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Holly Storkel named vice provost for assessment and program development

Friday, August 28, 2020

LAWRENCE — Professor Holly Storkel, the associate dean for academic innovation and student success in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Kansas, has been appointed to a part-time position as vice provost, focused on academic program assessment.

Storkel, a professor in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Disorders & Sciences, will continue her faculty role at .25 FTE and her associate dean role at .5 FTE. The .25 FTE vice provost for assessment and program development role will provide institutional oversight for the assessment of curricular outcomes. In the role, Storkel will also assess student learning, including assessment of the KU Core. She will be responsible for ensuring that assessment practices meet accreditation requirements set by the Higher Learning Commission.

“This position is a natural extension of Holly’s administrative role in the College and helps us better organize as a university to meet accreditor expectations for program assessment and to provide evidence of students’ achievement of learning outcomes,” said Barbara Bichelmeyer, provost & executive vice chancellor. “We have a distinct opportunity to bring one of our campus innovators into a role that will benefit the entire institution. Assessment is a critical component of our efforts to ensure students learn. It’s also part of our commitment to help faculty realize their full potential as educators. I’m excited to work with Holly more closely, and I know we will all benefit from her talents and insights and her active engagement with offices such as the Center for Teaching Excellence as we pursue our goals in these areas.”

The vice provost will facilitate collaborations with faculty members, chairs and campus stakeholders. Their work will be to build and implement assessment policies, practices and systems, and link assessment activities with strategic planning.

Storkel joined the KU faculty in 2001. Over the course of her tenure she has served as chair of the KU speech-language-hearing: sciences and disorders department and as co-director of the KU-KU Medical Center Intercampus Program in Communicative Disorders. Storkel also served as president of the KU Chapter of Sigma Xi, the international, multidisciplinary research society, from 2017-2019. She is the current editor-in-chief for Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools and was named a fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 2014. Additional leadership experience includes terms as associate chair of the KU speech-language-hearing: sciences and disorders department from 2010 to 2013, chair of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Scientific Advisory Board from 2014 to 2017, chair of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Research and Scientific Affairs Committee from 2011 to 2013; Faculty Fellow at the KU Center for Undergraduate Research from 2013 to 2014; and action editor for the Journal of Child Language from 2014 to 2017.

Storkel has established a strong research program that studies why some children learn words and sounds so easily while others struggle. Her current NIH-funded project focuses on teaching new words to kindergarten children with developmental language disorder (DLD) through book reading. Two children in every kindergarten classroom have DLD. DLD affects a child’s ability to talk to others and understand what others say to them. Vocabulary is an important foundation for learning to read that many children with DLD lack. Storkel’s NIH-funded project seeks to improve vocabulary in kindergarten children with DLD so that they will be on a path to becoming good readers and successful students.

Storkel received her bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing sciences at Indiana University. She received her master's degree in speech-language pathology and doctorate in speech and hearing sciences at the University of Washington. Storkel was a postdoctoral fellow in speech and hearing sciences and cognitive psychology at IU.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me and, I hope, the University of Kansas,” Storkel said. “I look forward to working with the KU community to showcase the excellent work being done to advance student learning. Our ability to tell the story of how we create a high-quality learning environment that helps our students attain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in work and life will be a crucial element of our preparation for HLC’s Comprehensive Evaluation during the 2024-2025 academic year.”

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