Dr. Jean Sawyer, professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD), began her appointment as interim chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders on July 1. Sawyer has served as a faculty member in the department for the past 16 years. She received a doctorate in speech and hearing sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She holds two master’s degrees, one in speech and hearing sciences from the University of Illinois, and one in linguistics from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

She has taught several courses including stuttering, counseling, professional writing, and diversity issues in communication sciences and disorders. Her research interests are in fluency disorders, specifically in characteristics of stuttered speech and treatment efficacy, such as parent-based interventions for preschool children who stutter.

In addition, Sawyer served as a mentor with the National Stuttering Association. She has helped to raise stuttering awareness in the community and with CSD students. Her outstanding professional service was recognized by the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association, which named her a Fellow of the Association in 2019.

Sawyer said she is looking forward to the new challenges of being an interim chair and is excited to work with a dynamic department and caring faculty, staff, and clinical educators.

We wish Dr. Sawyer the best as interim chair.