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Alumna's Award to Support Research on Aging

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By Karen Guin

Alumna Judy Thames (B.S.W. '73) is the latest recipient of the C. Colburn Hardy Older Advocate Award, Florida's highest recognition of volunteer efforts and advocacy on behalf of older adults. Thames, an Orlando resident, is a tireless community and statewide activist for older adults and the immediate past president of AARP Florida.

Humana, one of Florida's largest Medicare health benefits companies, is supporting the award by providing Thames with a $2,500 prize to distribute to one or more organizations.

Thames has selected her alma mater, the University of Central Florida's School of Social Work, to receive $1,000 for research on aging under the direction of Associate Professor Denise Gammonley. Specifically, the monies are being deposited into the Judith G. Thames Endowed Scholarship spendable account. They will fund a graduate student's study on "Neighbors Network," a new member-driven organization in Central Florida that promotes the ability of aging adults to take care of themselves in their own homes.

Thames has selected the Alzheimer's and Dementia Resource Center to receive $1,500 to supports its programs for caregivers. The Orlando-based center offers a variety of peer support groups, counseling sessions, educational workshops and wellness programs.

C. Colburn Hardy was a statewide leader on aging and served as a New Jersey state legislator. His daughter, Dorcas Hardy, a former U.S. Commissioner of Social Security, participated in a ceremonial check presentation to each organization on July 11, 2013, at UCF's College of Health and Public Affairs.

Learn more about the award at

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