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March 2012

From the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER)

NCSER Grantee Honored with Early Career Research Award

Paul Morgan

Paul Morgan, associate professor at Pennsylvania State University and a National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) grantee, is the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Early Career Research Award from the Division for Research of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). This award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding scientific contributions in basic and/or applied research in special education within the first 10 years after receiving the doctoral degree.

Morgan's contributions to the field encompass interdisciplinary research focused on early childhood risks for cognitive delays and academic difficulties. In addition to the nearly 30 publications in peer-reviewed journals he has authored and the numerous presentations at national and international conferences, Morgan is also the recipient of several research grants including two from NCSER. The first, a project that analyzed data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort to estimate the extent to which problems in mathematics hindered future growth trajectories, found that difficulties in kindergarten math reliably predicted children's mathematics growth over their subsequent 5 years of schooling. With his most recent grant, Morgan will be using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort to investigate the role of potentially malleable factors (including parenting practices, child care quality, and early intervention services) in the onset of vocabulary delays during at-risk children's infant, toddler, and preschool years.

"This award from CEC is a great honor," says Morgan. "It was a very happy occasion to hear the news! It's humbling to be recognized in this way by the field's senior researchers. Most importantly, it's wonderful to know that this work may be helping inform the field's efforts to improve the early experiences of children with disabilities. I'm tremendously excited and grateful, and very happy to be continuing to conduct this type of special education research."

To view the award announcement from the CEC, please see