Communication Sciences and Disorders celebrates 60 years at UW-Stevens Point

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CSD faculty
CSD faculty

The Communication Sciences and Disorders program at UW-Stevens Point is celebrating 60 years of teaching, learning and serving the community.

“I am grateful for the faculty, staff and students who have made and currently make our department a center of excellence for learning, professional preparation and community engagement,” said program directory Julia Fischer, Ph.D. “Everyone in the department is excited to be part of the next 60 years working to advance the field of communication sciences and disorders.”

To take a deeper dive into the program’s history, visit for a detailed account of the first 50 years by the late Jerry Chappell.

Faculty & Staff
The department was founded in 1962 and became the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology in 1967. Pictured are faculty of the 1967-70 period (l-r): Ralph Leonard, Dennis Nash, La Rene Tufts, Don Aylesworth, Gerald Chappell, Gary Nix, Neil Lowell, Gerald Johnson, David Nelson, Thomas Wentland, Karen Carlson and Jack Curtis.
Students & Alumni
Our students and alumni are one of the strongest aspects of our program. They are some of the hardest working professionals in the country and are passionate about helping people.
Teaching & Learning
When the College of Professional Studies Building open in 1971, around 25 graduate students shared two large equipped offices, a student-faculty lounge, several conference rooms, and a Clinical Media Center full of diagnostic and therapy materials (pictured: Jerry Chappell). Now, our program occupies the entire garden level of CPS, plus beyond the walls like Maggie Watson teaching a virtual class in 2020.
Clinic & Outreach
Jerry Johnson (pictured) came to UW-Stevens Point in 1963 as leader of the speech pathology and audiology subdivision, and would later go on to head the School of Communicative Disorders from 1970-76. Under Johnson’s leadership, the program underwent major development with new faculty, majors and facilities. The speech pathology and audiology program nearly tripled, leading the program to become a major in addition to the establishment of the Speech and Hearing Science Clinic. Furthermore, in 1969 the first graduate degrees outside of education were awarded, thanks to Jerry Chappell’s successful coordination of the graduate studies program. The technology may have changed a bit over the years, but our service to the community continues to be one of our points of pride.