Friends of LSI recognize outstanding researchers 

Friends of LSI recognize outstanding researchers

The Friends of Life Span recognized outstanding LSI investigators and graduate students at its annual awards dinner held April 8.

            The Friends of Life Span Institute Investigator Awards honor outstanding scientists who are principal investigators on externally funded LSI research projects. Two awards are given each year: one for a mid-career scientist and one for an investigator in the first years of his or her career. Recipients are selected based on the nature and quality of their research record and the potential impact, or realized impact, of their work in generating new knowledge or contributing to translational science in keeping with the mission of LSI. Recipients each receive $7500.

            Howard Wills received the 2015 mid-career award. An associate research professor at the Juniper Gardens Children's Project, Willis was honored for his exemplary contributions in the areas of behavioral disorders, at-risk youth and technology-based interventions. Among his current research projects is the development of a web-based application called I-Connect that lets teens monitor and manage their behavior and set and achieve academic goals through wireless devices.

         The early career award went to Amy Gaumer EricksonAmy Erickson Gaumerassociate research professor at the Center for Research on Learning. Her work focuses on the implementation of instructional practices that enable students with and without disabilities to become college and career ready. She also has collaborated with state departments of education on professional development and evaluation instruments.

            The Friends of the Life Span Institute GRA Awards assist the research and professional development of outstanding graduate research assistants affiliated with an LSI project. Two doctoral students are recognized each year: one at the dissertation stage ($3000) and another in the early stages of graduate study ($2500).

            Simone Huls received the 2015 advanced student award. She is a graduate research assistant in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences & Disorders, working with professor and department chairHolly Storkel. Huls is researching an assessment of speech and language in bilingual children, with a focus on children with Specific Language Impairment using an interdisciplinary perspective that includes linguistics, second language acquisition and speech-language pathology.

            E (Alice) Zhang received the award for a doctoral student in the early stages of graduate study. Zhang is a doctoral student in applied behavioral science and a graduate research assistant in the Research and Training Center on Independent Living, working with RTC/IL directorGlen White. Her master’s thesis on increasing parking opportunities for people with lift-equipped vans will be published next year in the Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community.

            The Friends of LSI is a philanthropic group of LSI researchers, families and friends. Funds for the awards, which have been presented since 2005, are administered by the KU Endowment Association.