Larry Polivka


Larry Polivka served as Executive Director of the Claude Pepper Center from 2010, until his retirement in May of 2021. His primary research centers on critical aging issues including long-term care, affordable health care, and economic security for America’s elderly population. He expanded the scope of his research on aging studies examining this complex issue in the global community. A Florida State graduate (1978), Polivka brings national recognition to his alma mater. In August 2011, he was presented with the Dr. Carl Osterbind Florida Council on Aging Award for his work with former Governor Bob Graham on the development of the Pathways to the Future plan. He also served as the Chairperson for the Assisted Living Workgroup, and is a past Chairperson of the Social Research, Policy and Practice Section of The Gerontological Society of America. Larry Polivka also received the Clark Tibbits Award from the Association of Gerontology in Higher Education in 2009 in honor of his outstanding contributions to gerontology and geriatric education. Prior to Polivka’s return to Florida State University, he was honored with emeritus status in recognition of his distinguished service as a professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. He also served as the Associate Director of the School of Aging during his tenure at the university.

In addition to his academic contributions, Larry Polivka has worked at the state and federal levels. His contributions to the State of Florida are numerous including service in several state agencies, as well as in the Office of the Governor. The White House Council on Aging, American Society on Aging, National Council on Aging, and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education have also benefited from his extensive consulting and committee work.

Larry Polivka has also contributed to every major journal in his field. He has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Aging, Humanities and the Arts; Journal of Applied Gerontology; Journal of American Medical Association; The Gerontologist; Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology; Journal of Applied Gerontology; and was co-editor of the Journal of Aging and Identity. His most recent publication, “Neoliberalism and Postmodern Cultures of Aging (2011)” in the Journal of Applied Gerontology is highly regarded for the unique interdisciplinary perspective the article brings to aging studies. “How to Protect Social Security for Another 75 Years (2010),” article was printed in prominent newspapers throughout the state to honor the 75th anniversary of Social Security.

On the eve of his retirement, Polivka won the Elaine M. Brody Thought Leader Award  from the Gerontological Society of America, an organization devoted to research, education and practice in the field of aging, for his outstanding career contributions in social research, policy and practice. 

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