Professor Ellen Bialystok (right), a distinguished research professor in psychology in York University’s Faculty of Arts, has been awarded the first annual Donald T. Stuss Award for Research Excellence by the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. Bialystok was presented the award at the Annual General Meeting of the Baycrest Centre and the Baycrest Centre Foundation on June 15.
The Stuss Award honours research published by a member of the Baycrest Centre that made the most significant contribution to advancing research in Baycrest’s priority areas. Bialystok conducts research as an associate scientist at the Rotman Research Institute, a branch of the Baycrest Centre devoted to promoting “effective care and improved quality of life of the elderly through research into behavioural changes associated with the aging process”. The Stuss Award is closely connected with the Rotman Institute, as it was established in recognition of the many contributions of the institute’s director, Donald T. Stuss.
The paper that earned Bialystok the award, “Bilingualism, aging and cognitive control: Evidence from the Simon Task”, discusses how bilingualism helps protect older adults from cognitive decline. In recognizing Bialystok’s work, the selection committee emphasized the work’s importance and impact in the scientific community, as well as its connection to Baycrest’s mission. The award includes a $10,000 research grant.
Bialystok said that she is particularly honoured to receive the Stuss award because she has considered Baycrest to be a crucial centre to her family and her community throughout her life.