No grass grows under the feet of the CDS Department! As you just read, Dr. Mary Anne Hanner is retiring after 30 years at Eastern Illinois University, the last 11 in the Dean’s office. We certainly wish her well in retirement and know she will enjoy having more time to spend with the grandchildren. Her position will be filled by Dean Godson Obia for a year, which opened up an Associate Dean position – which Dr. Tina Veale assumed July 1. That vacated our Graduate Coordinator position for a year. What a domino effect!! In addition , we sadly bid farewell to Dr. Angela Anthony and new baby Thomas and husband Graham. They relocated back to Virginia to be closer to Graham’s work base of operations. So some big gaps to fill for next year! Dr. Rebecca Throneburg will serve as Graduate Coordinator, while Dr. Alice Dyson, Ms. Barbara Voss Goodson, and Angela Anthony (via distance education) will be helping cover classes during the year. 2011-2012 will definitely require flexibility and creativity!
But I have great confidence in our students and faculty! They all continue to excel and demonstrate significant accomplishments. CDS had eight student presentations accepted for ASHA last November, the highest ever. A second generation CDS student, Margaret Xenakis, daughter of Drew Xenakis, was awarded a Livingston C. Lord scholarship and will serve as the Student Dean of the College of Sciences next year. Stephanie Fanale, a CDS undergraduate honors student was awarded the Francis Meyer Hampton Scholarship for her graduate studies, the most prestigious scholarship awarded by the Graduate School. Christine Anderson served as an officer on the Student Senate and was named as the EIU Outstanding Senior. CDS student success is a direct result of the effort and energy invested by faculty to foster exceptional student development and learning!
Successful alumni came back to campus and shared their expertise with students. Carmin Haskett Bartow (M ’93) provided a stimulating lecture as the guest speaker for the Graduate Forum in February as the recipient of the CDS Outstanding Alumnus Award. Dr. Wanda Webb (M ’71) was honored by the Graduate School with an Alumni Award and shared her expertise in a guest lecture for students. Dr. Lynn Miner, a faculty member during Dr. Webb’s time on campus as a graduate student, joined her for the dinner presentation. Julie Lupien (B ’81) was recognized with an Alumni Award in October as part of Homecoming festivities. President Perry was so impressed with her message that he invited her back to be the May Commencement speaker for the College of Sciences graduation ceremonies. Julie’s work with missionaries from all over the world was of particular interest to Mrs. Betty Dodson, previous Clinic Director, who joined us at commencement to hear Julie’s inspiring words. It is so rewarding to share the success of our alumni with our current students and faculty. We are proud of all you do to make a difference in the world!
The Department was also highlighted by President Perry, who launched a capital campaign that included an Autism Center as a major component of the fund-raising initiative. The Autism Center would initially be housed in the current clinic facility, with future expansion possibilities in conjunction with a new Science building. The focus of the Autism Center would be in three primary directions in early stages – evaluation, education, and consultation. The evaluation component would give priority to families who are referred to resolve diagnostic questions regarding autism spectrum disorders. The education aspect would be to offer classes for teachers, parents, and other professionals to learn how to meet the needs of children with autism spectrum disorders. The third aspect would allow faculty to observe in school settings and consult on-site with teachers and parents regarding ideas for educational programming. This has exciting possibilities to help meet the needs of families and children in downstate Illinois!
Several years of development and planning reached completion this spring when the University councils approved an additional master’s degree option that is designed to help address the critical shortage of SLPs in the Illinois public schools. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders who are employed in the schools as an aide or assistant can apply to a three year cohort program that is approximately 50% online-distance education and 50% on-campus education. Candidates will take distance education classes during the fall and spring, and spend summers on campus for classes and practicum. Fifteen students will be accepted in the program, in addition to the thirty new students in the traditional two-year program. A large grant application was completed that, if funded, will cover the students’ tuition. This would be the only program of its kind in Illinois and a testament to EIU faculty and their commitment to professional education.
Needless to say, the CDS Department at EIU continues its mission of excellence and service. I invite you to read about the events of the year and savor the memories that are evoked as you recall your own experiences on campus. Come back anytime to relive those memories and create some new ones!
Chair Gail Richard