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February 2004

News for the investigators, staff and associates of the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies

Karen Henry, editor

The Life Span Institute at the University of Kansas
1052 Dole Human Development Center
1000 Sunnyside Avenue
Lawrence, KS 66045-7555
(785) 864-4295 TDD (785) 864-5051

Back issues at LSI web site:

Submit your presentations: A calendar and archive of seminars, presentations, posters and training by and of interest to Life Span investigators begin at Send your submissions to


John Colombo to be first LSI Associate Director for Cognitive Neuroscience

LSI Annual Performance Evaluations due March 26

Language to Literacy Seminar Series winds up with April 5 Landry lecture

Robin Morris Language to Literacy presentation tapes available for loan

Life Span in the News

Honors, Publications, Presentations, Testimony, Honors, Addresses, Appointments

Central Office Announcements

John Colombo to be first LSI Associate Director for Cognitive Neuroscience

The Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies (LSI) at the University of Kansas has named John A. Colombo, professor of psychology and associate dean of the Graduate School, as its first associate director for cognitive neuroscience.

Among Colombo’s charges at LSI is leading KU’s efforts to create a strong cross-disciplinary research program in cognitive neuroscience—the study of the neural processes that underlie behavior, thought, language, and learning.

“The development of a strong cognitive neuroscience program fits well within the goals of the Life Span Institute and KU’s life sciences initiative, " said LSI Director Steven Warren. “John Colombo’s own research in this field and leadership at KU makes him an ideal choice for this important role.”

Colombo will assume the new position August 18 as he steps down from his three-year tenure as associate dean of the Graduate School.

"As associate dean, John Colombo was instrumental in leading the Provost's Task Force on Graduate Education and in helping to shape new professional development programs for graduate students,” said Graduate School Dean Diana Carlin. “These initiatives will help shape the future of graduate education at KU. We are pleased that he will continue to contribute to the university's research mission and the role of graduate education in that mission.”

Colombo’s career exemplifies success as both a scientist and a teacher. In the last two years alone, he was elected a Fellow in both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society. In the past year, he has served on a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Special Emphasis Panel on Cognition and Development and a National Science Foundation panel, and was recently selected to serve on a review panel at the Institute of Education Sciences for the U.S. Department of Education.

He also won the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Graduate and Professional Mentoring and Advising and the J. Michael Young Outstanding Academic Advisor Award for the Social Sciences.

He currently holds grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and industry, and is a core director of LSI’s NIH-funded Center for Biobehavioral Neurosciences in Communication Disorders.

In 2002, his research on infant nutrition and cognitive development with KU Professor of Nutrition Susan Carlson helped convince the two major infant formula makers to add two fatty acids that are present in mother's milk to baby formula. (See
His current NSF grant studies infants’ perception of time during learning.

Colombo received a doctoral degree from the State University of New York–Buffalo in 1981 and came to KU in 1982 as a research associate and then principal investigator for the Life Span Institute. He has been a tenure-track faculty member of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences since 1988.

LSI Annual Performance Evaluations due March 26

We previously notified LSI staff of the need to have an up-dated job description on file at the project level for annual performance evaluations. We expect University budget requirements to be moved up this year, necessitating a revised deadline of March 26 for supervisors to submit completed staff evaluations to LSI.

1) Every unclassified employee must have a job description filled out using the LSI Unclassified Employee Evaluation form previously disseminated. This form can be found on the LSI website at

2) Supervisors must evaluate the job performance for the past year based on the responsibilities of the employee described in his or her job description.

3) Those senior research staff who are self-reporting should also report their accomplishments using this form describing their responsibilities and accomplishments. Additional materials can be appended if needed.

4) Send completed evaluations to Ed Zamarripa at LSI. Please note that any merit salary increase will be based on these evaluations so it is essential that everyone comply. If a staff member does not have an annual evaluation on file in this office, the staff member will not be eligible for any salary increase.

Final note. After the annual evaluation has been submitted, the supervisor should confer with each employee and together, develop a set of goals for the coming year. These goals can then be added to the evaluation that was submitted, but clearly labeled "Goals for FY 2005." These goals can be used as part of the evaluation process next year. The LSI Position Description Menu and Instructions are also at as previously announced. If you have any questions, please call Ed Zamarripa.

Language to Literacy seminar series winds up with Susan Landry

The last speaker in the Language to Literacy seminar series will be Dr. Susan H. Landry, Michael Matthew Knight professor of pediatrics and chief of the Division of Developmental Pediatrics at the University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center. She will speak on Promoting Cognitive Readiness In Ways That Support The Whole Child at 2 p.m. on Monday, April 5 in the Alderson Auditorium of the Kansas Union at the University of Kansas.

Landry directs the Center for Improving the Readiness of Children for Learning and Education that has produced more than twenty years of research based in a high-risk Houston community, including the development of a widely implemented curriculum for Head Start.

Landry is collaborating in a large study of preventing child neglect with University of Kansas researchers Steven Warren, director of the Life Span Institute, and Judith Carta, Life Span senior scientist, and researchers at the University of Notre Dame and Georgetown University.

Dr. Landry was a featured speaker at Laura Bush's White House Summit and mini White House Summits held across the United States on cognitive development in young children. She is much sought-out keynote speaker for conferences regarding this issue. More recently, she presented her research before Senator Edward Kennedy, Department of Education representatives, and others in Washington D.C.

Educators, practitioners, university students and other members of the academic and professional communities are particularly welcome to this presentation. The presentation is free and no registration is necessary.

The Kansas Colloquia on Intellectual Developmental Disabilities is sponsored by the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, the Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, the Center for Reproductive Sciences, the Beach Center on Disability, the Juniper Gardens Children's Project and the KU Center on Developmental Disabilities.

Robin Morris presentation now online and tapes available for loan

The LSI has three VHS tapes of Robin Morris’s Feb. 19 Language to Literacy presentation for loan. Contact Karen Henry at We are also attempting to stream the file from our web site. Stand by. That file will be available at:

Life Span in the News

David Ekerdt, Interim Director of the Gerontology Center, is quoted on the persistence of work ethic in retirement in St. Petersburg (Florida) Times article.

Honors, Publications, Presentations, Testimony, Addresses, Appointments


Mills, Steven C. (2004). Computer-Assisted Instruction. In A. Kovalchick & K. Dawson (Eds.), Education and Technology: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Mills, Steven C. (2004). Research on Media and Learning. In A. Kovalchick & K. Dawson (Eds.), Education and Technology: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO
Mills, Steven C. (2004). Web Accessibility. In A. Kovalchick & K. Dawson (Eds.), Education and Technology: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.


Atwater, J. & Baggett, K. (panelists) Measuring parent-child interactions: techniques and their utility for informing intervention. Presentation at the 2004 Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention, Feb. 28, 2004, San Diego, CA.

Carta, J. (session leader) Examining parent engagement as an outcome and mediator of outcomes in home visiting early intervention program. Presentation at the 2004 Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention, Feb. 28, 2004, San Diego, CA.

Fey, M. Key components and ideal model of El for FXS. Discussion at Presentation at Early Intervention Strategies for Young Children with Fragile X Syndrome, Feb. 4, 2004, Palm Springs, CA

Greenwood, C. (panelist) When the gold standard is not good enough: reaching conclusions about program effectiveness for young children with disabilities without random assignment. Presentation at the 2004 Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention, Feb. 26, 2004, San Diego, CA.

Horn, Eva. Developing meaningful motor skills. Presentation at Early Intervention Strategies for Young Children with Fragile X Syndrome, Feb. 4, 2004, Palm Springs, CA.

Walker, D. (session leader) & Fey, M. (panelist). Distilling effective strategies for promoting communication of infants and toddlers in homes, child care programs and across routines. Presentation at the 2004 Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention, Feb. 26, 2004, San Diego, CA.

Warren, S. (session leader) Efficacy research for the next decade: infants and toddlers. Presentation at the 2004 Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention, Feb. 26, 2004, San Diego, CA.

Warren, S. & Brady, N. Communication interventions. Presentation at Early Intervention Strategies for Young Children with Fragile X Syndrome, Feb. 3, 2004, Palm Springs, CA.

Poster Sessions

Atwater, J. & Walker, D. Natural environments for learning to talk: findings from a decade of longitudinal research n children’s homes and child care settings. 2004 Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention, Feb. 27, 2004, San Diego, CA.

Baggett, K Multiple risks among inner-urban early head start families: implications for intervention. 2004 Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention, Feb. 27, 2004, San Diego, CA.

Greenwood, C. Assessing intervention results for infants and toddlers using individual indicators of growth and development. 2004 Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention, Feb. 27, 2004, San Diego, CA.

Central Office News and Announcements

Central Office


Karen Henry, Communications Coordinator

As part of KU’s Marketing Council, the staff arm of a campus-wide effort to market KU more successfully, I want to draw your attention to the KU visual identity initiative that could affect every LSI center’s visual identity in print, on the web, signage, etc. The rationale for this initiative is that many academic and research units are not visually associating themselves with the University, so KU misses those public relations opportunities that would accrue from the work and reputation of those units.

So far, a committee of KU public relations, marketing and graphic design professionals have met for several months, researched the visual identity approaches of other universities and presented their findings to many KU administrators, deans and directors as well as KU alumni who are marketing, advertising and PR professionals.

KU is currently selecting a consulting firm to guide the creation of a university-wide visual identity system beginning this spring. Their recommendations, judging from what the visual identity committee presented from other universities, could range from the simple inclusion of a specified KU identity with a unit’s logo, to a stricter interpretation of the use of individual logos, words and colors. At this point, KU plans to test the recommended visual identity protocol over the summer with implementation being phased in beginning in the fall semester.

For more information, see the February 27, 2004 Lawrence Journal World article:

Project Development

Paul Diedrich, Associate Director for Project Development

Past Submissions not Previously Reported

1. Mabel Rice submitted a six-month supplement to “Morphosyntactic Abilities of SLI Probands and Families” on January 12, 2004.

2. Richard Saunders, Dennis Jacobsen and Muriel Saunders submitted a new, one-year proposal “Data Collection on Food Purchase, Preparation and Consumption for JCDS Clients” to Johnson County Developmental Supports on January 16, 2004.

3. Nancy Brady submitted a two-year supplement to “Promoting Communication Outcomes for Children with Deaf-Blindness through Adaptive Prelinguistic Strategies” to DE/OSEP on January 31, 2004.

4. Adam Doughty, along with Dean Williams and Kathryn Saunders, submitted a new, two-year RO3 “Factors Influencing the Sustained Attention of Persons with MR” to NICHD on February 1, 2004.

5. Kathryn Saunders submitted a new, four-year RO1 “Recombinative Generalization of Within-syllable Units in MR” to NICHD on February 1, 2004.

6. Steven Barlow submitted his fourth-year continuation “Functional Outcomes of Cleft Lip Surgery” to the University of North Carolina, prime contractor to NIH, on February 1, 2004.

7. Judith Carta, Jean Ann Summers and Jane Atwater submitted their fourth-year continuation “Early Head Start Research Partnership Project” to HHS/ACYF on February 1, 2004.

8. Cheryl Utley, Lisa Bowman and Wayne Sailor submitted their third-year, continuation “Positive Behavioral Support as a Comprehensive, Proactive and School-Wide Intervention Program for Preventing Problem Behaviors, Referrals, and Suspensions in Urban Elementary At-Risk Students and Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders” to DE/OSERS/OSEP on February 27, 2004.

9. Dale Walker submitted her third-year, continuation “Promotion of Communication and Language Development with Infants and Young Children in Inclusive Community-Based Child Care” to DE/OSERS/OSEP on February 27, 2004.

10. Jane Wegner and Brenda Myles submitted her fifth-year Grant Performance Report “The Communication and Autism Project (CAP) to DE/OSERS/OSEP on February 27, 2004.

11. Dennis Jacobsen and Debra Sullivan, in collaboration with Joe Donnelly and Richard Saunders, submitted a new, three-month proposal “Awareness, Prevention and Treatment of Obesity for DD Service Recipients in Johnson County, Kansas” to the Johnson County Developmental Supports on February 27, 2004.

12. Joe Donnelly, Dennis Jacobsen, Leon Greene, Ric Washburn, Debra Sullivan, Cheryl Gibson, and Matt Mayo submitted their third-year, non-competing continuation “Prevention of Obesity in Children with PAAC” to NIDDK on March 1, 2004.

13. Mabel Rice submitted her eighth-year, non-competing continuation “Training Researchers in Language Impairments” to NIDCD on March 1, 2004.

14. Holly Storkel submitted her fifth-year, non-competing continuation “The Mental Lexicon in Language Acquisition” to NIDCD on March 1, 2004.

15. Stephen Fowler, Troy Zarcone and Susan Lunte resubmitted their five-year RO1 competing continuation (renewal) “Biophysical Study of Antipsychotics Behavioral Effects” to NIMH on March 1, 2004.

16. Dennis Jacobsen, Joe Donnelly, Rik Washburn, Muriel Saunders, Richard Saunders, Debra Sullivan and Matt Mayo resubmitted their two-year RO3 proposal “Effective Strategies for Weight Loss in People with Mental Retardation” to NIDDK on March 1, 2004.

17. Susan Kemper resubmitted a five-year proposal “Language and Executive Function in Parkinson’s Disease” via KU Medical Center (prime contractor, Joan McDowd, PI) to NIA on March 1, 2004.

18. Mabel Rice and Todd Little, in collaboration with Shelley Smith at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, resubmitted their five-year, competing continuation (renewal) “Morphosyntactic Abilities of SLI Probands and Families” to NIDCD on March 1, 2004.

Upcoming Submissions

1. Joe Donnelly will submit a new, one-year proposal “6th Annual Conference on the Treatment and Prevention of Obesity with an Emphasis on Children and Adolescents” to CDC on March 8, 2004.

2. Kathy Olson will submit a new, two-year proposal “Stop Abuse and Sexual Assault Against Individuals with Disabilities” to the Department of Justice on March 9, 2004.

3. Michael Wehmeyer, David Lindeman and Chet Johnson will submit the year 33, non-competing continuation “Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities (KUCDD)” to HHS/ACF/ADD on March 10, 2004.

4. Steve Warren and Judy Carta will submit their fourth-year continuation “Predicting and Preventing Neglect in Teen Mothers” via Notre Dame, prime contractor, to NIH on March 12, 2004.

New Awards (not previously funded) Information

1. Jerry Schultz and Stephen Fawcett received a new, one-year award “Continuation of the Community Development for Healthy Children Project” from the Kansas Health Foundation that began November 1, 2003.

2. Joseph Donnelly, Dennis Jacobsen and Debra Sullivan received a new, fourteen-month award “The Effects of Dairy Intake on Weight Maintenance and Metabolic Profile” from Dairy Management, Inc. that began November 15, 2003.

3. Todd Little received a new, four-month award “Modeling Developmental Processes in Ecological Context” from the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology that began January 1, 2004.

4. John Colombo received a new, one-year award “Mead Johnson Nutritional Research” from the KU Medical Center that began January 13, 2004.

Comments and questions to:

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access,, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, medical center campuses).