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KU News Release

May 9, 2005
Contact: Karen Henry, Schiefelbusch Life Span Institute, (785) 864-0756.

KU Ph.D. student researching reading problems receives national fellowship

LAWRENCE -- Tiffany Patrice Hogan, a Ph.D. candidate in speech-language pathology at the University of Kansas, has received the $6,000 Jeanne S. Chall Research Fellowship, awarded by the International Reading Association to a promising scholar to support reading research. Hogan accepted the award during the IRA's 50th annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas, May 1 through 5.

Hogan is researching methods to develop more effective early identification and intervention tools for children whose problems with phonological awareness may affect their ability to learn to read.

" Children with phonological awareness problems have difficulty manipulating the sounds in words," Hogan said. "For example, these children have trouble thinking of words that rhyme. Because of their difficulties, these children struggle to learn to read because they do not know how sounds and letters match."

The IRA fellowship supplements an individual National Institutes of Health training grant Hogan received in June 2004 to help fund her dissertation research. Hugh Catts, chair of speech-language-hearing, and Holly Storkel, assistant professor in speech-language-hearing, are advising Hogan's research.

Hogan, who received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, practiced as a speech pathologist for three years at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. Her interest in the relationship between language and reading resulted from watching her clients, primarily preschool children with delayed speech and/or language skills, develop reading problems.

Hogan developed an intervention program to assist these children and began a Ph.D. program in KU's Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences and Disorders. To better understand the development of phonological awareness and lexical processing, Hogan is studying three groups of preschool children on word learning tasks.

Hogan and her husband, Eric, live in Lee's Summit, Mo. She is the daughter of Robert and Jean Zimmer of Lee's Summit, Mo.

KU's speech-language pathology program was ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News' 2006 "America's Best Graduate Schools." The program is part of the Intercampus Program in Communicative Disorders, administered jointly by the departments of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences and Disorders in Lawrence and Hearing and Speech at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan.

During its 50-year history, IRA has become the world's leading literacy organization. More than 80,000 reading professionals have joined IRA to collectively pursue excellent reading instruction and research so that all students can attain high-level literacy. For more information about IRA, visit


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