Candidate for Vice President of Speech-Language Pathology Practice
Melissa Jakubowitz, MA, CCC-SLP
ASHA Leader Interview | Video Interview | Video Transcript | All Candidates
Robert M. Augustine serves as Dean of the Graduate School and Professor of Communication Disorders & Sciences at Eastern Illinois University. As a staff speech-language pathologist for a large rehabilitation center in Chicago, he developed the center's first birth-through-three programs. He continued his clinical practice and research at EIU where he created a language clinic focusing on integrative language strategies that included a community outreach initiative with local public schools focusing on children's art. He earned the Distinguished Teaching Award and advanced to department chair. As chair, he established an alumni symposium, supervisor recognition program, and departmental honors program. He was named a Visiting International Scholar at Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia where he guided development of birth-through-three language programs and was an inaugural member of the Illinois Birth-through-Three Credentialing Board. While President of the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association, he was part of a team that helped pass the Illinois Licensure Act. He is an ASHA Fellow and served on the ASHA Task Force on Treatment Outcomes, Legislative Council, Honors Committee, Financial Planning Board, and, recently, as Vice President for Finance. He currently chairs the ASHA Ad Hoc Committee on Committees, Boards, and Councils.
Dean Augustine also provides national leadership as chair of the Council of Graduate School's Board of Directors and serves on the CGS/TIAA-CREF Project to Enhance Financial Education of College Students. As dean, he launched the Integrative Graduate Studies Institute, which won the National Award for Promoting Success in Graduate Education. He established the First Choice Graduate Programs initiative, which earned the Regional Award for Excellence in Graduate Education. He also serves both the Midwestern and Illinois Association of Graduate Schools.
Dr. Augustine earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Illinois State University and his PhD from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He holds Departmental Distinguished Alumni Awards from both institutions.
The ASHA Leader asked the candidates:
Given the position for which you are running, if you could change one thing about ASHA, what would it be?
ASHA’s vision, “Making effective communication, a human right, accessible and achievable for all,” has always resonated with me. Yet, as our association enjoyed continued growth and our web resources expanded to meet more complex member needs, the more daunting it became for our own members to easily access ASHA’s comprehensive assets to achieve that vision. I would like to change the number and types of access opportunities for ASHA members by emphasizing and creating easy pathways to ASHA’s many networking, special interest, research, outreach and governance programs. Finding easier ways to connect and participate will increase our members’ outreach to ASHA as their first point of contact for resolving professional challenges, and strengthen the value of ASHA as the best tool for meeting our vision.
Why are you running for a position on the ASHA Board?
What would be your top priority be if elected to your respective position?