Archive for Thursday, July 26, 2007

Zuna wins award

July 26, 2007

Nina Zuna, a Kansas University doctoral student in special education from Eudora, won the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Student Award in recognition of her research showing that parents of kindergartners with and without disabilities are more alike than different when it comes to how they view their relationships with their children's teachers. Zuna won national and peer recognition. In addition, the KU Professionals for Disability recognized her with the 2007 Judy Tate Outstanding Doctoral Student Medallion Award.

Zuna will receive her degree in August.

Following graduation, she will be a research associate at KU's Beach Center on Disability, a federally funded research and training center exploring the impact of public policy on families of children with disabilities.

For her dissertation, Zuna wanted to know whether disability alone influenced how pleased parents were with educators. Through her research, she found it did not make any difference. Most earlier studies in her field were limited to either parents of children with disabilities or parents of those without disabilities -- but not both.

Zuna, who switched from a career in health care a few years ago to begin working with children with autism, is focused on improving quality of life and supportive networks for families of children with disabilities.

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