Our close friend and colleague, Dr. J. Steven Reznick, passed away July 5, 2016 after a three year battle with ALS.
Dr. Reznick was born in Winston-Salem, NC in 1951 and attended R.J. Reynolds High School. He was a proud alumnus of UNC Chapel Hill, receiving his B.A. in 1973. He obtained his M.A. from Wake Forest University in 1975 and his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Colorado Boulder in 1982. He started his academic career as the Research Director of the Harvard Infant Study and served on the faculty at Yale University before returning to Carolina in 1998 as a Professor of Developmental Psychology.
Dr. Reznick’s research focused on infant cognitive development, covering topics such as working memory, attention, and language development. He also examined nutrition, autism spectrum disorder, and other developmental challenges through collaborations with colleagues. Dr. Reznick was the author of seven books and a key developer of two widely-used scientific assessment tools, including the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory, a child language assessment tool, and the First-Year Inventory, a parent-report instrument used to identify infants at-risk for autism spectrum disorder. He held joint appointments at the Center for Developmental Science, the Carolina Institute of Developmental Disabilities, and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute.
He was dedicated to service, founding the Cognitive Development Society, as well as serving as Director of the Developmental Psychology graduate program and Associate Dean for First-Year Seminars and Academic Experiences. Dr. Reznick was an exemplary citizen of the Carolina community and was awarded multiple honors include the C. Know Massey Distinguished Service Award, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, and the Order of the Golden Fleece.
Dr. Reznick had a lifelong commitment to education, research, and Carolina. He will be sorely missed by the many faculty, students, and staff who knew him – and he leaves behind a legacy of courage and inspiration.