Evelyn Klein, Ph.D., associate professor of speech-language-hearing science is known for working long hours at La Salle University. While walking to her car on a recent late evening, a La Salle security guard told Klein, “You work a lot; you must love what you do. Maybe one day you will get an award for all your hard work.” While not simply for recognition of her long hours, Klein was named the 2011 recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.
“I was so surprised and thrilled to receive this award,” said Klein. “Teaching is very important to me, so I am very honored by this lifetime achievement.”
La Salle University has bestowed the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award for the past 50 years. Presented at Commencement, the recipient is selected by a committee of students, faculty, and administrators based on nominations from the University’s full-time faculty and both undergraduate and graduate students.
Award nominations for Klein included accolades such as, “one of the most talented colleagues I have ever worked with” and “my experience at La Salle would not have been as rich or rewarding without her.”
“I try to engage my students with interactive and problem-based learning,” said Klein. “My research and my clinical practice allow me to share real-life (anonymous) examples with my students to help them gain knowledge through shared experiences. Students appreciate learning about clinical situations they may encounter when they begin to practice in the field.”
A certified, licensed speech-language pathologist and licensed psychologist, Klein was the first faculty member hired in 2001 for La Salle’s then new program in speech-language-hearing science. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses covering topics such as research design and theory in communication disorders, language-learning disabilities, communication and autism spectrum disorders, acquired language disorders, and counseling in communication disorders, among others. She also supervises students during their clinical practicum and serves on the committee for La Salle’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Education Resources (LADDER) Family Center and the Tenure and Promotion Committee.
She has done extensive research, particularly in selective mutism, an anxiety-based disorder characterized by an inability to speak in social settings like school or in public places despite being able to speak in other settings when feeling comfortable. “My research allows me to integrate my expertise in communication disorders and psychology to investigate and better understand this disorder,” said Klein.
Klein has been the recipient of numerous research grants, including the current “Efficacy of Social Communication Anxiety Treatment on Children with Selective Mutism” for a private nonprofit foundation. In the past, she has been involved in grant-funded research projects investigating cognitive behavioral therapy for people who stutter, early literacy development, and a drop-out prevention grant targeting academic growth by improving communication under the auspices of the School District of Philadelphia.
Klein earned a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and audiology from Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from The College of New Jersey, and a doctorate in educational psychology from Temple University. In addition, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at Drexel University in connection with Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital. She holds Pennsylvania certification in special education and a certificate in cognitive behavioral therapy through the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.