Elizabeth Crais, PhD, CCC-SLP, and ASHA Fellow, is a Professor and Coordinator of PhD Studies in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences and the Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Allied Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) School of Medicine. She has been active for more than 40 years as a speech-language pathologist (SLP), clinical supervisor, university professor, and researcher. She earned a bachelor of science from the University of Alabama, a master of science from Vanderbilt University, and a doctor of philosophy degree (PhD) from the University of Wisconsin. Before returning to complete her PhD, she worked as a clinician and supervisor for 5 years in Chattanooga, Tennessee; completed a 1-year Post-Master’s Fellowship in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Program in Portland, Oregon; and then taught and supervised students for 2 years at another “UNC”—the University of Northern Colorado. She has been at UNC-CH since 1986, where she started as a Visiting Professor while completing her PhD in 1987.
Elizabeth’s research interests include early identification and intervention for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), gesture development in infants and toddlers with typical or atypical communication skills, personnel preparation, and implementation of translational and community-engaged research. She has served as a Principal Investigator (PI) or Investigator on grants from National Institutes of Health (NIH), Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Autism Speaks, Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—all of which were focused on children with ASD. She has also been the PI or Co-PI on seven PhD and six MS training grants providing specialized interprofessional preparation and funding support for 255 students across four different disciplinary graduate programs. Elizabeth is also the parent of a youth with intellectual disabilities, so she brings both professional and caregiver perspectives to her teaching, research, and service.
In terms of her relationship and service to ASHA, Elizabeth became a member in 1974 and was selected as an ASHA Fellow in 1999. Within ASHA, the ASHFoundation, and the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD), she has served on the ASHA Convention Committee (18 times); the ASHA Ad Hoc Committee, preparing a set of four practice documents to guide SLPs working with infants and toddlers; and on review committees for Advancing Academic-Research Careers (AARC), Students Preparing for Academic-Research Careers (SPARC), Mentoring Academic-Research Careers (MARC), Graduate Student Scholarships, Student Research Grant in Early Childhood Language Development, New Century Scholars Program, and CAPCSD Doctoral Scholarships. She has served as a reviewer for many ASHA promotional and clinical materials and as a consultant numerous times to ASHA staff and members on early intervention issues. She has served as an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (AJSLP) and the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research(JSLHR). She has also served as a reviewer for all of the ASHA journals that focus on topics related to speech-language pathology. Elizabeth has made more than 45 presentations at the ASHA and CAPCSD conventions, provided a few short courses, led three 1-day workshops, and facilitated an ASHA webinar. She is also a member of Special Interest Group 1 (SIG 1, Language Learning and Education) and SIG 10 (Issues in Higher Education). More recently, she was a member and then the Chair of the Academic Affairs Board (AAB) and a member of the Scientific Review Board. The AAB completed two key reports during her tenure on the committee: The Role of Undergraduate Education in Communication Sciences and Disorders and PhD Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders: Innovative Models and Practices.
Elizabeth will bring this array of professional experiences, particularly those gained from working in an academic setting, to the position of ASHA Vice President for Academic Affairs in Speech-Language Pathology.