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 post-doctoral fellow, PhD students, SLPD students, MA student research projects, and 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 as 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 focuses on why some children learn words and sounds so easily while others struggle. Her goals is to understand what parents and professionals (such as teachers and speech language pathologists) can do to help children who struggle to learn words and sounds. Her work has been funded since 2001 by the National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders.
- Language Development
- Language disorders
- Word learning
- Developmental language disorders
- Specific Language Impairment
- Speech sound disorders
Dr. Storkel currently serves as the Associate Dean for Academic Innovation and Student Success in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at KU. She is the Editor-in-Chief for Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools and a standing member of the Center for Scientific Review's Language and Communication Grant Review Panel. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation.
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.