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USU Researcher is Named a Fellow

Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013

USU faculty member Sandra Gillam

Dr. Sandra Gillam has been named an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association fellow.

A professor in the Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education department at Utah State University is now an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association fellow.

Sandra Gillam’s award recognizes her contribution to communication sciences, and it’s one of the highest honors given by the professional association.  ASHA is the certifying body for audiologists and speech-language pathologists.

She will receive her award at the ASHA Convention in Chicago in November.

Her work supports an important field.

“For many children with language impairment their struggle is lifelong,” Gillam said.

For example, a child with a language impairment may experience grammatical problems when they are 5 years old, struggle with reading comprehension in the third or fourth grades and ultimately with expressing themselves and solving complex problems in high school. The language impairment doesn’t go away, rather it at manifests itself in different ways over time.

“A large number of children with behavior problems also have a language problem,” Gillam said.

And it doesn’t stop with school — job prospects and lasting relationships also require good language comprehension and production skills that support effective communication.

“In my opinion the children in our schools deserve the same level of services for their language learning and academic needs as a child with a medical issue,” Gillam said. “We should be working hard to bolster the underlying language skills they need to meet the Common Core Curricular Standards. Ethically, we should be doing this to the best of our professional abilities.”

Read more about her current research on the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services blog.

Related links:

USU Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education

USU Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services

Contact: Sandra Gillam, 435-797-7028,

Writer: JoLynne Lyon, 435-797-1463

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