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Retirement celebrations for Professor Susan Edwards

Professor Susan Edwards

Professor Edwards (right) with three final year students at her retirement party. (From left to right) Elaine Heckford, Sally Jenkins and Emma Hayward.

The School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences recently celebrated Professor Susan Edwards' long-standing career at the University of Reading, as she retired this month.

After a number of clinical posts as a speech and language therapist, Susan joined the University in 1984 at the then the department of Linguistic Science. Since 2005 she has been the head of Clinical Language Sciences in the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences.

The celebrations began with an afternoon colloquium, "Clinical Language Studies in Honour of Susan Edwards", comprising five presentations from associates of Susan; Tom Loucas (University of Reading), Carolyn Letts (University of Newcastle), Chris Code (University of Exeter), Rosemary Varley (University of Sheffield) and Cynthia Thompson (Northwestern University, USA).

The event was attended by academic staff, past and present undergraduate students, alumni, local NHS speech and language therapists, past patients, research participants and research colleagues. The colloquium was followed by a reception and then a dance.

Professors Rob Robson (PVC for Teaching & Learning) and Jane Maxim (University College London) paid tribute to Susan's outstanding contribution to student learning, the speech and language profession, astute leadership and high caliber research.

To underline  Susan's contribution to the international scientific community, she was presented with a special issue of the Journal of Neurolinguistics, "Clinical Speech and Language Studies in Honour of Susan Edwards", edited by Christos Salis and Jane Maxim. Professor David Crystal, Susan's first PhD supervisor, remarked in the foreword of the journal: "Susan's work in a broad range of clinical speech and language studies is well reflected in this volume, with its papers on child and adult disorders, analysis and intervention, and language and learning - all domains where she has herself made outstanding contributions."

Susan has been director of the undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in speech and language therapy for a number of years as well as supervising a large number of doctoral students. In addition to her academic achievements, she has made a considerable professional contribution, serving on the Council, Academic Board and Grants Committee of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, and as a visitor for the Health Professions Council. In 2007, she was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

Susan is currently Emeritus Professor at the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences and is working on a number of projects including an aphasia therapy project with S. Beeke, W. Best and J. Maxim at UCL (funded by the Stroke Association) and, with Letts (Newcastle) and Sinka (Open), a 4th edition of the Reynell Developmental Language Scales (funded by Granada Learning). 

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