Peter Martin – Regents Award for Faculty Excellence

Iowa State University
Established to recognize a faculty member who has rendered significant service to Iowa State University and/or to the state of Iowa.

Peter MartinPeter Martin
Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS)
Regents Award for Faculty Excellence

With an international reputation for excellence and leadership in his field, Peter Martin has dedicated himself to improving the lives of older adults – and done the same for countless students and colleagues.

According to one of his peers, “Dr. Martin is the leading authority internationally on the role of personality in adult development and aging.”  Martin has also investigated aspects of aging that range from community support for nutrition and exercise to the impact of environmental factors on well-being.

As director of Iowa State’s gerontology program and co-founder of the Iowa Consortium on Aging Programs, Martin is currently leading the multidisciplinary Exceptional Longevity in Rural Environments Initiative. The project seeks to determine how psychosocial resources affect the cognitive and physical functioning of older adults; Martin will use its findings to direct collaboration with ISU’s Department of Computer Science on the development of “smart home”  technologies that foster independent living for the very old.

His colleagues consider Martin an exceptional teacher and mentor to both junior HDFS faculty and the many graduate students with whom he has worked. Martin hosts an annual gerontology seminar, for example, that gives participants the resources and encouragement necessary to present papers at national and international conferences. As one nominator noted, “He challenges his assistants to become deeply involved in their work and involves them extensively in the discovery and dissemination of cutting-edge ideas and empirical results.” 

Martin’s wide-ranging achievements led another colleague to conclude, “Peter Martin exemplifies the very best of what it means to be a university professor, balancing research and teaching interests in gerontology with service to his department, college, and the university.” 