Group of Communication Disorders Students Fund Neeley Scholarship


Group of Communication Disorders Students Fund Neeley Scholarship


Those celebrating the creation of the Neeley Family Graduate Scholarship in Communication Disorders included (left to right) Chancellor Kelly Damphousse, Katie Beth Pankey, Erin Neeley, Dr Rick Neeley, Phyllis Neeley, Dr Amy Shollenbarger and Dr Scott Gordon.

JONESBORO – At a rally to announce a new scholarship in honor of Professor Emeritus Dr. Rick Neeley, former students, colleagues and friends recalled his exemplary dedication to teaching and service at Arkansas State University.

“Today marks an important milestone,” said Dr. Amy Shollenbarger, chair of the Department of Communication Disorders at the College of Nursing and Health Professions.

She introduced Kayle Myers, alumnus and past president of the A-State section of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association. Myers proudly said past and current chapter members have achieved their goal of recognizing one of their most beloved professors, Dr. Rick Neeley.

“I am delighted to announce that we have raised $ 25,000 to launch a graduate scholarship named after the entire Neeley family. Dr. Rick, his wife Phyllis and his daughter Erin are here with us today, ”Myers said. “Every student in our program is a part of today, and on behalf of each of them, thank you Dr Neeley.”

Dr. Scott Gordon, dean of nursing and health since Aug. 1, said he had learned about the history of the college’s programs and its employees.

“When I was told that Dr. Neeley’s students had raised funds for this graduate scholarship to honor him, I knew he was a professor who touched the lives of his students in a profound way. and deep, that they were moved to honor him in this way. Gordon said. “On behalf of the college, I want to thank you, Rick, for literally decades of service. And to you, Kayle, and to all of our current and past Chapter members, thank you for creating this scholarship.

Chancellor Kelly Damphousse also highlighted Neeley’s impact as a faculty member.

“I have had the opportunity to meet Rick Neeley, and I can’t think of a better ambassador for our Communication Disorders program,” he told those gathered. “In fact, it’s fair to say he’s the program. His dedication to the state of Arkansas is remarkable.

After earning a master’s degree from A-State in 1976, Neeley worked in private practice for a few years before completing his doctorate in Tennessee in 1987. He returned to Jonesboro and A-State that year, and eventually worked his way up. from the faculty to full professor.

“He was instrumental in elevating communication disorders from a program to a college department. It is his vision that inspired the offices and clinical spaces that you see today at the Reynolds Center, ”added Damphousse. “For 19 years, he held the post of chairman of the department. “

He also quoted one of Neeley’s former colleagues, who said: ‘What Dr Neeley is best known for is his listening ear. He welcomes students to his office and has mentored generations of speech-language pathologists as they reach their academic potential. He is what A-State should always be.

Damphousse continued, “It’s that kind of devotion to our students that separates A-State from everyone else. And it is this kind of love that motivates students to honor a teacher. Today, thanks to funding from our students, I am proud to announce the Neeley Family Graduate Scholarship in Communication Disorders and welcome back Rick and his family to present the inaugural scholarship to a student. deserving graduate.

The first recipient is Katie Beth Pankey of Blytheville, who is studying for a Masters in Communication Disorders.

Additional information on this and other privately funded scholarships at A-State is available from the Development Office, (870) 972-3940 or [email protected]

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