Holly L. Storkel, PhD

Interim Associate Dean for Academic Innovation and Student Success
Primary office:
3001 Dole Human Development Center



B.A. with Honors, 1993, Speech and Hearing Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington.
M.S., 1995, Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle.
Certificate of Clinical Competence, 1997, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Ph.D., 1998, Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle.

Research Grants, Honors, and Awards

NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, DC00012, 1998-2001.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation New Investigator Research Award, 2000-2001.
NIH Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award DC04781, 2001-2006.
University of Kansas New Faculty General Research Fund Award, 2002-2003.
Editor's Award, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2002.
NIH Small Grant, DC06545, 2004-2006.
NIH Clinical Research Loan Repayment Award, 2002-2005.
NIH Research Grant, DC08095, 2006-2011.

Current Publications

Storkel, H. L. & Hoover, J. R. (2011). The influence of part-word phonotactic probability/neighborhood density on word learning by preschool children varying in expressive vocabularyJournal of Child Language, 38, 628-643.

Storkel, H. L. & Lee, S. Y. (2011). The independent effects of phonotactic probability and neighborhood density on lexical acquisition by preschool children. Language and Cognitive Processes, 26, 191-211.

Hoover, J. R., Sterling, A. M., & Storkel, H. L. (2011). Speech and language development. In A. S. Davis (ed), Handbook of pediatric neuropsychology (pp. 71-78). New York: Springer.

Hogan, T. P., Bowles, R. P., Catts, H. W., & Storkel, H. L. (2011). The influence of neighborhood density and word frequency on phoneme awareness in 2nd and 4th grades. Journal of Communication Disorders, 44, 49-58.

Storkel, H. L. (2011). Differentiating word learning processes may yield new insights - A commentary on Stoel-Gammon's 'Relationship between lexical and phonological development in young children.' Journal of Child Language, 38, 51-55.

Storkel, H.L. (2011). The developing mental lexicon of children with specific language impairment. In J. Guendouzi, F. Loncke, and M. J. Williams (eds), The Handbook of psycholinguistic & cognitive processes: Perspectives in communication disorders (pp 419-433). New York: Psychology Press.

Storkel, H. L., Maekawa, J., & Hoover, J. R. (2010). Differentiating the effects of phonotactic probability and neighborhood density on vocabulary comprehension and production: A comparison of preschool children with versus without phonological delaysJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.

Hoover, J. R., Storkel, H. L., & Hogan, T. P. (2010). A cross-sectional comparison of the effects of phonotactic probability and neighborhood density on word learning by preschool childrenJournal of Memory and Language, 63, 100-116.

Storkel, H. L. & Hoover, J. R. (2010a). An on-line calculator to compute phonotactic probability and neighborhood density based on child corpora of spoken American English. Behavior Research Methods, 42, 497-506.

Storkel, H. L. & Hoover, J. R. (2010 b). Word learning by children with phonological delays: Differentiating effects of phonotactic probability and neighborhood densityJournal of Communication Disorders, 43, 105-119.

For a more complete selection, please link to project publications and project presentations.

Teaching Grants, Honors, and Awards

University of Kansas Center for Teaching Excellence Best Practices Workshop, 2003.
University of Kansas Center for Teaching Excellence Teaching Grant, 2003.
University of Kansas Center for Teaching Excellence Faculty Seminar, 2004.
University of Kansas Center for Teaching Excellence Faculty Fellow, 2004.
University of Kansas Graduate and Professional Association Mentorship Award, 2004.
University of Kansas Center for Teaching Excellence Best Practices Workshop Facilitator, 2004.
University of Kansas Center for Teaching Excellence Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, 2005.
University of Kansas W. T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, 2007.
Mentor of the Year Award, University of Kansas and Haskell Indian Nations University Minority Student Programs, 2007.
K. Barbara Schowen Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, University of Kansas Undergraduate Research Symposium, 2007.

Teaching Activities

HNRS 190, Freshman Honors Tutorial.
SPLH 261, Survey of Communication Disorders.
SPLH 466, Language Science.
SPLH 665, Phonetics and phonological development (course portfolio).
SPLH 880, Word learning.
SPLH 880, Clinical treatment of phonological disorders (course portfolio).
SPLH 970, Summer Independent Study on Word Learning.
SPLH Departmental Honors Coordinator.
Faculty facilitator, Thematic Learning Community on Careers Working with Children.
MA SLP Curriculum Development (course portfolio).


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.

Teaching Interests

  • Language science
  • Phonology
  • Phonological disorders


Dr. Storkel’s research program focuses on understanding how typically developing children learn sounds and words so rapidly whereas children with language disorders struggle to learn sounds and 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).

Research Interests

  • Language development
  • Language disorders
  • Phonology
  • Word learning
  • Vocabulary
  • 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).

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