Arkansas Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Nominations for the Louis M. Dicarlo Award for Clinical Achievement, the Frank R. Kleffner Clinical Career Award, the Paula J. Gober Public Schools Award, Honors of the Association, the Research Award and the Audiology Award will be accepted until July 15th. 

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Need to know more about each category? See the details and past recipients below:

Honors of the Association - Honors of the Association is the highest honor the association can give and recognizes distinguished contributions to the field of communication disorders. It is limited to members of the Association 

1985    Martha Anderson

1985    Jane H. LeBlanc

1985    James Montague

1986    Joanna Davis

1987    George Herndon

1988    Lillian Blakesley

1989    Virginia Berry

1990    Elaine McNiece

1991    Terri Hutton

1992    Carolane Jones

1993    Sara Zeno

1994    Barbara Shadden

1993    Susan Russell

1994    Judith Womack

1994    Beth Eaton

1995    Kathy Roberts

1996    Dan Tullos

1997    Sharon Ross

1998    Mary Cherepski

1998    Beverly Hildebrand

1999    Martha Alman

2000    Donna Fisher

2002    Jane Willard

2003    Michael Winston

2004    Patti Martin

2005    Carol Fleming

2005    Kay Hall

2005    Brandi Nixon

2010    Susan Moss-Logan

2011    Betholyn Gentry

2014    Nancy Dunn

2015    James Thurman

Jim Thurman received the Honors of the Association in 2015 for being one of the most influential speech-language pathologist’s in the state of Arkansas.  His contribution to the profession spans over 42 years.  Through Mr. Thurman’s long standing presence at the University of Central Arkansas, he has taught and mentored hundreds of speech-language pathologists practicing in and out of our state.  He is a certified Brain Injury Specialist who has worked on the weekends for the past 28 years at Timber Ridge Ranch.  Under his supervision, numerous graduate students have provided diagnostic and treatment services for children and adults with head injuries at the TRR facility.  This experience is unique and many students have commented that this is one of their favorite clinical sites.  No doubt this is due to Mr. Thurman’s enthusiasm, passion, and commitment to these clients and their families. 

Click here for details on other past Honors recipients

Audiology Award - This award recognizes distinguished service by an audiologist.

1996    Patti Martin

1997    Ann Hedges

1998    Jane LeBlanc

1999    Cathy Henderson

2000    Jennifer Wedgeworth

2001    Laura Smith-Olinde

2002    Lynne Raney Hill

2003    Grover Hutson

2004    Donna Fisher Smiley

2006    Donna Fisher Smiley

2007    Becky Del Rio

2008    Lisa Christensen

2013    Jordan King

2014    Samuel Atcherson

Dr. Sam Atcherson received the Audiology Award in 2014 for his contributions to research, provision of consultative services, and publishing books and articles in the field of audiology.  Carol Fleming had this to say, “he is the epitome of dedication and devotion to his career and clients.  Sam empathizes and relates on a personal level and understands the clients because he is one too”.  Dr. Atcherson has over 10 manuscripts and 14 articles that have been published in paper and/or electronic print.  He recently published his second book “Auditory electrophysiology: A Clinical Guide”.  Dr. Atcherson works to advocate on a professional and personal level for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing individuals.  He is also the founding leader of a group of Deaf/Hard of Hearing audiologists.

Click here for details on other past Audiology Award recipients

Frank R. Kleffner Clinical Career Award - Nominees for this award should exhibit a distinguished career in speech pathology or audiology. Outstanding clinical career accomplishments that span a career may include, but are not restricted to, the following:

Outstanding clinical achievement with a client or group of clients

Outstanding clinical service or training program

Outstanding achievement in state, or local organization or government agency activity

Outstanding accomplishments in clinical teaching, research, or administration

1987    Evelyn Albritten

1988    Joanna Davis

1989    Jane LeBlanc

1991    Glenda Josephson

1992    Shirley Pine

1993    Barbara Shadden

1994    James Montague

1994    Kathleen Wesson

1995    Elaine McNiece

1996    Terri Hutton

1997    Jim Thurman

1998    Mary Lynn Steelman

1999    Mike Winston

2000    Robin Herrod

2001    Debra Beckman

2002    Betty Fusilier

2003    James V. Rippy

2005    Jane H. LeBlanc

2006    Richard (Rick) A. Neeley

2009    Sharon Ross

2013    Patricia (Pat) Highley

2015    Danial Tullos

2016    Debbie Ware

Debbie Ware received the 2016 Frank R. Kleffner Clinical Career Award.  Her clinical achievements began in San Diego where she worked for 16+ years in the San Diego Unified School District as an itinerant SLP, a special day class teacher, and a diagnostic resource teacher.  She also participated in a 3 year multi-agency grant project that resulted in her being named the lead implementer on a team that opened the first pre-school classroom for children with Autism using evidenced based practice.  Debbie currently works on the state-wide Easter Seals of Arkansas-Outreach Program as a consultant, heads up a two week-long summer training called Behavioral Approaches using STAR Implementation and Coaching (BASIC) and CONNECT-Evidence Based Practices to Classroom Curriculum, and is also a trainer for STAR Autism Support and travels the country training others about this curriculum for children with Autism.  

Click here for details on other past Kleffner Award Recipients

 Paula J. Gober Public Schools Award - This award recognizes distinguished clinical service by an individual in a public school setting. 

1990    Charlotte Frith

1991    Dixie Branscum

1992    Jane Willard

1993    Marcia Harding

1994    Rhonda Kelley

1995    Suzan Bell

1996    Aleecia Starkey

1997    Becky Othold Del Rio

1998     Jennifer Fry

1999     Kathryn O’Brien

2000    Angie Shipman

2001    LeeAnn Griffith

2002    Renee Grady

2003    Susan Hickey

2004    Shelly Wier

2007    Janet Beaver

2008    Brandi Nixon

2009    Amanda Zraick

2010    Linda Wall

2011    Cindy Wofford

2012    Chenell Loudermill

2013    Carol Fleming

2015    Kamela Rowland

Kami Rowland received the Paula J. Gober Public School Award in 2015 for her dedication to researching treatments and strategies to meet the diverse needs of her students.  As a former recipient of speech services, she relates to the struggles faced by her students and helps them achieve success in the classroom and community.  Kami has developed a Peer Buddy System within Hall High School where she has worked for the past 18 years.  She additionally has created student driven Social Stories to address code-switching and executive functions.  Kami also promotes team teaching to meet the written expression needs of her students.  Her research on the Strategic Instructional Model for Sentence Writing Strategies has improved the written expression skills of her students as noted by their performance in the classroom and on state standardized assessments.  Everything Kami does is “student centered” and this comes from her ability to relate to her students and the importance to make an impact on their lives.  

Click here for details on other past Gober Public School Award Recipients

Louis M. Dicarlo Award for Clinical Achievement - The recipient will be chosen for advancement of knowledge in clinical practice as evidenced by a significant recent accomplishment within the past six years in speech-language and/or audiology. 

Nominees for this award are not limited to any particular type of clinical achievement or activity. However, the achievement must be specific, well defined, and clearly within the time limit of the most recent six years. Eligible activities or accomplishments for which an individual might receive the DiCarlo award include, but are not restricted to, the following examples:

  • A single achievement with a client or group of clients
  • A specific clinical service or training program
  • A specific achievement in a state or local organization or government agency activity
  • A specific accomplishment in clinical teaching, research or administration

(Recognized projects may include: a new treatment technique; innovative urban service delivery program; new clinical research; a training video addressing an unmet need; a multicultural parent training program; a unique hospital program; a successful state legislative initiative, etc.) 


1983    Kathleen Wesson

1984    Debra Beckman

1985    Marcia Harding

1986    Sharon Graham

1987    Beth Eaton

1988    Barbara Shadden

1989    Kathleen Krueger

1991    Patti Martin

1992    Cindy Conner

1993    Priscilla Davis

1994    Carolane Jones

1995    Mary Ann Toner

1996    Linda Petersen

1997    Gretchen Spring

1998    Kathy Roberts

1999    Tom Sowell

2000    Suzan Bell

2001    Cassandra Steele

2002    Tracy Pate

2003    John Halloran

2009    Carol B. Fleming

2011    Donna F. Smiley

2014    Krista Scruggs

Krista Scruggs received the 2014 Louis M. DiCarlo Award for Clinical Achievement for her development of an adult aural rehabilitation program, expansion of a summer camp for teens with hearing loss, and provision of auditory-based intervention with Spanish speaking families.  Krista is a key member of the Adult Cochlear Implant Program, which is a joint venture with Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the University at Arkansas for Medical Sciences.  Krista has been a pioneer in the development of auditory performance testing as well as aural rehabilitation for our program. These developments have been sought after by other programs across the nation.  In serving this population, Krista has also mastered the ability to facilitate improved auditory skills for patients suffering from dementia and other degenerative cognitive disorders. 

Click here for details on other past DiCarla Award recipients

Research Award - This award recognized individuals who have made significant contributions to the research literature related to the professions of speech pathology or audiology. 

1996    Sharon Graham

1997    James Montague

1998    Robert Logan

1999    Patricia K. Monoson

2000    Richard Zraick

2001    Jess Dancer

2002    John Dornhoffer, M.D.

2003    Gary McCullough

2004    Nannette Nicholson

2010    Dee Lance

2011    Samuel Atcherson

2013    Richard Zraick

Dr. Cliff Franklin received the 2014 Research Award for his contributions to the literature in the areas of acceptance of background noise and audiometric threshold comparisons among pure, pulsed, and warble tones.  He has pursued these two topics in order to help future hearing aid patients and improve our empirical understanding of our audiometric signal choices and guidelines.  Dr. Franklin takes pride in working with his students, which helps to elevate them into clinicians with solid critical thinking abilities.  He is also an effective mentor for students.  Dr. Brian Vesley shares that “Dr. Franklin’s unique passion for research is extremely contagious to the students he instructs.  His attention to detail and constant striving for perfection is paramount with his goals and research being centered around the betterment of clinicians, and the patients in which they serve”.

Click here for details on other past Research Award recipients

 ArkSHA Ambassador - This award is to ecognize a special individual who may have made significant gains in therapy or overcome unsurmountable odds--someone who has inspired you, uplifted you and others, and reminded you why you are an audiologist or speech-language pathologist.  Your special person could become ArkSHA’s Ambassador and represent our Association during Better Hearing & Speech Month—on a poster, in the newspaper, and at events celebrating May is Better Hearing & Speech Month.  

2003    Joshua Fleming

2004    Heidi Courtway

2005    Heidi Courtway

2006    Justin Trautman

2006    Ethan Morris

2007    Donald Harrington

2007    Jerome Riley

2007    Matthew Prickett

2008    Keller Woody

2008    George Cobb

2010    Tatianna Mac Peek

2010    Judith Darnell

2011    Brandon Workman

2011    Fred Chilcote

2012    Chris Engelkes

2012    Addison Ferguson

2013    Darby McGee

2013    Abyl Chastain

2014    Evan Greenwood

2014    Quinn Moore

2015    Sam Atcherson, PhD, CCC-A

2015    Haven Blu McCormack

2016    Paige Dewey

Paige Dewey was chosen to represent the great state of Arkansas as the 2016 ArkSHA Child Poster Ambassador.  She is a six year old who attends Eastside Elementary in Greenbrier, Ar.  When Paige was three, she was diagnosed with a rare cancer, Stage 4 Yolk Sac Tumor. Even though the doctors successfully removed the tumor and Paige was deemed cancer free in March of 2013, the powerful chemotherapy that she had to take caused bilateral high frequency sensorineural hearing loss. Paige was fitted with hearing aids through ACH and continues to be carefully monitored through them and the EARS Program.  Upon starting kindergarten in the fall of 2015, Paige was fitted with a personal FM System.  In spite of her incoming test scores, she has made great gains and is near the top of her class and received a literacy award.  Paige was recently named Student of the Month for the character word “perseverance”.  She continues to amaze her teachers, parents, and her SLP.  Paige inspires others to stay strong, focused and never give up.  

Click here for details on other past Ambassadors


Lifetime Achievement Award - An ArkSHA member may apply to the Membership Committee for Life Membership and be granted such Membership automatically when all the following conditions are met:  Attainment of age 65, Retirement from full-time professional employment, Full Membership in the Association for five consecutive years immediately preceding application.  A Life Member shall continue to enjoy all the rights and privileges of Full Membership but shall not pay dues.

Jane H. LeBlanc
Jim Montague
Betty Horton
Janell Phelan
Marietta Glenn
Emily Cockrum
Allen Hall
Linda Owens
Shirley Pine
Barbara Shadden
Marcia Harding


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