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Dr. Vicki Lord Larson Receives
First Nancy McKinley Leadership Award

RELEASED: May 25, 2007

Ellayne Ganzfried, Dr. Vicki Lord Larson, Mike McKinley
Ellayne Ganzfried, New York, past president of CSAP and Mike McKinley, present Dr. Vicki Lord Larson, center, with the first Nancy McKinley Leadership Award. (contributed photo)

EAU CLAIRE — Dr. Vicki Lord Larson, former interim chancellor and professor of communication disorders at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, was recently awarded the first Nancy McKinley Leadership Award by the Council of State Association Presidents for her contributions to the Wisconsin Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Professional Association. The award, which includes a $1,000 contribution to WSHA-P, was given to Larson for "demonstrating selfless dedication and contributing to the achievements and leadership of WSHA-P."

Larson received her award in Little Rock, Arkansas, at the May 19 meeting of the Council of State Association Presidents, which is a related professional organization of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

The award is named for Nancy McKinley, who was president and CEO of Thinking Publications in Eau Claire until her death in 2005. McKinley, a past president of both WSHA-P and CSAP, was one of Larson's first graduate students in communication disorders at UW-Eau Claire, and, according to Larson, one of her most outstanding. She later taught in public schools and for several years at UW-Eau Claire before founding Thinking Publications.

Larson, also a past president of WSHA-P, was a professor of communication disorders at both UW-Eau Claire and UW-Oshkosh and went on to hold a variety of UW administrative positions, including associate dean of graduate studies and research at UW-Eau Claire, dean of the graduate school and research and then provost and vice chancellor at UW-Oshkosh, and finally, interim chancellor at UW-Eau Claire from 2005 until her retirement in 2006. She also worked as acquisitions editor and manager at Thinking Publications for several years before McKinley died.

According to Mike McKinley, Nancy's widower and her partner in Thinking Publications, the relationship between Larson and McKinley was an interesting one and it was particularly fitting that Lord Larson received this first award named for his wife and business partner.

"Vicki started out by mentoring Nancy, and then later Nancy mentored Vicki through her involvement in Thinking Publications," McKinley said, noting that the two women conducted hundreds of workshops on communication disorders together and the resulting materials led to their first book one of four they wrote together.

He described both women as dedicated multi-taskers, with high quality standards and expectations, who had, both together and individually, "a huge impact on the field of communication disorders, especially among adolescents."

Both women also were founders of the WSHA Foundation, which has awarded more than $50,000 in graduate scholarships and research grants to students studying communication sciences and disorders, including $11,000 this year. Larson was the first president of the foundation from 2000 to 2004, and then served as vice president and treasurer from 2004 until just recently.

"I was deeply honored to receive this award," said Larson. "Nancy was an exceptional and dedicated professional colleague and certainly one of my closest friends. I greatly miss her both professionally and personally."

-30-

NW

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