Lifeline Online Newsletter

LifeSpan Banner

May 2003

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

LSI web site:

Reminder from Academic Computing: Prevent Bouncing Email: Clean out your old email—especially if you will be gone this summer and not checking your email regularly. Tips for good mailbox management at:



Gerontology Center begins search for new director

Celebration of Dick Schiefelbusch’s 85th birthday and future of Life Span Institute set for July

Life Span in the news



Administration News & Announcements

Administration Recommendations for raises complete but raises delayed

Communications Free and convenient photos for PIs; Open House participation

Research, Design & Analysis First RDA Summer Institute on Structural Equation Modeling August 4-8

Project Development May update

Gerontology Center begins search for new director

The KU Gerontology Center has initiated a nationwide search for a director to replace Rhonda J.V. Montgomery who left January 1 to assume the Helen Bader Endowed Chair of Gerontology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's School of Social Welfare.

David J. Ekerdt, Gerontology Center Senior Scientist and Professor of Sociology, will continue to serve as the interim director during the search. Mary Lee Hummert, Professor of Communication Studies and Gerontology Research Associate, is chairing the search committee.

The Gerontology Center’s affiliation with the Bureau of Child Research in 1990 paved the way for an extended research agenda of the newly formed Life Span Institute.

Center researchers are interested in all areas of aging, but are distinguished by seminal research in communication, public policy, studies of long-term health care and housing alternatives and aging in minority populations.

The Center coordinates an interdisciplinary graduate concentration in gerontology for students enrolled in any master’s or doctoral program at the University as well as a multidisciplinary graduate program that offers both masters and doctoral degrees in gerontology.

Center staff members also work with a wide variety of public and private agencies in developing programs for older persons and their families and assist agencies and organizations with evaluations of programs and public policies.

The complete position announcement is at:

Celebration of Dick Schiefelbusch’s 85th birthday and future of Life Span Institute set for July

If you haven’t received your invitation to what we are informally calling, the Schief Bash, call Cindy Roberts at 864-0566. We’re going to reflect on the impact of Dick’s leadership in building our world–class research institute and, at Dick’s request, explore our common future. Hence, our theme is a Schiefelism – “If I hadn’t believed it, I wouldn’t have seen it.” Please join us as we celebrate our beloved founder’s continuing contributions and wisdom on July 19.

Life Span Institute in the News

Rud Turnbull, Co–Director of the Beach Center on Disability, Professor of Special Education, and a lawyer who specializes in disability law and policy, says that the pending reauthorization of IDEA is a reversal of 28 years of U.S. special education policy. He should know—he helped write the original legislation. Turnbull spoke eloquently for the disabilities community on this week’s program of the award-winning National Public Radio series, Kansas Kids Health, broadcast statewide over NPR and commercial stations. The program is at:

Once again, the research of Susan Carlson and John Colombo on infant cognitive development and nutrition that helped convince infant formula makers to offer formulas containing two fatty acids found in breast milk was cited by the media—this time in Sunday’s New York Times article, The Marketing of a Superbaby Formula. See


Mabel Rice, director of three of the twelve Life Span research centers, the Child Language Doctoral Program, the Merrill Advanced Studies Center, and the Biobehavioral Neurosciences in Communications Disorders Center, was named the first Fred and Virginia Merrill Distinguished Professor of Advanced Studies on May 7.

Rice is an internationally recognized authority on language acquisition in children and language disorders, particularly Specific Language Impairment.

The Leawood couple pledged $1 million to the Kansas University Endowment Association to establish the Merrill professorship that further ensures the success of the center they established through a 1990 gift to KU Endowment. The complete story is at: and


The Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute has released an RFP for the 2003 Research Development Grants. Please note that the letter of intent is due by July 7th, 2003 and the final proposal is due August 15, 2003. The RFP guidelines are at

Administration News & Announcements


Ed Zamarripa, Director, Finance and Administration

Recommendations for merit–based raises completed, but raises delayed

The Kansas Legislature has allowed KU to provide a 1.5 percent merit–based salary increase for FY 04. We have received most of the evaluations and have based our recommendations on those evaluations. The good news is that most people will receive a salary increase. The bad news is that it is deferred until later in the summer. The earliest we can expect to activate these increases is July 20, but it may be as late as August 17 before these raises go into effect. We will let everyone know when we receive the approval date for the increases. Call me if you have any questions.


Karen Henry, Coordinator, Communications

Photo session for PIs June 25 and 26

OK, now it’s free and convenient, so you PIs who have been shirking getting your photo taken for the new web site, releases, etc., are just about out of excuses. Bob Christensen from Parsons will be set up to take official “head and shoulders” portraits in the main conference room in the LSI central office. It should take about 8 minutes max. As of this writing, we have 10–11:20 a.m. slots open on Wed., June 25, and 9:50–11 a.m. on Thurs. June 26. Jessica Black will book you so call her at 864-0597 or email

Life Span at KU Open House

This year, Open House will be combined with the Family Weekend on September 19 and 20. This university–wide event will replace the traditional academic open houses. The Open House itself is on Saturday, September 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the theme KU is More Than You Imagine.

Last year, LSI Central, Merrill, Beach and Gerontology combined forces and located near each other in front of Watson Library. We talked to lots of people, directed people to services and resources, handed out literature, and Gerontology even got names of potential research subjects. Also, KU administrators were about and expressed approval for our participation. In short, it was worth it and I’d like to do it again this year with even more participation from as many centers as possible. We’re even considering a professional display. I will be contacting each center director to designate someone to participate in an Open House planning committee this summer.

Research Design & Analysis

Todd Little, Director, Research Design & Analysis

First Annual RDA Summer Institute on Structural Equation Modeling

The RDA unit will conduct a weeklong summer institute on Structural Equation Modeling: Foundations & Extended Applications, August 4–8, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Lawrence.

Todd Little, RDA director, and James Bovaird, RDA research associate, will teach the basics of SEM up through longitudinal and multiple–group SEM. The RDA team will provide hands–on practice with the SEM software package LISREL. The cost to attend the summer institute is $1500. There are a limited number of 50 percent fee–waivers available with proof of graduate student or post–doctoral status. For more information and to reserve a spot go to:

Project Development

Paul Diedrich, Associate Director for Project Development

Past Submissions not previously reported

1. Michael Wehmeyer and Sean Smith submitted their third–year grant performance report “Mental Retardation and Technology Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project” to DE/OSERS/NIDRR on May 5, 2003.

2. Jerry Schultz and Stephen Fawcett submitted a new, two–year proposal “Online Support for Environmental Health Improvement” to the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine/CDC on May 9, 2003.

3. Kathryn Saunders submitted her five–year renewal proposal “Interdisciplinary Research Training in MR/DD” to NICHD on May 10, 2003.

4. Donna Wickham and Gwen Beegle submitted their fourth–year continuation “Inclusive Network of Kansas: Field Based Technical Assistance and Professional Development” to Kansas DE on May 12, 2003.

5. Christopher Smith, Steven Mills and David Lindeman submitted a new, four–year proposal “National Technical Assistance Center on Rural Head Start Evaluation and Accountability” to DHHS/ACF on May 12, 2003.

6. Vincent Francisco, Stephen Fawcett and Jerry Schultz submitted a new, five–year proposal “Applied Research, Evaluation and Support of NSF Match Science Partnerships using Established Internet–Based Systems” to NSF on May 12, 2003.

7. Glen White, Joseph Donnelly, Dennis Jacobsen, Cheryl Gibson and Debra Sullivan submitted a new, three–year proposal “Living Well with a Disability: Conditioning and Weight Loss” to CDC on May 13, 2003.

8. H.R. Turnbull submitted his fifth–year continuation “North Carolina Quality of Life” to the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities on May 15, 2003.

9. Wayne Sailor submitted a new, three–year proposal “Small Learning Communities” to DE/OVAE via the prime contractor, the Topeka Public School District, on May 19, 2003.

10. Vincent Francisco submitted his second–year continuation “Community Monitoring Documentation System” to the Kansas SRS on May 28, 2003.

11. Hugh Catts submitted his seventh–year progress report “Relationship Between Language and Reading Abilities” via the University of Iowa (prime contractor, Bruce Tomblin PI, “Collaboration on Specific Language Impairment”) to NIDCD on June 1, 2003.

12. Mabel Rice submitted her seventh–year progress report “Diagnosis of Developmental Language Impairment” via the University of Iowa (prime contractor, Bruce Tomblin PI, “Collaboration on Specific Language Impairment”) to NIDCD on June 1, 2003.

13. Richard Washburn, Dennis Jacobsen, Joseph Donnelly, J. Leon Greene, Debra Sullivan, Cheryl Gibson and Matthew Hall submitted their second–year progress report “Prevention of Obesity in YMCA Daycare Centers” to NIDDK on June 1, 2003.

14. Stephen Fowler and Susan Lunte submitted a new, five–year proposal “Phenotypic Neurobehavioral Assessment of Mouse Models of Prader-Willi Syndrome” via Children’s Mercy Hospital (prime contractor, Merlin Butler, PI) to NIH on June 1, 2003.

15. Kathleen Kannass and John Colombo submitted a new, two–year proposal “Continuity of Attentional Dysfunction in Early Childhood” to the NIMH Small Grants Program (RO3) on June 1, 2003.

16. Susan Kemper submitted a new, five–year proposal “Language and Executive Function in Parkinson’s Disease” via KU Medical Center (prime contractor, Joan McDowd, PI) to NIA on June 1, 2003.

17. Dennis Jacobsen, Joseph Donnelly, Richard Washburn, Muriel Saunders, Richard Saunders and Mary Hise submitted a new, two–year proposal “Effective Strategies for Weight Loss in People with Mental Retardation” to the NIDDK Small Clinical Research Grants in Digestive Diseases and Nutrition (R03) competition on June 1, 2003.

Upcoming Submissions

1. Kathy Thiemann will submit her second–year, grant performance report “Promoting Generalized Social Communication Outcomes for Children with Autism: Effects of a Multi-Component Intervention in Inclusive School and Home Settings” to USDE/OSERS/OSEP on June 6, 2003.

2. Glen White and Michael Fox will submit their second–year continuation “Disaster Response Training to Help Disabled Persons” to ATPM/CDC on June 6, 2003.

3. Cheryl Utley, Lisa Bowman and Wayne Sailor will submit their second–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 June 16, 2003.

4. Dale Walker will submit her second–year, continuation “Promotion of Communication and Language Development with Infants and Young Children in Inclusive Community-Based Child Care” to DE/OSERS/OSEP on June 16, 2003.

New Awards (not previously funded) Information

1. Steve Mills received a new, one–year award “Technology Rich Classroom Grant – SEKESC – Woodson and Marmaton Valley Partnership” from Southeast Kansas Education Service Center that began June 1, 2003.

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).