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Toya A. Wyatt, left, helps a child in Cal State Fullerton's Speech and Hearing Clinic. Photo by Patrick O'Donnell

Pair of Prizes

Human Communication Studies Faculty To Receive Top Association Honors

January 6, 2009

By Mimi Ko Cruz

Toya A. Wyatt, associate professor of human communication studies, and Terry I. Saenz, professor of human communication studies, will be honored by the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

The statewide association will hand Wyatt its Diversity Award and name Saenz a fellow at its March 7 annual convention in Long Beach.

Toya A. Wyatt

Toya A. Wyatt

"I am honored that the association and those who nominated me feel that my contributions to the profession have made a difference in some way," said Wyatt, who joined Cal State Fullerton in 1990. "It makes me feel as if the years of commitment that I and others like me have given to promoting cultural awareness, knowledge and sensitivity among students, clients and other working professionals has not been in vain."

Wyatt, who was nominated by a former student, was recognized for outstanding contributions and achievements related to cultural diversity in clinical services and teaching speech and language pathology.

Her primary areas of teaching and research focus on language development, assessment and delivery of services to children from diverse cultural and language backgrounds. She is the author of several publications on multicultural child language development and assessment concerns.

Her experience includes 27 years of clinical practice, providing speech-language services to clients in myriad settings that include schools, Head Start programs, daycare centers, private practice and nursing facilities.

In 1994, Cal State Fullerton received a three-year, $210,000 federal training grant from the U.S. Department of Education to enhance the delivery of services to children and families from diverse cultural and language backgrounds. Wyatt served as the project’s director. The grant aim was to increase the number of professionals who could work with children from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds and increase the number of minority speech and language pathologists. As a result, 17 Cal State Fullerton graduate students in the communicative disorders program received enhanced training.

Wyatt, a fellow of CSHA and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, has served as an editor and editorial reviewer/consultant for various professional journals, including the Journal of Multilingual Communication Disorders. She has served as a consultant to numerous test and product development companies, including the Psychological Corporation.

Wyatt holds bachelor and master degrees in speech-language pathology from Northwestern University and a doctorate in speech-language pathology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Terry I. Saenz. Photo by Kelly Lacefield

Terry I. Saenz

CSHA will name Saenz a fellow, an honorable title that is bestowed on worthy speech-language pathologists and audiologists.

"I am extremely honored to be named a fellow," Saenz said. "It is a great honor. I am also very happy that Dr. Wyatt has been honored with the Diversity Award. She is very deserving of it. Her award is very, very unique — only one per year for the whole state."

Saenz, who joined Cal State Fullerton's faculty in 1991, earned her bachelor's degree in history from UCLA, master's degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Denver and her doctorate in speech-language pathology from Temple University.

Her clinical experience includes working as a bilingual speech-language pathologist for public school districts in California, Philadelphia and Colorado, and she has written scores of reports for journal publications and made numerous presentations throughout the country.

She was named faculty marshal for the College of Communications in 2007 and received university recognition for outstanding scholarship and creative activity in 2004, among other awards.

Cal State Fullerton's Center for Children who Stutter last year received "Best Program of The Year" honors from CSHA.

Related Stories:

California Speech-Language Hearing Association

Center Helps Children Who Stutter

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