Communication science professor receives award

Kathlyn Hotynski

When professor of communication sciences and disorders Linda Carpenter’s phone rang a few weeks ago, she was stunned at what she found out.

Carpenter was awarded The Wisconsin Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Association’s highest honor, Honors of the Association, for demonstrating excellence in education, research and mentoring.

“It was a totally unexpected event. I had no inkling that anything like that was in the wind,” Carpenter said. “I love teaching. . So the honor is special and important because it captures things I’m passionate about.”

Carpenter didn’t apply for this award, but instead was chosen by the WSLPAA’s board, hence Carpenter’s surprise when she received notification.

While the board was trying to figure out who to honor, a member brought up Carpenter’s name, and they agreed that she met the requirements, said Kathy Erdman, board member and clinical instructor at UW-Marquette.

Erdman said the recipient of the award must demonstrate excellence in at least three of the following areas: education, clinical service, research, service to the professions of audiology and/or speech-language pathology, leadership, enhancing public and/or political awareness regarding the impact of speech-language and/or hearing problems, or how the nominee serves as a mentor.

“We felt that she was just a really good example of someone worthy of Honors of the Association,” Erdman said, adding that Carpenter was very humble when she was notified.

Kristine Retherford, the department chair of communication sciences and disorders, said she thinks Carpenter is a very deserving recipient.

“She has been a leader not only on the campus but within the UW System,” Retherford said. “I’m just so very pleased that she’s been honored in this way by her peers for her dedication and commitment to our state association.”

And graduate student Andrea Boh, who Carpenter has been researching with for five years, agreed, adding that working with Carpenter has been a great learning experience.

“She’s got a very warm personality. You feel like if you have an idea, she’ll help you,” Boh said. “She really deserves this.”

Carpenter said she is very excited for this honor and also credited her colleagues.

“It’s really a tribute to this university and this department,” Carpenter said. “I think anyone of my colleagues in this department could easily qualify for the award.”