Gloria Kellum Receives ASHA’s Highest Award

… Award to be presented Nov. 18 in San Diego OXFORD, Miss. – For the last 14 years of her University of Mississippi tenure, Gloria Dodwell Kellum was vice chancellor of university relations. But over her remarkable, four-decade career, she performed many roles, from administrator to academician to mentor. And while the variety of the job excited her for 42 years, she insists that it was the students who kept her coming back for more. On Nov. 18, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association will present Kellum with its prestigious Honors of the Association award at its national convention in San Diego. The Honors of the Association, ASHA’s highest tribute, recognizes members for their distinguished contributions to the discipline of communication sciences and disorders. Recipients are well-known throughout the nation and the world for a lifetime of innovative clinical practice, rigorous research, creative administration, outstanding teaching or other distinguished professional contributions.

“I am humbled and even a bit surprised to discover I was nominated,” Kellum said. “It’s an honor to my families, the University of Mississippi, my colleagues, students and patients. To my first students in 1966, to all who have followed, I am grateful for tremendous opportunities and relationships that have sparked my passion for life, teaching, learning and serving. Ain’t life grand!” One of the people who nominated Kellum is ASHA member Sue Hale, who said it was an honor to recommend her former professor for the award. “It is as if her service increased exponentially through her mentorship,” said Hale, director of clinical education and assistant professor at Vanderbilt University’s Bill Wilkerson Center. “I hold three degrees from the University of Mississippi; I am a professor at Vanderbilt University and a past president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. I can honestly say that those things probably would not be true if it were not for the influence of Gloria Kellum on my life and career. There are countless other individuals whose life stories have been similarly influenced by her guidance.” Another former student, Lennette Ivy, chair of the university’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, agreed. “What can I say about Gloria that hasn’t been said before? Just asking that question says so much about her, as a person, a professor, a mentor and a friend,” said Ivy, also associate professor of communication sciences and disorders. “When I was in her class, I felt so empowered. She made me feel that I could conquer the world – that I could help every child. She did that for me and for so many other students.” Besides her dedication to hundreds of students, Kellum is also noted for her role in growing UM’s small speech pathology and audiology program into a nationally accredited educational and clinical program. “Gloria Kellum is a treasure for the University of Mississippi,” said Chancellor Dan Jones. “This national recognition for her is well-deserved and brings recognition for her and this university she loves.” Kellum joined the Ole Miss faculty in 1966 as an instructor and associate director of the Division of Speech and Hearing in the Department of Speech and Theatre soon after completing her master’s degree in speech and hearing at Louisiana State University. The young instructor was immediately instrumental in helping the burgeoning program mark a number of milestones. By 1967, 25 students were majoring in speech therapy. Within two years, she helped add a master’s program in speech pathology and audiology, and the Speech and Hearing Center soon followed. On that foundation, the program grew into the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, a nationally accredited program with graduates who serve as speech-language pathologists and audiologists for countless children and adults across the nation. In 1975, Kellum, affectionately known as “Aunt Glo” by her students, received the campuswide Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teaching Award, becoming the first woman and youngest faculty member to have been so honored. After returning to LSU in 1981 to complete a doctorate in speech pathology, Kellum rejoined the UM faculty the following year as an associate professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders. She served two years as acting chair. In 1984, she was named director of the department’s clinical services and achieved full professor status in 1991. Nationally, Kellum’s far-reaching work in the areas of speech and voice disorders in cleft palate and subtle craniofacial anomalies led to new assessment and treatment methods, an ASHA position statement and clinical products. Before the era of interdisciplinary teams, she worked with orthodontists and dentists, advancing the shared knowledge base in dentistry and speech-language pathology. She also pioneered the use of videotaping and teleconferencing for professional education and telepractice. Throughout her four-decade career at Ole Miss, Kellum served as a key administrator, chaired the university’s sesquicentennial celebration, directed two major capital campaigns and provided leadership to improve race relations. “Gloria Kellum embodies servant leadership,” said Paul Rao, ASHA 2011 president. “Her extraordinary impact on students and colleagues through teaching and mentoring has truly transformed the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology.” The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is the professional, scientific and credentialing association for 145,000 members and affiliates who are speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language and hearing scientists in the United States and internationally.