Mellard selected for Research Achievement Award

An internationally renowned expert on basic adult literacy and learning disabilities is the 2011 recipient of the Research Achievement Award. It is the highest honor given annually to a full-time academic staff researcher working in a department or research center at KU.

Daryl F. Mellard

Daryl F. Mellard is an associate research professor in the School of Education and director of the Division of Adult Studies in the Center for Research on Learning. He will be recognized at a 4 p.m. ceremony May 11 in 150 Joseph R. Pearson Hall. The award — including a plaque and $10,000 in research funds — will be presented by Steve Warren, vice chancellor for research and graduate studies. A reception will follow and the public is invited to attend.

Mellard was nominated for the award by Donald Deshler, director of the Center for Research on Learning, who described him as “an enormously productive researcher whose work is making a difference in the quality of life enjoyed by individuals with disabilities. He is a wonderful colleague to other researchers in CRL and is an outstanding mentor to young scholars and graduate students.”

Mellard joined the center’s staff in 1982, following six years as a public school psychologist for districts in Leavenworth, Barber and Kingman counties in Kansas. His research focuses on education and employment issues for adults and interventions to improve adult literacy in adult education and other programs. His academic background includes a bachelor’s in psychology, an education specialist degree in school psychology and a doctorate in special education, all from KU.

Mellard is co-author of the highly regarded “RTI: A Practitioner’s Guide to Implementing Response to Intervention.” He is also the author or co-author of nearly 50 scholarly journal articles and principal investigator on funded research projects for the U.S. Department of Education, the National Institutes of Health and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. In Kansas he has conducted funded research projects for the Department of Education, the Board of Regents, the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services and other state agencies.

Under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council, Mellard is completing a two-year appointment on the prestigious Committee on Learning Sciences, Foundations and Applications to Adolescent and Adult Literacy. A committee colleague, Steve Graham of Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development, describes Mellard as “the top scholar nationally and internationally in the area of basic adult literacy.” His research is “systematic, addresses critical issues in adult basic literacy and provides sound guidance in terms of policy, research and service. In my opinion, his research in this area is without peer,” Graham said.

The KU Research Achievement Award was established in 2006 and is administered by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. Past recipients are David VanderVelde, former director of the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Laboratory; Rick Miller, senior scientist in the Exploration Services Section of the Kansas Geological Survey; Debra Kamps, director of the Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training; and Donald Huggins, senior scientist with the Kansas Biological Survey.

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