Events / 23rd Annual Friedman Lecture & Awards

23rd Annual Friedman Lecture & Awards

April 5, 2024
9:00 am - 11:30 am
Emerson Auditorium, Knight Hall

Mark your calendars for our Annual Friedman Lecture & Awards on April 5, 2024. Our 23rd lecture — Climate Change in an Aging World— will be given by Karl Pillemer, PhD, of Cornell University and Weill Cornell Medicine.

Environmental challenges are increasing as the world faces the negative consequences of global climate change. However, little attention has been paid to the enormous threat climate change poses to the health and well-being of the rapidly expanding older population. This lecture explores three key issues in the intersection of aging and climate change. First, older adults are especially vulnerable to extreme heat and climate-related disasters, yet planning for their unique needs has been minimal Second, the growth in the aging population is coming to play a larger role in contributing to climate change. Third, older persons constitute a critically important source of solutions to environmental problems. Successful strategies for engaging older adults as key participants in climate change prevention, mitigation, and resilience are presented.

In addition to the keynote presentation, this event will also include a presentation of awards, panel discussion, and audience Q&A. More details regarding this event will be released as it draws near. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date.

Light refreshments will be provided in the lobby area. However, food and drink are not permitted in the auditorium.

View the event agenda
8:30 a.m.Registration & Light Breakfast
Food and drink are permitted in the lobby area only
9:00 a.m.Welcome, Center Updates, Award Presentations
9:30 a.m.Keynote Presentation from Karl Pillemer, PhD
10:15 a.m.Coffee Break
Food and drink are permitted in the lobby area only
10:30 a.m.Moderated Panel Discussion
11:15 a.m.Audience Q&A
11:25 a.m.Closing Remarks
11:30 a.m.Event Close

This event is made possible by the Harvey A. and Dorismae Hacker Friedman Endowment for Aging at The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital and WashU’s Center for the Environment.

Featured Guests


Karl Pillemer, PhD

Hazel E. Reed Professor of Human Development, Cornell University; Professor of Gerontology in Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine; and Director, Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging

Over the course of his career, Karl Pillemer has studied the social integration of older people, exploring how they can maintain positive family and social relationships across the second half of life. His current research examines the causes and consequences of environmental civic engagement and volunteerism among older people, with a focus on developing and evaluating new methods of training and recruiting retirees for environmental leadership and action. He created Retirees in Service to the Environment, an evidence-based intervention to engage older people in climate change activism. Over the past fifteen years, he has conducted a program of research on the practical advice of older people, exploring how elder wisdom can help younger people live more fulfilling lives. Using similar methods, he is currently conducting a study of older climate activists, seeking their advice on how younger people can cope and engage with the climate crisis.


Dan Giammar, PhD | Moderator

Walter E. Browne Professor of Environmental Engineering in the James McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis 

In addition to his professorship, Dan Giammar is an assistant vice provost serving on the leadership committee of the Here & Next strategic plan.  In July 2023, he became the inaugural director of the Washington University Center for the Environment.  Professor Giammar’s research focuses on chemical reactions that affect the fate and transport of heavy metals, radionuclides, and other inorganic constituents in natural and engineered aquatic systems.  His recent work has investigated the removal of selenium from drinking water, control of the corrosion of lead pipes, and geologic carbon sequestration.  His research has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and Water Research Foundation.  Professor Giammar is an Associate Editor of Environmental Science & Technology.   

Mitra Naseh, PhD

Assistant Professor and Co-Founder and Research Director of the Initiative on Social Work and Forced Migration, Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis 

Mitra Naseh is an early career forced migration scholar. Naseh’s scholarly work is centered on the multidimensional social and economic integration of forcibly displaced individuals, a focus that draws from her multidisciplinary background. Naseh’s research is influenced by her lived experiences and informed by her prior work as a staff member in non-governmental organizations and the United Nations, particularly in the Middle East and South Asia. Naseh’s scholarly contributions are underscored by her co-authored acclaimed book, “Best Practices in Social Work with Refugees and Immigrants,” published by Columbia Press in 2019. Her emerging research has garnered support from foundations and federal agencies including the Russell Sage Foundation and NIH.  

Ben Senturia


After graduate school at Washington Universisty, Ben Senturia served as the Executive Director of the St Louis Committee for Environmental Information and the founding Executive Director of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.  He then joined the national staff of the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign (Initiative Petition Director, Director of National Training) and was a co-founder of the Working Group on Electoral Democracy that helped establish full public funding laws in three states.  He also had a 25 year career as a trainer/consultant with the national Institute for Conservation Leadership, providing training for environmental groups around the United States.  After retiring, Ben has been involved with the Great Rivers Environmental Law Center, The Black Lives Matter Lawn Sign Project, the Worker Rights Board of Jobs with Justice and a variety of pro-Democracy campaigns and initiative petitions.   

Melanie Tobin

Executive Director, EnergyCare

Melanie Tobin has 15 years of experience in St. Louis nonprofits working with elders and health-facing organizations. She has worked with issues of aging and housing for five years. Her background in social services and the local nonprofit sector has allowed her to witness the everyday struggles of working to improve life for the elderly and create affordable, sustainable housing in St. Louis City. Tobin’s current organization, EnergyCare, works to protect seniors and other vulnerable populations from extreme temperatures, providing emergency response summer and winter programs and ongoing support around high energy costs for low-income elders. 


The Friedman Lecture & Awards is a free event and open to the public. Registration is strongly encouraged.

This event will take place at the Emerson Auditorium in Knight Hall, located in the Olin School of Business on the north side of the Washington University Danforth Campus.

Directions & parking

We recommend you use Throop Drive and Snow Way (located off of Forest Park Parkway), Washington University for GPS directions. Get directions via Google Maps.

By MetroLink
You can take the light-rail system to the University City/Big Bend Station. After exiting the train, take the elevator or stairs to the street level. Washington University’s Danforth campus is on the Southeast corner (Big Bend and Forest Park Parkway).

The Charles F. Knight Center is located on the north side of the Danforth Campus at the intersection fo Throop Drive and Snow Way, directly across from the Milbrook Garage.

Visitor parking is available on the fourth level of Millbrook Garage. Pull a ticket at the gate when you enter. Parking rates are per hour and you pay as you exit.


If you have any accessibility needs, please contact Emily Hickner at We need to be notified at least five business days prior to the event to guarantee accommodation for interpretation and CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) services.

Awards & Nominations

The nomination period for the 2024 awards has closed. Awards will be presented on April 5, 2024 at the Friedman Lecture and Awards event on behalf of the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging.

The Harvey A. and Dorismae Hacker Friedman Award for Excellence in Service to Older Adults

The purpose of this award is to recognize an individual who has made outstanding contributions in service to older adults. Individuals might have made this contribution through practice, education, advocacy, or research. Eligible nominees must be professionals currently involved in work that is related to older adults within the St. Louis Metro Region.

This award is supported by The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital from the Harvey A. and Dorismae Hacker Friedman Fund.

The Alene and Meyer Kopolow Award for Geriatrics, Psychiatry and Neurology

The purpose of this award is to recognize stellar contributions to the care of older adults by a resident, post-residency fellow or junior faculty member in neurology, psychiatry, medicine or related disciplines. Eligible individuals may also have had experience in the geriatric service areas at Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University Medical Center or at associated outpatient facilities, including Barnes-Jewish Extended Care. The award is not restricted to individuals with a medical degree (MD or DO). Nominees should demonstrate achievement in at least one of the following areas of geriatrics: direct patient care; didactic learning exercises, rounds, conferences, or national/international meetings; and, patient-oriented or basic research that addresses aging issues.

Recipients receive a formal announcement of the award, a plaque and $3,000 toward aging-related educational endeavors including conference fees, travel expenses, books, journal subscriptions and field- or research-related software, hardware, etc.

This award is supported by the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital from the Alene and Meyer Kopolow Fund for Geriatrics, Psychiatry and Neurology.

The Mark S. Wrighton Research Award on Aging

The purpose of this award is to recognize doctoral candidates who show outstanding promise as researchers on topics relevant to older adults and aging society. To be considered for the award, students must apply to participate in a 3MT (Three Minute Thesis) competition, organized by the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging. The 3MT is an academic competition that challenges graduate students to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience. Following the competition, winner(s) will be honored at the next Annual Friedman Lecture and receive prizes.

This award is supported by The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital from the Harvey A. and Dorismae Hacker Friedman Fund.