5 - Number of faculty members receiving FLASHA's "Honors of the Association Award" (statewide)
248 - Number of bachelor's degrees awarded in 2015-16
81 - Number of master's degrees awarded in 2015-16
~2,000 - Number of clients served by the Communication Disorders Clinic in 2015-16
11 - Number of faculty members who are fellows of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
College of Health and Public Affairs
University of Central Florida P.O. Box 162215 4364 Scorpius Drive Orlando, FL 32816-2215
Giving a 'Voice' to Innovation: Kent-Walsh Wins Marchioli Award
Monday, March 20, 2017
Jennifer Kent-Walsh (middle) received the first Marchioli
Collective Impact Innovation Award at a Provost Forum in
By Kristy McAllister
Working as an intern at a speech-language clinic in rural Nova
Scotia, Jennifer Kent-Walsh met a family who would forever change
what she wanted to do with her life.
The patient was a young woman with a small child, engaged to be
married. Before her wedding she went in for a routine surgery, but
came out of it never able to walk or talk again.
"As a result of a medical error, she was completely paralyzed,
and her only reliable motor movement was her eyes - looking up for
'yes' and down for 'no,'" Kent-Walsh said. "She was desperately
looking for options that would allow her to communicate and be more
involved in her daughter's upbringing."
However, the clinic where Kent-Walsh was working did not have
access to the resources to help her - neither the specialists nor
the assistive technologies and devices.
The FAAST center engages directly with clients, students and
patients to make meaningful scientific advances in how assistive
technology services are provided. With an overarching goal of
academic and clinical teaching, research and service, the center is
able to help community members while training the next generation
of speech-language pathologists.
Kent-Walsh's impact and passion are why she was awarded UCF's
first award based on the new Collective Impact Strategic Plan, designed to
recognize and reward great ideas that help advance the university
Marchioli Collective Impact Innovation Award goes to one
faculty or staff member each fall and spring semester for the next
three years for their innovative initiatives, programs or projects
that demonstrate measurable outcomes related to at least one
priority metric from the Collective Impact Strategic Plan.
Innovations are judged on the ability to scale them across the
Kent-Walsh will share successful strategies and best practices
on April 10, during a new speaker series aimed at
continuing the institutionalization of the strategic plan and
encouraging innovation across campus.
Throughout the series, awardees will share their tips and
strategies for identifying a niche or novel idea, building
partnerships, securing funding, gaining national recognition, and
documenting outcomes and impact for their successful projects or
"The goal in establishing the FAAST Center at UCF was to ground
all the work we do in a clinical context by working side-by-side
with individuals who have significant speech impairments, as well
as their families and service providers," Kent-Walsh said. "By
employing technology through evidence-based clinical interventions,
we work to provide the basic human right that every person has -
the right to communicate, irrespective of a person's ability to
The award's namesake and benefactor, Nelson Marchioli '72, was
so encouraged by the results that he decided to raise each award
amount from $1,000 to $5,000.
He hopes to inspire continued recognition and celebration of
innovation across the university, and motivate faculty and staff to
develop and test ideas that drive new levels of innovation at UCF.
Nominations for the award for
Fall 2017 are being accepted now through Sept. 22.
"This award was developed to recognize faculty who have taken
their ideas and driven them from conceptualization into providing
innovative solutions," said Lisa Guion Jones, Associate Provost for
Strategy and Special Assistant to the President.
Kent-Walsh was recognized as the first winner during the Provost Forum on Feb. 13,
where an in-person demonstration by FAAST client Frances Barona
showcased the technologies and abilities the center provides,
illustrating the program's powerful impact.
Unable to speak on her own or use her hands to operate a
computer, Barona was able to convey her gratitude by activating a
specially designed computer with voice output through her eye
"I am very happy that my dad brought me to FAAST," Barona said.
"I go to the FAAST center every week, and work very hard to get
better at using my computer to speak."
Francis' father was equally grateful. "Me, as a father, I had a
very hard time finding the resources for my daughter. But, thanks
to FAAST and UCF, she is doing very well. I want to say thank you,
because she has a voice now. She can talk."
"Jennifer is the heart and soul behind FAAST," said Michael
Frumkin, dean of UCF's College of Health and Public Affairs. "What
Jennifer has actually done, in an amazing way, is integrated
clinical service delivery, academic instruction for our students,
clinical instruction for those students, community partnerships,
and research activities in a single place that makes an enormous
difference for the lives of people on a daily basis."
Share and Enjoy:
NSSLHA gives me the opportunity to connect with young professionals who share a similar passion as well as volunteer in our community to promote awareness about disorders and the role of a speech-language pathologist.
— Kristina D'Errico,
president of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association at UCF
Being an SLP-ELL scholar enabled me to gain the knowledge and skills I need to be a better SLP working with English Language Learners. I feel confident in my abilities thanks to the master's program and SLP-ELL grant.
— Amber Suarez ,
M.A. in communication sciences and disorders with a federal grant-funded specialization ('14)
Aphasia House offered me unique therapy not available anywhere in our region.
— Denette Schweikert,
artist, stroke survivor and former Aphasia House client
Aphasia House provided me with a unique and memorable experience where I was able to experience being a clinician, in a real world setting, working with clients and their families.
— Ashley Mignon,
M.A. in communication sciences and disorders ('14)