In October, the Communication Sciences and Disorders program saw two faculty members recognized for their contributions to the field of speech therapy at the Arkansas Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ArkSHA) conference. ArkSHA connects audiologists, speech-language pathologists and future professionals through advocacy, education, mentoring and networking.
Assistant Professor Chris Holyfield received the ArkSHA Research Award. This award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the research literature related to the speech therapy or audiology professions. This is the second time in the history of the Communication Sciences and Disorders program that a faculty member has received this award. She received this award for her ongoing intervention research focused on improving communication and language outcomes for people with developmental and multiple disabilities.
Her work has helped develop and evaluate new teaching strategies and technological innovations to help people with developmental disabilities communicate. She collaborates with researchers across the country to this end. Holyfield has presented his work internationally and nationally and has published in a number of high impact journals. Importantly, she has also collaborated with organizations in the state of Arkansas to support the translation of research into practice within the state.
Associate Professor Fran Hagstrom has been selected to receive the state association’s highest honor, the association’s honorary award. This award recognizes people who have made a significant contribution to the field of audiology or speech therapy during their career. Hagstrom has established one of the oldest and most successful study abroad programs on campus, Health Teams Abroad-Sweden, mentored over 50 undergraduate students with distinction, presented and taught at levels nationally and internationally, has served the campus and its profession in a variety of leadership positions – including the former Assistant Dean of Health Professions for the College of Education and Health Professions – and received millions of grants during his career. Recently, Hagstrom received the Distinguished Teaching and Research Award from Honors College and was the 2021 recipient of the COEHP Honors Faculty Award.
Holyfield and Hagstrom have demonstrated a consistent impact in the field of speech therapy on the U of A campus and beyond. Their sustained work has been recognized and celebrated by ArkSHA as well as the Communication Science and Disorders Program this year.