San Diego State University
Sonja Pruitt-Lord, Ph.D., associate professor in the Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences (SLHS) department at San Diego State, is recognized for empowering students to make valuable contributions in the field of speech and hearing, including her dedication to student success with the development of a summer prerequisite course for transfer students.
As a licensed clinician, Dr. Pruitt-Lord has developed a strong research program focused on child language development and disorders within the context of cultural and linguistic diversity. Students across all degree levels play a vital role in her lab through data collection, analysis and dissemination. Two of Pruitt-Lord's doctoral students were awarded highly competitive training grants from the National Institute of Health.
By collaborating with faculty across campus, Pruitt-Lord secured funding from the Office of Special Education to increase the number of bilingual clinical faculty and staff in schools. The funding provides tuition assistance for bilingual students committed to working in schools upon graduation; with the majority of recipients being underrepresented minority students. At its conclusion, the grants will have supported the training of 28 speech language pathologists, 18 school psychologists and 16 special education teachers to support children from diverse backgrounds with complex needs.
Pruitt-Lord also created a peer-mentoring network focused on career preparation for SLHS alumni, graduate and undergraduate students, providing support to more than 200 students to date.
“Dr. Pruitt continually seeks ways to create a space that allows students to become compassionate leaders, ethical innovators and life-long learners. …her dedication to teaching and community service makes here a shining example of SDSU excellence," says Tracy Love, Ph.D., director and professor at San Diego State's School of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences.