Welcoming Tausha Moore as director of Speech-Language Pathology Clinics

Karen O'Leary (left) and Tausha Moore (right)
Karen O'Leary (left) and Tausha Moore (right).

After 32 years at Wayne State University, including 11 years as director of Speech-Language Pathology Clinics, Karen O'Leary '80 is retiring. The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders welcomes Tausha Moore as the new director.

Moore, who said she worked alongside O'Leary as a Clinical Instructor for the past decade, said her time at the University followed experiences working in pediatric and adult services roles.

"When I first became a speech pathologist, I was in the trenches, and I really enjoyed that. I went into the field because I enjoyed working with people and wanted to be in a people-helping profession. I did that for a number of years, so while I've only been at Wayne for 13 years, I've been in the field for close to 27," Moore remarked.

As O'Leary's successor, Moore will assume leadership of clinic operations. While she's already overseeing the construction of new rooms and equipment, she will also be regulating training for speech-language students in the clinic. She also hopes to maintain the current relationships the clinic established under O'Leary as she moves forward.

"Our clinic provides services in the community, so part of my role will be to continue those relationships and foster what has been built, but also to expand on that. We're always looking for more partners in education for our students, who are also willing to give back to the clinic.

"We have our alumni who are out and working now continue to give back to the program by being supervisors for our students. So I'll try to continue those relationships and grow them to continue helping the community, but also to grow our program and continue to give students those broad experiences that they'll need."

Moore added that she also hopes to cultivate the full potential of the program's capabilities and student experiences through new simulation and sensory rooms in the clinic. These rooms, designed to aid clients struggling with sensory issues, will help establish more advanced methods of practice for students.

"Our new simulation lab is currently under development," Moore said. "It's going to provide experience in an area of practice that they don't currently have on-site. We also have a sensory room being installed. Those two resources are my primary goals coming in as director - to get those fully developed and fully operational within our program."

The new additions to the clinic are made possible by a three-year gift made by the Baiardi Family Foundation. This equipment, in conjunction with funds raised during Wayne State University's Giving Day this past April, will provide new opportunities for speech-language students and allow the clinic to expand its area of practice and clientele base. In addition, with the growth and expansion of technology, incorporating more digital tools into the clinic will contribute to growing the scope of services they provide.

Like almost everything else, Moore said that the pandemic affected the clinic.

"Clients want to be remediated on things like using the internet, FaceTime, and social media outlets. Having these interactive boards will not only expand the services we can provide but will also extend our reach in terms of educating students."

Moore said that the clinic was fortunate enough to reopen for face-to-face instruction and clients earlier this year and hopes to continue operating both in-person and virtually for the foreseeable future.

"While face-to-face is the gold standard, we hope to offer more hybrid services or distance services for clients who are not able to come into the clinic."

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