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Faculty, Students to Shine at National Speech-Language-Hearing Convention

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By Karen Guin

Five UCF faculty members and a student organization will receive top honors at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's annual convention Nov. 20-22 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

All are members of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. "They are being recognized for contributions that directly impact the students we educate and clients we serve," said department chair and Professor Richard Zraick.

Professor Barbara Ehren will receive ASHA's most prestigious award, the Honors of the Association, for lifetime achievement and excellence. Ehren is a nationally known expert in adolescent literacy and language disorders, and she directs the department's doctoral track focused on language and literacy.

Zraick and Associate Professors Kenyatta Rivers and Linda Rosa-Lugo will receive the Fellowship of the Association award, which is bestowed to those whose contributions are cornerstones of the professions, according to ASHA. Zraick is an accomplished researcher with interests in voice disorders and adult neurogenic speech-language disorders. Rivers has expertise in language development and cultural and linguistic diversity. And Rosa-Lugo specializes in cultural and linguistic diversity as well as the treatment of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

These three new fellows join six previously named fellows currently in the department, bringing the total to nine ASHA Fellows on the faculty. 

Professor Martine Vanryckeghem will receive ASHA's annual Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Contributions in International Achievement. She is the co-author of assessment tools for young and school-age children who stutter that are used throughout the world.

The UCF Chapter of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association is one of just three student organizations to be honored at the convention. The large, active student group will receive the Bronze Award for its efforts to support NSSLHA's core values through fundraising and career awareness events and advocacy for individuals with communication disorders.

The honorees will be recognized at the convention's Award Ceremony Nov. 21, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. A UCF Open House will follow from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. to celebrate the university, discipline and recipients of this year's awards.

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders has 26 full-time faculty members with plans for additional faculty hires under way. More than 1,000 students are enrolled in its undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The department's main office, faculty offices and teaching laboratory are located in Health and Public Affairs II. The department's Communication Disorders Clinic is located in the Central Florida Research Park and will offer new state-of-the-art facilities for clients in January 2015.

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