Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders sweeps the 2017 ACSLPA Awards

Professor, alumna and students recognized for excellence in the speech-language pathology field

Amy Knezevich - 13 December 2017

She may have had a difficult first clinical rotation as a student in speech-language pathology, but that didn't stop Tammy Hopper from pursuing a career where she was able to help people every day. She found her calling during her next rotation working with adults, which kindled her interest in researching cognition and communication abilities in aging adults and those with dementia.

Hopper received this year's Honours of the College Award from the Alberta College of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (ACSLPA) for her "significant contribution to the professions of speech-language pathology or audiology in clinical practice, research, supervision, teaching, administration and/or service." Hopper's distinguished career and contributions have led her through a range of experiences, from clinical practice to academia, to her current role as professor and graduate supervisor within the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine and Vice-Provost, Programs in the University of Alberta's Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic.

"I was nominated by my colleagues, which is very meaningful to me, because I can think of several of them who are also deserving of this award," said Hopper. "I know it sounds cliché, but I was honoured just to be nominated! I am thrilled to have actually received the award."

"Truly, my life has been enriched by the profession and the people I have worked with over the years," said Hopper.

"I am proud of my profession and the work that our clinicians do each day to help people with communication and swallowing disorders to live their best lives. I hope, through our work in education, research and service at the university, that we continue to do this important daily work that takes place in schools, medical settings, outpatient clinics and people's homes," said Hopper.

Three other members of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders family were also celebrated at this year's ACSLPA Awards.

Alumna Angele Fournier (MScSLP '12) received the Horizon Award, which recognizes "a member who has worked five years or less and has demonstrated initiative, leadership and excellence in service delivery."

Fournier worked at the Edmonton Catholic School Board in their early learning division for her first two years of practice. She then started work at the Centre for Autism Services of Alberta part-time where she provides both home and school-based support to individuals with Autism and their families, and also provides services to her hometown rural school division through private contracts.

Alumna Angele Fournier (MScSLP '12) received the ACSLPA
Horizon Award. (Photo: Alberta College of Speech-Language
Pathologists and Audiologists.)

In addition to those roles, Fournier holds a clinical educator position in the University of Alberta's Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and gives an annual guest lecture on the topic of dual-language learners to UAlberta MSc speech-language pathology students. She was recognized this year in large part due to her contributions to guest lecturing and supervising students in the department's Corbett Clinic.

"My experience as a guest lecturer and clinical educator have been challenging, rewarding and educational all at the same time! Students have an excitement to learn and try new things which in turn ignites my passion for teaching and pushes me to explore new ideas and ways of doing things," said Fournier.

"Receiving this award highlighted to me that the work we do as speech-language pathologists does not go unnoticed, but rather is recognized and celebrated. Receiving this award will motivate me to expand my knowledge of the field as well as continue sharing my passion with others!"

Charlene Chan (MScSLP '17) earned
the Academic Achievement Student
Award. (Photo supplied.)

Charlene Chan (MScSLP '17) earned the Academic Achievement Student Award for the highest overall GPA, and Taylor Paetker (MScSLP '17) received the Clinical Achievement Student Award for attaining the highest overall rating in her clinical placement.

"I am so grateful to ACSLPA for considering me for their clinical achievement award," said Paetker.

"As a recent graduate, it feels surreal to not only be a part of such an exciting profession, but to also be recognized by ACSLPA! This award is the culmination of not only all the hard work my colleagues and I have gone through to complete the program, but also all the support from family, friends, ACSLPA, SAC and the University of Alberta. I truly could not have done it without the encouragement from peers, support from professors and inspiration from clients!" said Chan.

"I entered the program with such a narrow view of the speech and language pathology world and left the program seeing a glimpse of just how vast our scope really is. Through this journey, I've fallen in love with working with the preschool population and their families and am excited to start my career," said Chan.

Congratulations to the award recipients!