Dr. Storkel received her bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. She received her master's in Speech-Language Pathology and doctorate in Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. Dr. Storkel completed her clinical fellowship year during her doctoral program by working in a private practice specializing in language disorders in children. Upon completion of her PhD, Dr. Storkel was a post-doctoral fellow in Speech and Hearing Sciences and Cognitive Psychology at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. She joined the faculty in the Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences and Disorders Department at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS in 2001.
Dr. Storkel teaches courses related to language structure, processing, development and disorders at the undergraduate and graduate level. She also has lead several doctoral seminars related to professional development and grant writing. In terms of student mentoring, Dr. Storkel has mentored 1 post-doctoral fellow, 13 doctoral students as a primary mentor or co-mentor, 8 doctoral students as a secondary research mentor, 2 SLPD students as a primary mentor, 26 MA student research projects, and 41 undergraduate research projects. In addition, Dr. Storkel has served as a sponsor or co-sponsor on two NIDCD F31 Predoctoral Fellowships (F31DC006749, PI J.R. Hoover; F31DC006749, PI T.P. Hogan) and is currently a co-director (with Dr. Mabel Rice) on the Training Researchers in Language Impairments training grant (T32DC000052). She has received 5 university awards for excellence in teaching and/or student mentoring and has published several local and national articles on teaching and training issues.
- Language science
- Phonological disorders
Dr. Storkel’s research program focuses on understanding how typically developing children learn words so rapidly whereas children with language disorders struggle to learn words. Her completed research (K23DC004781, R03DC008095, R01DC008095) has provided evidence that certain words are easier to learn than others. Moreover, which words are easier to learn depends on the time point when learning is sampled (i.e., immediate learning during training versus retention following a gap in training) as well as the language skills of the child (R03DC008095, R01DC008095). Dr. Storkel’s ongoing research (R01DC012824) attempts to translate what is known about the nature of word learning deficits in children with language disorders into an effective treatment. You can learn more about her research at her Word and Sound Learning laboratory website http://wordlearning.ku.edu/, including her currently funded project Kindergarten Children Acquiring Words through Storybook Reading (KAW Story).
- Language Development
- Language disorders
- Word learning
- Specific Language Impairment
- Speech sound disorders
Dr. Storkel currently serves as Chair of the KU Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences and Disorders Department and Co-Director (with John Ferraro) of the KU/KUMC Intercampus Program in Communicative Disorders (2013-present). Dr. Storkel also is the Past-President of the KU Chapter of Sigma Xi (an international & multi-disciplinary research society, 2017-2019), an Action Editor for the Journal of Child Language (2014-2017), and Chair of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Scientific Advisory Board. Additional recent leadership experience includes Associate Chair of the KU Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences and Disorders Department (2010-2013), Chair of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (AHSA) Research and Scientific Affairs Committee (RSAC, 2011-2013); Faculty Fellow at the University of Kansas Center for Undergraduate Research (2013-2014); Associate Editor for the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (2011-2013).
Storkel, H. L., Komesidou, R., Fleming, K. K., & Romine, R. S. (2017). Interactive book reading to accelerate word learning by kindergarten children with SLI: Identifying adequate progress and successful learning patterns. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 48, 108-124.
Storkel, H. L., Voelmle, K., Fierro, V., Flake, K., Fleming, K. K., & Romine, R. S. (2017). Interactive book reading to accelerate word learning by kindergarten children with SLI: Identifying an adequate intensity and variation in treatment response. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 48, 16-30. http://hdl.handle.net/1808/22552
The long-term goal of Professor Storkel's research program is to determine how preschool children learn and organize the words of the language with the ultimate intent of applying this knowledge to clinical populations. Children acquiring a language are faced with at least two tasks related to words: learning new words and organizing these in memory to uniquely distinguish each word from every other. During this process, children are also learning the sound system of the language, and it is likely that advances in word and sound learning influence one another. The specific aims of the research program are:
- to identify the processes underlying learning of new words and to describe the structure of word representations in preschool children;
- to document the influence of sound development on word learning and representations in preschool children;
- to examine these same processes in children with delayed vocabulary and/or sound development to provide evidence concerning the nature of these apparent delays.
The findings to emerge have the potential to extend current theories of word learning and to inform theories concerning the relationship between language perception and production.