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Psychology professor named 2012 AAAS Fellow

Friday, December 14, 2012

Todd Little

LAWRENCE – The world’s largest general scientific society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has named a University of Kansas research leader and professor as a 2012 AAAS Fellow.

Todd D. Little, director of the Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis and professor in the Department of Psychology, was awarded the honor by the members of AAAS. He received the fellowship for his contributions to the fields of developmental psychology and quantitative methods. The AAAS particularly noted his service, educational outreach and innovative scholarship.

“It’s not just an honor for me. It’s also for the Center [for Research Methods and Data Analysis],” Little said. “I have big plans to try to accomplish. I want to continue building the center and the research we support to be field-guiding and possibly paradigm-shifting.”

Little’s research addresses developmental psychology and quantitative methods. Richard Lerner, Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and the Director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, wrote one of the letters nominating Little as a fellow. He cited Little’s contributions to the understanding of socio-emotional development and the nature of self-regulatory processes involved in healthy and positive development across the life span.

“The work of Professor Little stands as an exemplar of a scientist using rigorous theory and methodology to describe, explain and optimize the trajectories across life of diverse individuals,” Lerner said in his letter.

Little is the director of the social and behavioral sciences methodology minor — an innovative program for undergraduates — and the director of the quantitative social sciences training program. He also founded, organizes and teaches at the popular KU Stats Camp each June. See more information here.

He is internationally recognized for his quantitative work as well as his substantive developmental research. Little has recently completed a book on the foundations of longitudinal structural equation modeling and he has edited five books related to methodology including the two-volume “Oxford Handbook of Quantitative Methods.”

The AAAS has named fellows since 1874. Members of AAAS nominate their peers for the fellowship, and the AAAS Council votes on the final recipients. Fellows are chosen for scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science and its applications.

Little and the other AAAS Fellows will be recognized at the 2013 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston on Feb. 16. Little is the only KU faculty member named as a fellow this year.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science serves 10 million individuals worldwide and publishes the journal Science, which has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes 261 affiliated societies and academies of science.

The Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis and the Department of Psychology are part of KU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which encourages learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers. Through innovative research and teaching, the College emphasizes interdisciplinary education, global awareness and experiential learning. It is the broadest, most diverse academic unit at the University of Kansas.