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UF older adults specialist awarded for research at national conference


GAINESVILLE — A University of Florida specialist recently received an award from the American Council on Consumer Interests for her research on Social Security survivors benefits.

Presented at the annual conference in April, the ACCI awarded Martie Gillen, an assistant professor in the UF/IFAS Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, and co-author Jason Hans the Applied Consumer Economic Award. They were recognized for their identification of an important consumer issue, descriptions of practical solutions and strong communication of the findings’ immediate implications.

Gillen and Hans, an associate professor at the University of Kentucky, examined attitudes about the eligibility of posthumously born children for Social Security survivors benefits.

Five types of eligibility were examined: normal births, posthumous births, cryopreserved embryos, cryopreserved gametes and posthumous gamete retrieval. Their findings indicated broad support for the eligibility of normal and posthumous births for benefits, but significantly less favorable attitudes toward the other three.

Gillen, a family and consumer economics for older adults specialist, received her doctorate in family studies from the University of Kentucky. She came to UF in 2011, and divides her time between extension work and teaching.



Writer: Andrew Kays, 352-392-2411,

Source: Martie Gillen, 352-392-0404,