The Francis Alison Faculty Award (2011), University of Delaware, is “…the University’s highest faculty honor.” It is awarded to “…a faculty member of the University of Delaware who has made notable contributions to his or her field of study. Established by the Board of Trustees in 1978 to recognize the scholarship, professional achievements, and dedication of the UD faculty, the award confers membership in the Alison Society.”

The Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society(2011), American Psychological Association, with Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, for “…an individual whose work has…contributed not only to the science of developmental psychology, and who has also worked to the benefit of the application of developmental psychology to society. The individual’s contributions may have been made through advocacy, direct service, influencing public policy or education, or through any other routes that enable scientific developmental psychology to better the condition of children and families.”

Distinguished Service to Psychological Science Award (2009), American Psychological Association, with Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, for “disseminating and translating psychological research and making it accessible to policymakers and the general public through publications, public lectures and advisory roles with child-related organizations.”

Winner, Books for a Better Life Award (2004) for Einstein never used flash cards: How our children really learn and why they need to play more and memorize less (co-authored with Kathy Hirsh-Pasek). Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press.

Named H. Rodney Sharp Professor, University of Delaware, 1995.

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow, 1988.

James McKeen Cattell Supplemental Sabbatical Award for Psychologists, 1988.



Member, National Advisory Board, Alliance for Childhood.  Advisor on Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School, 2009.

Panelist, Congressional Briefing, Rethinking Pre-K and Kindergarten Education, Washington, D.C., May 28, 2009.

Advisor to W. Ma and L. Song, Recipients of the F.B. Murray Research Award, School of Education, University of Delaware, May 2008, 2009.

Member, National Science Foundation, Committee of Visitors in Developmental and Learning Science, March, 2009.

Nominee, University of Delaware Advising and Mentoring Award, from School of Education, February, 2009.

Distinguished Lecturer in Language and Literacy, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, February, 2009.

D. O. Hebb Lecture, Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, December, 2008.

Winner, in the Art Category, The National Best Books 2008 Awards, for Celebrate the scribble: Appreciating children’s art (co-authored with Kathy Hirsh-Pasek). Bethlehem, PA: Crayola Beginnings Press. Also finalist in the Education PreK- 12 category and the Parenting/Family Reference category.

Winner, Best Philanthropic Product from Mom’s Choice Awards (2008)for Celebrate the scribble: Appreciating children’s art (co-authored with Kathy Hirsh-Pasek). Bethlehem, PA: Crayola Beginnings Press.

Outreach: APA Spokesperson, interviewed and quoted disseminating the work of developmental and educational psychology to hundreds of radio stations, numerous print media outlets (magazines such as Time, Parenting, Newsweek, Wondertime, Child, etc.; newspapers all over the country). London Times (December, 2007): Three-page spread evaluating toys.

Keynote Address, Women of Promise dinner, University of Delaware (2007, November).

Associate Editor, Child Development, July 2007- July 2010.

Scholar in Residence: Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, CNRS – Université Paris Descartes Centre Biomédical des Saints Pères, 2007, May – June.

Keynote Address, with K. Hirsh-Pasek, Boston University Conference on Language Development, (2006, November).

Exhibit, PlayWorks, at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, based on the ideas in our book, Einstein never used flash cards: How our children really learn and why they need to play more and memorize less. (2006, September).

Major Address to Governor Timothy M. Kaine at his Smart Beginnings Summit, Richmond, VA (2006, August).

Research featured on PBS series “Human Language; “Good Day Philadelphia;” “Good Morning America;” Fox Washington, D.C. morning show; National Public Radio; “Wake up Baltimore!”; Comcast Television Morning Show; and ABC World News; Year of Language Radio Project.

Member, Honor’s Committee in Linguistics, Swarthmore College, 1999, 2002, 2003.

Convocation Address, presented to 4,000 incoming freshmen. University of Delaware, 1998.

Fellow, American Psychological Association Division 7 (Developmental Psychology) and Division 15 (Educational Psychology).

Research Fellowship, Center for Advanced Study, University of Delaware, 1993-1994.

Supervised senior honors thesis of Laura E. Kenealy, Recipient of Senior Research Award, Department of Psychology, University of Delaware, 1993.

Distinguished Faculty Award, College of Education, University of Delaware, 1988.

Visiting Fellow, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship in Cognitive Science, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, 1980-1981.

Supervised dissertation of Carol Harding, Recipient of George Herbert Ryden Dissertation Prize. University of Delaware, 1981.

Graduate Teaching Award, College of Education, University of Delaware, 1978.

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh. Sponsor: Dr. Robert Glaser, 1972-1974.



Over the years, I have been very fortunate to have my work on language development funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institue of Child Health and Human Development.  I thank these agencies and all the people who are involved in the review process.

These grants are one of the reasons that I am so committed to writing popular press books.  These books represent a kind of “payback” for the investment of your tax dollars in my work!  It also gives me a chance to share the excitement of research and the significant findings that emerge with people who enjoy learning about children’s amazing capabilities.