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Dr. Lisa LaSalle conducts fluency research as Vicki Lord Larson Research Fellow

RELEASED: Feb. 11, 2010

Dr. Lisa LaSalle
Dr. Lisa LaSalle

EAU CLAIRE — Dr. Lisa LaSalle, professor of communication sciences and disorders, is the recipient of the 2009-10 Vicki Lord Larson Research Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

This fellowship, the first of its kind at UW-Eau Claire, recognizes the outstanding leadership and long-term contributions of Dr. Vicki Lord Larson to the department of communication sciences and disorders and to the university, said Dr. Kris Retherford, chair of the communication sciences and disorders department. Larson, who joined the UW-Eau Claire faculty in 1973, was instrumental in guiding the development of the communication sciences and disorders program at UW-Eau Claire, Retherford said.

"Her leadership as a faculty member and former chair of the department helped shape its future and provided the foundation upon which the program is continuing to thrive," Retherford said of Larson. "Dr. Larson also had a lasting impact on the university, serving as interim chancellor from 2005-06. She now holds the designation of chancellor emerita."

Each year the Vicki Lord Larson Research Fellowship provides a member of the communication sciences and disorders faculty with reassigned time from teaching responsibilities to pursue research with students.

LaSalle's fellowship project, titled "Disfluency Frequency and Type in Speakers with High Functioning Autism or Asperger's Syndrome (HFA/AS)," will describe the fluency of school-age children and adolescents with high-functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome compared to their peers. The project involves the recording, transcription and coding work of several communication sciences and disorders students, LaSalle said.

"In our interdisciplinary field of work, the term 'fluency' can mean different but interrelated phenomena related to speech and language," LaSalle said. "The term 'fluency' is obtaining a new conceptual framework for those who work with individuals with high functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome."

LaSalle's research team is recruiting participants with HFA/AS from local and nationally based speech-language pathologists. Participants will be audio/video-recorded by student researchers.

LaSalle will present the results and discuss the impact of her research this spring at the Vicki Lord Larson Research Symposium, hosted by the department of communication sciences and disorders. At that presentation, the next recipient of the Vicki Lord Larson Research Fellowship will be announced.

For more information about the fellowship program, contact Dr. Kris Retherford at 715-836-4905 or retherk@uwec.edu. For information about the fluency research, contact Dr. Lisa LaSalle at 715-836-3805 or lasalllr@uwec.edu.

-30-

JB/DW

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