The Arnold School of Public Health’s Communication Sciences and Disorders (COMD) Professor and Chair Dr. Kenn Apel received the Honors of the Council award at the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders annual conference in Newport Beach, California on April 16. The Council, a national organization dedicated to promoting academic excellence, leadership and collaboration among academic programs in communication sciences and disorders, recognizes one individual periodically with the Honors of the Council award—the highest honor bestowed by the Council.
Dr. Apel earned this award by making such significant contributions to the Council and graduate education that his impact has been widely recognized throughout the professional community. Over the past ten years, he has served in numerous capacities for the Council, including treasurer, chair for the annual conference program committee, vice president for professional development and Council representative on the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Academic Affairs Board. Dr. Apel also led the Council as president-elect, president and past-president during a critical period of growth while they transitioned from an organizational structure guided by a single executive director to a multifaceted one guided by a management firm that provides a wider array of services. He continues to contribute to the Council by serving as chair of the interprofessional education committee and representing the organization’s interests on a global forum centered around this topic.
Melody Harrison, a professor at the University of North Carolina, nominated Dr. Apel for the award “because I would very much like for him to know how much we appreciate not only the hours and hours he spent helping to assure a smooth and successful transition but also for maintaining a wonderful sense of humor throughout it all.”
His dedication to the field of communication sciences and disorders is evident through his work at the Arnold School as well. With research interests in language and literacy development and disorders, Dr. Apel joined the School in 2012 as professor and chair of the COMD department. He is a nationally known authority in his profession of over 150,000 practitioners and scientists with numerous publications in top literacy journals and a highly respected and popular book, Beyond Baby Talk: From Speaking to Spelling, on parenting and language development that is now in its second edition. Dr. Apel’s expertise in literacy and dyslexia has transformed the COMD department into a literacy powerhouse, resulting in several grants and four outstanding faculty members who specialize in these areas.