Dr. Elisabeth Mlawski

Dr. Elisabeth Mlawski, a clinical assistant professor in the Katz School’s Speech-Language Pathology program whose focus is on pediatric language development, has been appointed to a cross-cultural collaboration that will introduce Chiang Mai University to the fundamentals of speech-language pathology.

“Dr. Mlawski’s appointment to this collaborative research group is not only a validation of her knowledge and professionalism, it’s a reflection of our dynamic faculty culture in the speech-language pathology program at the Katz School,” said program director Dr. Marissa Barrera.

Dr. Mlawski was one of seven practitioners, professors, researchers and specialists in the speech pathology field chosen from 20 applicants nationwide who have experience in clinical and school-based settings, as well as with populations ranging from children to adults.

Over the next 10 months, the group will explore inter-professional research opportunities and help Chiang Mai University, a public research university in northern Thailand, develop its expertise in linguistics into a communications science and disorders program.

“The Chiang Mai University faculty first need exposure to the various aspects of speech-language pathology and about diagnostic testing and assessment,” said Dr. Mlawski. “Then once we’ve laid the foundational skills of the profession, we’ll introduce higher-level concepts, like dysphagia and aphasia.”

A speech-language pathologist since 1994, Dr. Mlawski teaches several courses at the Katz School, such as Language Development, Literacy and Use; Language Disorders; Professional Issues I, II and III; Diagnostics; and the Role of the Speech-Language Pathologist in Public Schools.

She began her career in the New York City public schools as a school-based speech therapist. She holds a doctorate in health sciences with a concentration in speech-language pathology from Seton Hall University, a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Northern Arizona University, and a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University.

Dr. Mlawski said she’s particularly interested in the areas of normal and disordered language development, speech sound disorders, clinical methods, and assessment and diagnostics. Her current research focuses on mechanisms for peer learning relating to the Common Core State Standards, using peer learning as a tool in clinical and academic education, language acquisition, and supervision.

Therapy Abroad, a subsidiary of BlueDot Partners, which facilitated the collaboration with Chiang Mai University, asked her to join the research panel after her presentation on “The Hidden Language of the Common Core,” which demonstrated how the goals of speech-language pathology can be aligned with the Common Core State Standards, a set of educational requirements for teaching and testing English and mathematics between kindergarten and 12th grade.

She said an important part of being a good clinician is having “multicultural competency,” which she said excites her about the appointment to the research panel.

“That competency you can’t get out of a textbook,” said Dr. Mlawski. “Even if you’re just helping students to realize what’s appropriate and inappropriate and how to interact with others, what to say and what not to say, it helps you to grow and be a better person.”

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