Christopher Dromey, chair of the McKay School’s Communication Disorders Department, recently received the 2020 Fellowship of the Association award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the premier professional organization for speech-language pathologists.
The fellowship is one of ASHA’s highest honors; this year, 20 professionals received the award out of over 211,000 organization members. Dromey is the fourth BYU professor to become an ASHA fellow, along with faculty emeriti Bonnie Brinton, Martin Fujiki, and David McPherson.
According to ASHA’s website, fellow nominees “must have made outstanding contributions to the discipline of communication sciences and disorders. . . . While there are thousands of members who fulfill their professional responsibilities competently, only a small percentage have, by virtue of the quality and amount of their contributions, distinguished themselves sufficiently to warrant recognition.”
Dromey was nominated by a colleague at the University of Utah for his excellence in research, teaching, and professional service. With more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, Dromey researches speech motor control, that is, how the brain controls the movement of speech articulated by the lips, tongue, and jaw. Recently, he joined a newer ComD faculty member, Tyson Harmon, in researching the effects of background noise on those with communication disorders like aphasia.
In addition to his research, Dromey is a dedicated teacher and leader in his field. Dromey has taught in the McKay School since 2000, serving twice as department chair: first, from 2009 to 2015, and second, from 2019 to the present.
Speaking about his second round as chair, Dromey said, “The exciting thing this time is we have so many new faculty. Our department is a very different place than it was 10 years ago.” ComD is home to 11 full-time faculty, six of whom were hired in the past three years. “The people that we have hired . . . I feel like we just won the lottery when we hired them. They are stellar, they’re so, so good, and they're going to go on and do things that I could only dream of.”
With new lines of research, an energetic group of faculty, and new ComD students that “seem to get better every single year,” the department chair summed up his professional life at the McKay School in two words: “Life’s good.”
Writer: Anessa Pennington
Contact: Cynthia Glad 801-422-1922