging research. Dr. Carr received her award in a June 12 virtual ceremony at the 22nd World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics. 

The last Busse winner for social and behavioral sciences also came from FSU: sociology professor Miles Taylor, Ph.D., who won in 2017. The pandemic delayed this year’s winner by one year.

“It is really a huge honor to be considered, so I was really shocked,” Dr. Carr said of her award.  

Dr. Carr said her career path included years outside of academia after she earned her doctorate. 

“It was seven years before I realized that I wanted to be an academic,” she said. “I was having trouble trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I worried about being able to make a difference in people’s lives and I was hesitant about my ability to do that.”

Ultimately, Dr. Carr decided she could do it. She arrived at FSU in 2016, where she found a culture of collegiality. 

“The FSU ecosystem has been really important to my ability to get to this point,” she said. “A person who wins awards is a person who has great mentors and great work partners. I have been unusually lucky in having those people around me at FSU.”  

For more information, visit https://sites.duke.edu/centerforaging/busse-research-awards.