Award Winners

2017 SAC Award Winners

Speech-Language and Audiology Canada is pleased to recognize the following award winners.

For more information about SAC's Awards and Recognition Program, please visit this page

Click here to view a list of past award winners.

Click on an award name to jump to the 2017 winner's biography and photo.

Award

2017 Winners

Editor's Award

Long versus short language samples: A clinical procedure for French language assessment

Elin Thordardottir, PhD

National Clinical
Certification Exam Award

Kelsey Andison, M.Sc., RAUD, RHIP, Aud(C)

Jessica Clarke, M.Sc., R.SLP, S-LP(C)

Isabel Richard Student
Paper Award
(Doctoral Level)

Michelle Phoenix, M.H.Sc., Reg.CASLPO, PhD Candidate

Isabel Richard Student
Paper Award
(Below Doctoral Level)

Katharine Davies, BA, MA, M.Sc. Candidate

Student Excellence Awards

Elspeth MacLachlan, audiology program, Dalhousie University

Jenna MacDonald, S-LP program, Dalhousie University

Danielle Huot, S-LP program, Université Laurentienne

Cléo Guillemette, S-LP program, Université Laval

Evan Kennedy, S-LP program, McGill University

Kelsey McLaughlin, S-LP program, University of Alberta

Chelsey Michaud, audiology program, University of British Columbia

Jessie Lee, S-LP program, University of British Columbia

Patricia Darche, audiology program, Université de Montréal

Maryse Meunier, S-LP program, Université de Montréal

Emilia Colagrosso, audiology program, Université d'Ottawa

Marie Bellavance-Courtemanche, S-LP program, Université d'Ottawa

Amy Verschuuren, S-LP program, University of Toronto

Darcy Ellen Rick, audiology program, Western University

Kerry Hollingsworth, S-LP program, Western University

 


Editor's Award

Recognizes the best paper published in the Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology in the previous calendar year. SAC membership is not a requirement.

Read the winning paper, "Long versus short language samples: A clinical procedure for French language assessment".

Elin Thordardottir, PhD

Biography

Elin Thordardottir was born in Iceland and grew up there and in France. She studied Icelandic and linguistics at the University of Iceland, and speech-language pathology and audiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since graduating in 1998, she has been a professor at McGill University in Montreal. Concurrently, she has been an active researcher at the Academy of Reykjavik in Iceland and a part time lecturer at the University of Iceland and at the University of Alberta. Elin’s research is in the area of language development and language disorders in monolingual children speaking English, French, Icelandic and in bilingual children and second language learners in Canada and Iceland.

Her work has had a strong cross-linguistic and multicultural component, focusing on the underlying nature of bilingual development and language impairment, as well addressing clinical research issues in assessment and intervention efficacy. She is the author of several language assessment measures targeting French and Icelandic, and bilingual assessment. She is frequently invited to give continuing education workshops to clinical audiences all over the world. She has also had a leading role in two European multi-country research projects (Cost Actions) focusing on bilingualism and childhood language impairment.

Please click here to read an interview with Elin on our blog.

Please click here to watch a short video montage that showcases this award winner.

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National Clinical Certification Exam Award

Awarded to the SAC member in each profession who attains the highest score on the clinical certification exam during the previous calendar year.

Kelsey Andison, M.Sc., RAUD, RHIP, Aud(C)

Biography

Kelsey Andison is currently working as diagnostic audiologist for the Fraser Health Authority at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital in British Columbia. She is a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia (UBC) with a master of science in audiology. She also completed her undergraduate degree, a bachelor of science in behavioral psychology, at UBC. In audiology, she is working toward her advanced competency in vestibular assessment and management therapies. She resides in her hometown of Abbotsford, British Columbia with her partner, Paul, and Ducktolling Retriever puppy, Ember. 

Jessica Clarke, M.Sc., R.SLP, S-LP(C)

Biography

Jessica Clarke is a speech-language pathologist who lives in Calgary, Alberta with her husband, Erik. She completed her bachelor of science in biology and bachelor of science honors in psychology at the University of Calgary in 2011. After exploring her career options following the completion of her undergraduate degrees, she realized that she had a passion for working with children with communication delays and their families. As a result, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in speech-language pathology at the University of Alberta.

Since completing her degree in July 2016, Jessica has been working for Providence Children’s Centre supporting preschool, junior kindergarten, and kindergarten students with speech and language delays. She enjoys collaborating and working with a passionate and knowledgeable team of teachers, therapists and support staff. Jessica is interesting in learning more about supporting children with apraxia of speech and children with complex communication needs. In her free time, Jessica enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing board games and enjoying the great outdoors.

Please click here to watch a short video montage that showcases these award winners.

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Isabel Richard Student Paper Award - Doctoral Level 

Presented to a SAC student associate for the best paper written on a specific topic related to the professions. Papers are judged on both style and content. Judges look for writing that is clear, articulate and logically organized. Content is judged on accuracy of facts presented and originality and innovativeness of ideas and opinions expressed.  

Topic: How can speech-language pathologists or audiologists make parents essential partners and collaborators in their children’s therapy?

Michelle Phoenix, M.H.Sc., Reg.CASLPO, PhD Candidate

Biography

Michelle Phoenix completed her master of health science in speech-language pathology at the University of Toronto and is currently pursuing a PhD in rehabilitation science at McMaster University. She practices clinically at KidsAbility, a children’s treatment centre in the Waterloo Region.

Through clinical work and research Michelle has developed a passion for understanding how parents of children with disabilities engage in their child’s therapy services. In particular, her work focuses on parents who have a history of missed or cancelled appointments. This includes consideration of barriers to access at the system level, in addition to the family barriers related to parents’ physical and mental health, family composition, and logistic barriers. The concepts of family-centred service, resilience and ethics are woven throughout Michelle’s work. This research has been done with CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research and is funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program.

Please click here to read Michelle's paper.

Please click here to watch a short video montage that showcases this award winner.

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Isabel Richard Student Paper Award - Below Doctoral Level 

Presented to a SAC student associate for the best paper written on a specific topic related to the professions. Papers are judged on both style and content. Judges look for writing that is clear, articulate and logically organized. Content is judged on accuracy of facts presented and originality and innovativeness of ideas and opinions expressed. 

Topic: What do you think will be the greatest ethical issues in speech-language pathology or audiology in the next 10 years?

Katharine Davies, BA, MA, M.Sc. Candidate

Biography

Katharine is currently pursuing her master of science in speech-language pathology at the University of British Columbia, before which she completed a bachelor of arts and a master of arts. Before starting her program, she spent time volunteering with persons with dementia at a long-term care facility. After graduating she hopes to work with persons with dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases, and their families. Katharine lives in Vancouver with her husband and daughter and loves to spend her free time rock climbing and running.

Please click here to read Katharine's paper.

Please click here to watch a short video montage that showcases this award winner.

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Student Excellence Awards 

Awarded to an SAC student associate, in his or her graduating year of study, in each of the S-LP and audiology training programs in Canada. Nominees are judged to be the best all-round future professionals, shall have shown significant enthusiasm for their profession and have instilled in others a desire to contribute to the development and growth of the professions.

Elspeth MacLachlan, audiology program, Dalhousie University

Biography

Elspeth grew up in Kingston, Ontario. She moved to Hamilton to study biology at McMaster University. After completing a bachelor of science, Elspeth worked as a research assistant at York University in a biology and chemistry lab. She worked on a project developing a biosensor using gold nanoparticles. Around this time, her grandmother began struggling to hear. Eager to help and learn more about audiology, Elspeth began taking her grandmother to her audiology appointments. After a thorough assessment of her grandmother’s hearing, the audiologist counseled her on her hearing loss and the benefits that they could provide.

Hearing aids and aural rehabilitation had a profound impact on her life. Elspeth watched her grandmother’s quality of life improve, as she was visibly happier and less socially withdrawn. This experience solidified Elspeth’s interest in pursuing audiology as a career, as she was shown the transformative effect that audiology can have in someone’s life. The following fall, Elspeth moved to Halifax to begin studying audiology at Dalhousie University. She has thoroughly enjoyed the program, and will be graduating this spring. Elspeth is looking forward to beginning her audiology career in her hometown of Kingston at Hotel Dieu Hospital.

 

Jenna MacDonald, S-LP program, Dalhousie University

Biography

Jenna is thrilled to have returned to her home province of Nova Scotia to complete a degree in speech-language pathology at Dalhousie University. She had previously earned a bachelor in French from Mount Allison, a master’s degree in French literature at the University of Western Ontario and a bachelor in education at Université Sainte-Anne. After working more than four years as a French immersion teacher and school health facilitator, she was inspired to combine her passions for health and language development in a career in speech-language pathology.

She feels privileged to work amongst skilled clinicians researching spatial processing disorder in children with cleft palate, providing intensive intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder and supporting local francophone families. She is passionate about bilingual language development and is eager to apply skills developed as an educator to a career in paediatric speech language pathology.

 

Danielle Huot, S-LP program, Université Laurentienne

Biography

Danielle is completing her final year of the master’s of health sciences program in speech-language pathology at Laurentian University where she also earned an honours bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology. Danielle aspires to become a speech-language pathologist as it corresponds perfectly with her passions for language, health and education and her strong desire to help others. In the past years, she has focused her research on written language in French students living in French minority settings, namely the Franco-Ontarian population.

Danielle has presented on this topics at numerous conferences in relation to cognition, psychology and speech-language pathology. In addition to gaining theoretical, clinical and research experience within her field of study, Danielle has organized and participated in various student council events and has worked as a research assistant, teacher’s assistant and as a student laboratory technician. She is a strong advocate for written language-related research, cognition, education and innovation and looks forward to stepping out into the clinical world and applying her acquired knowledge to collaborate with fellow professionals and to deliver helpful service to future clients and patients.

 

Cléo Guillemette, S-LP program, Université Laval

Biography

Cléo is originally from Sherbrooke. It was during her college studies in arts and literature (theatre stream) that she discovered speech-language pathology, a field that allowed her to combine her love of language and communication with her interest in helping others. She completed a bachelor’s degree in language sciences and is currently finishing her master’s degree in speech-language pathology at Université Laval.

Over the course of her studies, Cléo has done volunteering and worked for a community organization providing support to deaf adults who have an intellectual impairment, an autistic spectrum disorder or a mental health issue. This experience helped her learn to be open to difference and to hone her communication and adaptation skills. Cléo has also been extensively involved in various committees and projects, including sitting on the executive committee of her student association and participating in promotional activities for the speech-language pathology program. Her clinical interests are varied, and mostly focus on hearing impairments and acquired language disorders both related and unrelated to dementia. Her student placements have also helped her discover and appreciate working with children who have a language disorder. 

 

Evan Kennedy, S-LP program, McGill University

Biography

Evan Kennedy is from Newmarket, Ontario with an undergraduate degree in psychology, linguistics and theatre from the University of Toronto. During his time at McGill University, Evan has contributed to a multitude of projects directed towards an interest in the voice, including outreach seminars on transgender voice therapy and a research project on vocal fold fibroblast cells in collaboration with Dr. Nicole Li-Jessen’s voice lab and the faculty of engineering.

An avid musician, with previous experience working in theatre and music, Evan is a coordinator of McGill’s World Voice Day, with programming specifically oriented to professional voice users including a public seminar, voice screenings and voice care workshops. Evan looks forward to completing a final practicum with the University of Wisconsin Hospital Adult Voice Clinic this coming summer and is a hopeful applicant to clinical fellowship programs in voice and swallow for the 2017-2018 year. As his graduate education comes to an end, Evan is looking forward to returning to his interests of playing the piano, travelling and cooking.

 

Kelsey McLaughlin, S-LP program, University of Alberta

Biography

Growing up with a brother with autism, Kelsey’s house was always filled with various therapists and specialists supporting her brother and family. Although all positions were appreciated and respected by her, Kelsey was most inspired by the work of her brother’s speech-language pathologists… and the inspiration stuck! Kelsey completed her master of communication sciences and disorders from the University of Alberta. She completed her bachelors of arts (honours) in linguistics at the University of Calgary. During this time, Kelsey worked as a speech-language assistant. She also volunteered as a rehabilitation aide for the Association for the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injured and as a research volunteer in the speech development lab at the University of Calgary.

As part of her completion of her master’s degree, Kelsey collaborated on a manual to support speech-language pathologists using animal assisted therapy in their therapeutic practice. Kelsey hopes to one day have her own (future) dog support her communication intervention. Kelsey is passionate about working within early learning with her students and their families. Since August 2016, Kelsey has been working for the Calgary Board of Education with preschool and kindergarten students. In October she attended Hanen’s Learning Language and Loving it. 

 

Chelsey Michaud, audiology program, University of British Columbia

Biography

Chelsey was born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Before her studies in audiology at the University of British Columbia, Chelsey received a bachelor of science in neuroscience at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS. During her undergraduate degree she was a research assistant investigating event-related brain potentials associated with learning, decision making and reward processing. Additionally, she was employed as a research assistant for a clinical psychology lab studying semantic memory in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder.

Prior to graduate studies, she worked in New Brunswick as an autism support worker implementing behavioural intervention with pre-school aged children. Chelsey plans to return to New Brunswick and pursue a career in private practice, providing bilingual services in English and French. She enjoys the opportunity of educating and counselling clients on their hearing loss, communication skill, and their hearing aid journey while building lasting relationships within the community.

 

Jessie Lee, S-LP program, University of British Columbia

Biography

Jessie Lee was born in Hong Kong. She immigrated to Canada at the age of five and has lived in Vancouver for 20 years. Jessie speaks English, Cantonese and Mandarin. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of British Columbia with a major in speech sciences and a minor in family studies.

Surrounded by young and healthy classmates, Jessie realized that some of the most fundamental aspects of human culture, including the ability to speak and communicate, are often taken for granted. Volunteering at the UBC hospital and working with children with special needs helped her discover a passion in empowering individuals with communication disorders. Volunteering in Dr. May Bernhardt’s child phonology, phonetics and language acquisition lab further inspired Jessie’s interest in the speech development of children. She is extremely thankful for the opportunity she has had to pursue her dream in becoming a speech-language pathologist at the school of audiology and speech sciences.

In the future, Jessie hopes to provide services for bilingual Chinese and English speaking children as she have seen a need for culturally sensitive assessment techniques and therapy materials for this community and is excited to continue learning throughout her practice.
 

Patricia Darche, audiology program, Université de Montréal

Biography

Patricia is currently finishing her last year of study in audiology at Université de Montréal. She already holds a bachelor’s degree in music, and it is this field of study that helped her discover audiology. In addition to her training in audiology, she has also participated in various events linked to hearing, including volunteering with the Quebec association for children with hearing impairments (AQEPA), and participating in a health awareness campaign for high school aged youth in a First Nations community.

In addition, she is currently working on a humanitarian aid project that will take her to Haiti. The goal of this trip is to provide aid to a population with audiology needs, to raise awareness through community radio, and to provide training at the Haiti State University. Patricia is also interested in research and is currently working as a research assistant at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sainte-Justine. She is delighted to soon start her professional life as an audiologist and to help raise awareness in her daily life. 

 

Maryse Meunier, S-LP program, Université de Montréal

Biography

Maryse Meunier is currently completing her master’s degree in speech-language pathology at Université de Montréal, after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and a bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology. Throughout her university journey, she has distinguished herself by becoming involved in her student association (ADÉOA) and participating in the implementation of several projects, including Student Research Evenings and a University symposium in speech-language pathology and audiology.

Maryse has also been involved in interdisciplinary projects with students in many other disciplines, including the committee on free access to research of the Fédération des associations étudiantes de l’Université de Montréal, and the Forum de la relève étudiante pour la santé du Québec (FRESQue), whose goal is to make recommendations to the provincial government on improving access to care. She has also worked as a research assistant, a professor’s assistant in speech-language pathology, and a union representative for speech-language pathology and audiology with the Syndicat des étudiant(e)s salarié(e)s de l’Université de Montréal (SÉSUM). Maryse hopes to have an interdisciplinary and varied practice and plans to continue being involved in the rights of people who live with a communication disorder and in developing our profession as a young professional. 

 

Emilia Colagrosso, audiology program, Université d'Ottawa

Biography

Originally from Montreal, Emilia moved to Ottawa to pursue her master’s in audiology. Before specialising in audiology, she completed a bachelor of neuroscience at McGill University. She has become particularly interested in the auditory system while taking part in research projects conducted at the laboratory for research on brain music and sound. Emilia has always had a special interest for sounds, having played the violin since age 5. In the future, she wishes to be involved in both clinical and research settings. She believes that both worlds need each other to strive: while research guides clinical interventions, clinical observations inspire research questions and guide research goals.  

 

Marie Bellavance-Courtemanche, S-LP program, Université d'Ottawa

Biography

Marie was born in Lac-Mégantic, in the beautiful region of the Eastern Townships. She completed her bachelor degree in linguistics at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). As part of her research project, she studied the effects of bilingualism on Innu children's literacy skills. She then pursued a master's degree in the subfield of phonetics. Her master's thesis led her to work with children with dysarthria, and to discover part of the vast field of speech-language pathology. Her work as a research assistant at the Laboratoire de Phonétique de l'UQAM, along with her experiences as a volunteer in the Team Canada Healing Hands' audiology and speech-language pathology project in Haiti, confirmed her growing interest for the field.

She is now studying speech-language pathology at University of Ottawa, and feeling more than lucky to learn such exciting career skills through both the classes and the placements. Thinking about her soon-to-begin life as a speech-language pathologist, Marie wishes to develop meaningful links with her patients and colleagues. She also hopes to find a bit of time to enjoy life, may that be on a bike, in running shoes, on a yoga mat, in the kitchen, or while visiting foreign places.

 

Amy Verschuuren, S-LP program, University of Toronto

Biography

Amy has known that she would one day become a speech-language pathologist since the tenth grade, after a suggestion from a teacher prompted her to research the career and discover what it entails. She quickly fell in love with the prospect of helping those who have communicative difficulties. Having known that a career in S-LP was her ultimate goal, she completed her BAH in linguistics and psychology at Queen’s University, where she was actively involved in many extracurricular activities and spent her evenings and summers volunteering in a variety of clinical settings. She eagerly accepted a position in the M.H.Sc. S-LP program at the University of Toronto and has thoroughly enjoyed both the academic and clinical components of the program. Additionally, she is a member of the student council and the Interprofessional Healthcare Students’ Association.

Outside of work and school, Amy enjoys spending time with friends and family, maintaining an active lifestyle and exploring the world. She is thrilled to be commencing a career that she is passionate about upon completion of the S-LP program this year.

 

Darcy Ellen Rick, audiology program, Western University

Biography

Ellen grew up in the nation's capital and stayed close to home to complete her undergraduate degree in neuroscience at Carleton University. As an undergraduate, Ellen was actively involved in the Carleton Neuroscience Society, including acting as an educator for Brain Awareness Week, an initiative that educated elementary and high school children about the brain and mental health. It was also at Carleton University that Ellen first discovered her interest in auditory neuroscience in a Neuroscience of Sensory Processes class, and went on to complete an honours research essay in the higher-order effects of deafness on the auditory system and how early cochlear implantation affects neurodevelopment.

Ellen continues to participate in student life at Western, currently acting as president of the communication sciences and disorders student council. She was integral in organizing the fundraising initiatives to send the graduating class to Vancouver, BC for the World Congress of Audiology. She hopes to work as a cochlear implant audiologist and is excited to enter such a rewarding profession. In her free time, she enjoys long distance running, horse-back riding and travelling.

 

Kerry Hollingsworth, S-LP program, Western University

Biography

Kerry is currently completing her master of clinical science in speech-language pathology at Western University. During her undergraduate education in forensic science from Laurentian University, she cultivated a keen interest in both evidence-based practice and the connection between biological form and function. However, she was eager to apply her education in the sciences to a helping field.

As a child, she was fortunate to receive speech-language pathology services and recognized the profound impact it had on her own life. Pursuing speech-language pathology as a profession was not only an excellent academic fit, it also felt like the best way to pay her gratitude to the field forward. It was in her time volunteering with Special Olympics Ontario, both of her university student councils and her community association where Kerry found a passion for providing high-quality and accessible health care services for everyone. She has enjoyed every one of her clinical experiences and looks forward to a career advocating for her clients and for the profession with commitment and enthusiasm.

 

Please click here to watch a short video montage that showcases these award winners.

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