Healey receives Swanson Award for teaching excellence

E. Charles Healey
E. Charles Healey

E. Charles Healey, professor of speech language pathology in the College of Education and Human Sciences, has been selected for the Donald R. and Mary Lee Swanson Award for Teaching Excellence.

Healey, who teaches in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, will receive a $12,500 award during an awards luncheon April 5 in Lincoln.

The Swanson Award, funded by a gift from Donald R. Swanson of Lincoln, recognizes the positive impact of teaching excellence on students. Healey is one of the nation's foremost experts who work with children and adults who stutter or who have various types of voice disorders such as vocal hoarseness, pitch disorders and loss of voice. He is one of just 70 board-certified stuttering specialists in the United States. There are only two in Nebraska.

“I believe students should be at the center of the teaching and learning context, a place where they feel motivated and challenged to learn but also supported and encouraged along the way,” Healey said.

He is actively engaged in student supervision and clinical teaching at the Barkley Center’s Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic on East Campus at UNL.

“I could choose not to be involved in clinical teaching and spend more time in the research laboratory, but I believe it is imperative for me to show students that I practice what I preach,” Healey said.

Healey developed a nationally acclaimed assessment tool for school-age children who stutter that he calls CALMS. The acronym stands for Cognitive, Affective, Linguistic, Motor and Social. The assessment examines how each of those factors contributes to a student’s unique pattern of stuttering, allowing practitioners to better serve students.

Whether he is teaching a course for college freshmen or mentoring doctoral students, Healey is committed to teaching excellence. Often, he uses humor and analogies to keep students engaged and focused on learning difficult concepts.

In a course evaluation, one student said Healey “knew when we were slowly fading away with an overload of knowledge … and lightened the mood by his humor and made the material manageable.”

The Donald R. and Mary Lee Swanson Award for Teaching Excellence is presented by the College of Education and Human Sciences. The focus of the award is the positive impact of teaching excellence on students. Any full-time faculty member in the CEHS is eligible to be nominated.

The CEHS Swanson Awards Committee recommends the nominee to the Chancellor’s Office for final approval. For more information on the award, visit cehs.unl.edu/cehs/awards.