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UNC literacy expert will give annual Goldstick lecture at Illinois

11/2/2012 | Sharita Forrest, Education and Social Work Editor | 217-244-1072;

[ Email | Share ] CHAMPAIGN,Ill. — Karen Erickson, a literacy expert, will give the annual Goldstick Family Lecture in the Study of Communication Disorders at the University of Illinois on Nov. 8. Erickson’s talk is titled “Conditions of Literacy Learning Success for Students With Significant Disabilities.”

Erickson is the director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and conducts research on literacy assessment and instruction for struggling readers of all ages, including people with significant disabilities. A faculty member in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Erickson also holds an appointment as the Yoder Distinguished Professor in the department of allied health sciences.

The Goldstick Initiative for the Study of Communication Disorders, funded in 2005 by an endowment from Phillip C. and Beverly Goldstick, of Chicago, supports the sharing of new strategies and practices with families and schools to ensure that children with disabilities live as independently as possible in their homes, neighborhoods and communities. The Goldsticks’ gift was made in honor of their granddaughter, Marissa, who has Rett syndrome, a genetic developmental disorder that primarily affects girls and affects their motor skills and intellectual, sensory and emotional functioning.

The Goldstick Initiative funds a lecture series in communicative disorders each fall that enables faculty members and students at Illinois and scholars from across the country to share their research with the Champaign-Urbana community. The initiative supports two fully funded research fellowships for doctoral students, currently held by Melinda Snodgrass, special education, and Mariana Betancourt, neuroscience.

The initiative also funds a faculty appointment, the Goldstick Family Scholar in Communication Disorders, in the College of Education. Michaelene Ostrosky, the head of the department of special education, is the current Goldstick Family Scholar and the coordinator of the Goldstick Initiative. She also is a co-principal investigator on a $3 million grant project aimed at improving the social acceptance of kindergartners with disabilities.

James Halle, now an emeritus professor of special education, was the inaugural Goldstick Scholar (2005-2009).

The lecture, followed by a reception, will begin at 4 p.m. in the Alice Campbell Alumni Center, 601 S. Lincoln Ave., Urbana. The event, free and open to the public, will include remarks by Phillip Goldstick; Mary Kalantzis, the dean of the College of Education; Ostrosky and Caryn Zelinger, who is the Goldsticks’ daughter and Marissa’s mother.

Metered parking is available in the lot south of the Alumni Center and on the street.

Information on Erickson’s talk and the department of special education is available on the Web.
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