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AAC Achievement Award
Belinda Dorough

Belinda Dorough was nominated and selected by the committee for the AAC Achievement Award. She uses an Accent and accesses her vocabulary with switches placed at her feet. She has been using her language system for 10+ years and is very proficient. The person who nominated Belinda writes, “she has matured into a beautiful young adult who gets to enjoy so many of the joys that come with being an adult, having her own place to live, being married, etc. Most of these joys are made possible in her life through her communication device, but ultimately because Belinda goes after what she wants!”

AAC Professional Award
Mashone Hutchison

Mashone Hutchison was nominated and selected by the committee for the AAC Professional Award. The person who nominated her writes, “Mashone is a wonderful advocate for students when it comes to obtaining AAC for them. She does an amazing job of explaining the purpose and importance of AAC to parents and teachers. She has taught our teachers and staff so many things in the AAC world and continues to be an innovative SLP in our school and community.”

Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Jill Smith

  • Dr. Jill Smith was nominated and selected by the committee for the Distinguished Service Award. Jill Smith is a great advocate for SHAA. She has served on the SHAA board for many years. While serving on the board she has filled roles such as Councilor for Audiology, a representative to the committee of ambassadors, and Vice President of Convention. Not only has she personally served SHAA in these roles but she continues to bring others along to serve SHAA. Over the last year she has influenced more of the Children’s of Alabama team to join and participate in SHAA than ever before. This has benefited our group by bringing additional thoughts and ideas to the team and involving more people willing to serve. Jill's dedication to the profession and patient care are unparalleled.

Distinguished Clinical Achievement Award
Duane Trahan

  • Duane Trahan was nominated and selected by the committee for the Distinguished Clinical Achievement Award. Duane has distinguished himself as an expert in the areas of dsyphagia, facial nerve rehabilitation, laryngectomee rehabilitation and  head and neck cancer. Over the 16 years of his practice, he has become known for his specialized training the  areas of endoscopy, stroboscopy, fluroscopy as well as the management and treatment of dysphagia and voice. His career-long commitment to the pursuit of clinical excellence is only exceeded by his lifelong commitment to serving persons in need who live with the challenges of communication and swallow disorders. 

Duane is the co-founder and primary therapist of the UAB Facial Nerve Multidisciplinary Clinic.

Loretta G. Brown Annual Award

Emily Marshall

  • Emily Marshall was nominated and selected by the committee for the Loretta G. Brown Award. Emily Marshall is a Speech Language Pathologist in the public school system. She is a clinician and advocator. She serves her clients by supporting their families and their school team with the utmost professionalism. Not only does Emily provide excellent services, she gives selflessly of her time to further our profession by serving as a Clinical Educator. She embraces her role as a mentor and encourages others to be their best and grow into clinically competent and compassionate professionals. Emily Marshall is an individual who has had a long and distinguished career in the provision of services and the support of speech language pathology in the schools. 

Honors of the Association

Elizabeth Gwaltney

Elizabeth Gwaltney was nominated and selected by the committee for the Honors of the Association Award. Elizabeth has been an outstanding member of SHAA in a variety of capacities for over 17 years. She has served as Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President of Convention, President, and Immediate Past President.  She also represents Alabama as the SLP on the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA’s) Committee of Ambassadors. In all of these leadership roles, she has represented our profession and state association well. She is passionate and brings integrity, dedication, dependability, love, and thoughtfulness to any task she undertakes. Elizabeth is currently serving at Crestline Elementary School where she works with both preschool students and elementary aged students. She has over 20 years of experience. Prior to working at Crestline Elementary, she worked in early intervention serving families ages birth to 3.  Those who nominated her write, “I have never seen her waver on her commitment to providing the best therapy for every single student. She is knowledgeable in every exceptionality that our profession serves. Elizabeth also makes therapy sessions fun while targeting each child's specific goals.  She is a role model and mentor to many SLPs who are entering our field.” Another person writes, “Elizabeth is a collaborator. She collaborates with special education teachers, general education teachers, specials teachers, parents, and related service providers. She understands the importance of working with a student’s entire team and is always available to team members to help them prepare for upcoming activities, problem solve, and debrief. Despite the busy schedule that comes with being a school SLP, Elizabeth always has a positive attitude and is constantly asking others how she can help support them. She is a team player and goes above and beyond to help out anyone on our special education team. Elizabeth’s actions and demeanor show that she is here to serve and support her students and their team so that her students can be successful.” 

Student Recognition Awards

Kimberly Townsend- Alabama A&M

Kimberly became interested in speech pathology after becoming a mom.  Her son was diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech.  After years of therapy and meeting different types of speech therapists she became interested in the field of Communication Disorders. While completing her degree Kimberly  was recognized by A&M University in the "Showcase of Excellence of Women in STEM." She presented a paper on jugular paragangliomas in the annual STEM Fair Competition at A&M University.  She has accepted a position as an SLP at a skilled nursing facility and enjoys working with the geriatric population with swallowing therapy.

Kelleen Wegener- Auburn

Kelleen Wegener completed her undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Ohio University. She is currently a third-year Doctor of Audiology graduate student at Auburn University where she has gained clinical experience with all age-ranges and in many clinical settings. Alongside her clinical and academic work, Kelleen holds a graduate assistantship with the Office of Undergraduate Research and is actively involved in research. Kelleen's clinical interests are in vestibular and pediatric audiology.

Rachel Wales- Faulkner

Rachel discovered the field of speech-language pathology in 2018 and slowly fell in love with it during her undergraduate time at Auburn University at Montgomery. She graduated from there in May 2022. After graduation she hopes to work primarily with the pediatric population in a variety of settings.

Elizabeth Reavis- Samford University

Elizabeth Reavis is from Manchester, TN, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Birmingham-Southern College in 2016 with a BS in Health Sciences. She currently attends Samford University, where she will graduate in Spring 2023 with her MS in Speech-Language Pathology. She has a special interest in working with the veteran population with a focus on dysphagia. Upon graduation, she hopes to work in the medical setting.

Ray Boyd- The University of Alabama

Ray Boyd is finishing up his Masters in speech-language pathology this spring of 2023 at The University of Alabama. He did his undergrad at The University of Alabama majoring as well, majoring in Communicative Disorders. During his time as a graduate student, Ray has served as the President of The University of Alabama's National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association while also working as a graduate teaching assistant. Ray's future career goals include working with neurogenic communication disorders in the hospital setting and cleft lip and palate affected children.

Anna Lee Putman - University of Montevallo

Anna Lee Putman was born and raised in Douglas, Alabama. She attended Snead State Community College in which she received an Associate in Science degree. She later transferred to the University of Montevallo in which she received a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Science and Disorders. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with superior academic achievement honors. Currently, she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Montevallo. Anna Lee has a 4.0 GPA and is interested in working with the geriatric population when she graduates.

Payton Sibley - University of South Alabama

Payton Sibley is a fourth year Doctor of Audiology student at the University of South Alabama. Payton completed a doctoral thesis exploring the role of different attention domains in understanding speech in noise. She received her Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of South Alabama in 2019. Currently, she is completing her fourth-year externship at Saint Louis University Hospital in Saint Louis, Missouri. When she is not working, she enjoys traveling and walking her dog with friends.

Student Membership Award

The University of Alabama 

Outstanding Audiology Student

Taylor Halberg

  • The honors committee selected Taylor Halberg to receive the audiology scholarship. She is serving as the president of her school’s chapter of the Student Academy of Audiology for the 2023 calendar year. Taylor was diagnosed with bilateral hearing loss at the age of 8. She writes “when I was 16 years old, I discovered my passion for audiology and felt called to pursue a career in pediatrics”. She desires to enhance community for patients who are hard of hearing and/or have communication difficulties, as she believes it is important for this population to be connected with each other. Her current plans include applying for externships/jobs in children's hospitals, whether it be in an ENT department or in the NICU. She writes, “I hope to one day be a doctor that can relate to my patients and provide the best counseling to family members and parents of children with hearing loss.” 

Outstanding SLP Student

Courtney Fish

  • The honors committee selected Courtney Fish to receive the memorial scholarship in Speech Language Pathology. Courtney attended Samford University from 2018-2022 for her undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders and now attends graduate school there. She plans to work as a speech-language pathologist in Alabama in an early intervention setting. Courtney writes, “Being a speech-language pathologist in an early intervention setting allows you to answer some of those early questions families have and provide them options for communicating with their child.” She views early intervention as an opportunity to provide families hope in the midst of what can be a chaotic and overwhelming time.

The Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama
Phone: (205) 873-6667 
Mailing Address: 
P.O. Box 380124, Birmingham, AL 35238-0124

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