Grace, humour and generosity: Retiring CSD professor celebrated for her near 20-year career in rehabilitation medicine

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders' Carol Boliek spotlighted at tribute event on June 19

Amanda McCarthy, with files from Rehab Med faculty and staff - 21 June 2019

Carol Boliek has been described as 'the best colleague that anyone could ask for.'

And approximately 60 people who showed up to an event in her name will tell you that she is also a great mentor, teacher and friend.

On Wednesday, June 19, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine held a retirement celebration for Boliek at the Timms Centre for the Arts to pay tribute to her near 20-year career. The evening was hosted by Department Chair Karen Pollock.

Several of Boliek's colleagues, friends and former students spoke to her penchant for teaching and research, as well as her supportive nature.

"When you first get your findings... for a brief moment in time... you will be the only person in the world to have that knowledge. And how cool is that?" - Carol Boliek on why research is fun, provided by Gabriela Constantinescu

"Having known Carol for about 17 years, I have a lot of wonderful memories of her. The ones associated with bovine larynges will always hold a special place in my heart though-spending quality time on the road trip to get them and in preparing them for lab in her kitchen, the scramble to make them usable for lab when they didn't defrost in time and showing the students the wonder of the larynx! Carol is great at rolling with the punches and always makes sure the learning experience is a good one, no matter what obstacles are put in her way," said Teresa Hardy, speech-language pathologist and former student of Boliek in the PhD Rehabilitation Science program who was one of the speakers at the event.

Boliek became a part of the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine in June of 2002. Prior to that, she spent her time in research at the University of Arizona and completing postdoctoral fellowships.

Monique Charest, assistant professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, is one of many who will miss her presence in the faculty.

"Carol cares deeply about mentoring junior colleagues to be successful, as researchers and as academics, more generally. She is an impeccable researcher who is able to think deeply and give insightful feedback about fields of study that go beyond her own area of expertise. We have spent many hours over the past five years talking about research, the mission of the university and faculty and life in general, and she has always shared her wisdom with such grace, humour and generosity. I feel very lucky to count her as a colleague, mentor and friend."

"I celebrate Carol for her commitment to mentoring, through example, coaching and ongoing support. Her commitment has benefitted individuals, the department and the profession." - LuAnne McFarlane

During her 17 years in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Boliek's primary research focus has been on the developmental aspects of speech motor control in healthy children with neurogenic communication disorders. Specifically, her studies address the development of the respiratory subsystem and its coordination with the other speech subsystems for vocalization and speech.

"I remember when Carol first came to interview for her position here at the U of A. I asked her why she would ever want to leave Arizona," remembers Jana Rieger, professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. "I can't recall what her answer was, but I am sure glad she did. Carol has been the best colleague that anyone could ask for. She always steps up to the task and, quite honestly, always does more than her share of the work. More importantly, she is kind and has created a wonderful atmosphere for student learning in our department. She will be greatly missed."

Congratulations to Carol Boliek on her much-deserved retirement. We wish her all the best for the future.