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Drake professor awarded $724,000 in federal funding

September 6, 2012

Maria Valdovinos, associate professor of psychology

Maria Valdovinos, associate professor of psychology, recently received two federal grants totaling almost $724,000. The awards will go toward Valdovinos’ research projects.

The National Institutes of Health awarded Valdovinos approximately $388,000 for her research project, “Function-Based Analysis of Psychotropic Drugs Effects on Problem Behavior in Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities.” The study, which will be conducted with Drake undergraduate students, will enhance understanding of how multiple psychotropic medication use impacts disruptive behavior of individuals with developmental disabilities.

“This is a study that seeks to inspire Drake undergraduates to enter into science as a career,” Valdovinos says. “Experience gained by the students will provide them with opportunities to learn about conducting experiments, data collection and analysis, intellectual disabilities, and the pharmacological and behavioral treatment of issues associated with intellectual disabilities.”

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education Institute for Education Sciences through the University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc., awarded Valdovinos approximately $336,000 for the research project, “The Effects of Online Decision Making Support for Home Visitors Using an RTI Approach to Promoting the Language Development of At-Risk Infants and Toddlers.” She will work with Drake University Head Start and the University of Kansas’ Juniper Gardens Children’s Project to improve child language outcomes for Early Head Start children using a new web-based tool, MOD: Making Online Decisions.