The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) announced that A. Lynn Williams, PhD, CCC-SLP, took office this month as the 2021 President of ASHA.
In her term, Williams will work to advance the objectives of ASHA and its more than 211,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students in communication sciences and disorders.
“I am honored to serve as ASHA’s 2021 President,” Williams said. “In my new role, I intend to focus on empowering ASHA members to advocate on behalf of the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology. As the country grapples with the health and educational consequences of the global pandemic; strives to address the pressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion; and readies to inaugurate a new president who has been vocal about his experiences as a person who stutters, the importance of the professions is more apparent than ever.”
Williams holds two positions at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) in Johnson City, Tenn: Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences; and Professor in the Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. Part of her work there involves providing oversight and curriculum development for allied health professions taught at ETSU.
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An international expert on intervention for speech sound disorders in children, Williams has produced and/or given more than 175 professional publications and presentations. With funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), she developed a model of intervention for children with severe speech disorders that has been used nationally and internationally. She also developed an app with NIH funding that will translate research to facilitate intervention to children with speech sound disorders.
From 2016 to 2018, Williams served as ASHA’s Vice President for Academic Affairs in Speech-Language Pathology and was named an ASHA Fellow in 2006. Additionally, she was named a Distinguished Fellow at the National Academies of Practice; was inducted into the West Virginia University College of Human Resources and Education Hall of Fame; and was named an Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Erskine Programme annually invites 70 distinguished international visitors to lecture at the university.
Speaking of the challenges ahead of her as ASHA’s 2021 President, Williams noted that she will address them with special motivation. “It is the inspiring work of audiologists and speech-language pathologists,” she said. “Every day, across the country, they help advance ASHA’s vision of making effective communication, a human right, accessible and achievable for all.”