The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) was pleased when alumnus Robert M. Augustine was inducted into the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Hall of Fame on April 18, 2015.
Induction into the CAS Hall of Fame is an honor bestowed upon individuals “based on outstanding performance in one’s profession; demonstrated leadership in one’s profession; favorable statewide, national, or international recognition; honors from associations or employers; and/or proof that one’s work has proven beneficial to a pronounced segment of society.
Augustine certainly meets and exceeds all these criteria. Augustine earned his B.S. and M.S. in speech pathology and audiology from Illinois State University and felt extremely fortunate to have been mentored by Lloyd M. Hulit, Lillian Larson, and Walt Smoski. These professors provided opportunities that ultimately inspired the trajectory of Augustine’s clinical and academic career.
Augustine completed a Ph.D. in communication sciences and disorders at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and began a tenure-track appointment at Eastern Illinois University, where he later was named department chair. As chair, he launched the department’s 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 invited by the State of Illinois to serve as an inaugural member of the Illinois Birth-through-Three Credentialing Board.
He was also elected president of the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ISHA) and was part of a team of professionals who guided passage of the Illinois Licensure Act. He was also elected to the Legislative Council of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and served on the ASHA Task Force on Treatment Outcomes that developed the National Treatment Outcomes Database for speech-language pathologists and audiologists. He was inducted as both an ISHA and ASHA Fellow.
Augustine was named dean of the Graduate School, Research, and International Students and Scholars in 2000. While serving as Dean, Augustine launched numerous new initiatives and many of these have earned regional and national awards. In 2002, he helped launch a new technology center on Eastern’s campus called the Center for Academic Technology Support. In 2005 he guided the University’s first Outstanding Graduate Alumni Program. This program has become a regional/national model for best practices and one of the first recipients of the award was Al Bowman, former ISU president.
In 2007 he launched the First Choice Graduate Programs Initiative that advanced Eastern’s mission of superior education by creating programs of distinction. This initiative won the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools and Graduate Record Examination Award of Excellence in Graduate Education.
In 2009 he launched the Integrative Graduate Studies Institute. This program provides mentoring opportunities to ensure that undergraduates underrepresented in graduate education prepare appropriately for future graduate study. This initiative won the Council of Graduate Schools and Graduate Record Examination Award of Excellence. In 2013, Augustine earned a prestigious TIAA-CREF Award for launching the Literacy in Financial Education (LIFE) Center that provides debt management services to undergraduates to reduce debt load as a barrier to future graduate study.
During his tenure as Dean, Augustine was elected by peers to the position of vice president for finance on the Board of Directors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association where he helped to guide the building of a new national office. He was also elected to the Board of Directors of the Council of Graduate Schools and served as Council Chair in 2013. He was also appointed to the Board of Directors of Educational Testing Services Graduate Record Examination Board in 2012 where he serves on the Research Committee.
Earlier this year, Augustine was offered the position of senior vice president of the Council of Graduate Schools in Washington, D.C. He will conclude his service as dean at Eastern Illinois University later this year and begin his new appointment August 1 to guide national development of best-practice models for master’s degree programs.
Augustine was fortunate to have met his wife Kathryn while studying at ISU. She recently completed a 35-year career as a middle school mathematics teacher. Augustine is equally proud of the achievements of his three sons, Matthew, a college professor at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland; Mark, an ISU graduate and a writer in Chicago; and David, also an ISU graduate and a chef in Chicago.
Augustine was deeply moved by the residents of his hometown, Livingston, Illinois, who generously donated to a new scholarship for CSD majors at ISU in honor of his parents Robert J. and Frieda Augustine as a tribute to his mother’s recent passing. No summary could be complete without acknowledging grandson Julian: without doubt a future ISU hopeful!