James Madison University

Three CSD Professors Receive 2014 CHBS Faculty Awards

By: Lori News
Posted: April 24, 2014

PHOTO: Brenda Ryals, Chris Clinard and Carol Dudding

Every year, four professors from the College of Health and Behavioral Studies are presented awards for their tremendous service and dedication to their students, JMU and beyond.

What makes this year especially significant is that three of the award recipients are from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD).

The CSD department offers programs for both undergraduate and graduate students in audiology, speech-language pathology and speech and hearing sciences.

In April 2014, professors Carol Dudding, Brenda Ryals and Christopher Clinard received the Distinguished Teacher award, Distinguished Service award and the Outstanding Junior Faculty award, respectively.

Carol Dudding, director of the speech-language pathology program, was nominated for the Distinguished Teacher award with rave accounts of success with her innovative integration of cutting-edge technologies in her teaching.

Dudding assigned students to create digital stories of people with communication impairment. She also has created and integrated multimedia case studies and simulations into her teaching.

The committee emphasizes that Dudding’s impressive course evaluations include “personal notes from students expressing how her passion and commitment have inspired them to pursue speech-language pathology as a career.”

Dudding describes her favorite thing about teaching at JMU to be “the opportunity to pass along a passion for lifelong learning to students.”

Brenda Ryals, audiology professor, received the Distinguished Service award for her extraordinary involvement in the CSD department, community and nation.

The Personnel Advisory Committee recognized that during Ryals’ 25 years at JMU she has served on almost every committee in the CSD department. Not only has she served on numerous committees, she has also been serving the community at large.

In 2003, Ryals initiated the Special Olympics Healthy Hearing Program in Virginia, which was one of the very first in the nation. Graduate students have worked with her to provided hearing screenings to hundreds of Special Olympics athletes over the last 10 years.

Ryals also provided an international service opportunity in 2010 by taking students to Kenya. They provided audiological services to children at the Nyumbani Children’s Home and multiple clinics.

“I find a lot of joy in [the students] accomplishments and their happiness,” Ryals said.

Christopher Clinard, audiology assistant professor, was awarded the Outstanding Junior Faculty award for his exceptional teaching, research and service while at JMU.

The PAC highlighted Clinard’s excellence in his teaching, scholarship and service within and beyond the JMU community.

Within the first couple years of teaching, Clinard received outstanding student evaluations in all his courses. His research and student lab work focuses on neurophysiological aspects of aging in the auditory system, making it one of the most popular lab courses in the audiology program.

“I try to make interactions in class and in the lab relaxed and positive,” Clinard explains. “I think the students learn more when they are encouraged to share and discuss their ideas in a positive atmosphere.”

Cynthia O’Donoghue, department head of CSD, shares her statement: “Certainly, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is proud of this accomplishment. We also recognize that within the College of Health and Behavioral Studies there are many talented faculty members across our sister departments. This is a unique year and an exciting time for our awardees they are all dedicated individuals that have stretched themselves to better teach, research and serve our academic community and civic partners.”