Health and Human Development

Light recognized with President’s Award for academic integration


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Janice Light, Hintz Family Endowed Chair in Children’s Communicative Competence in the College of Health and Human Development, has been awarded the 2013 President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Integration.

The award is given to a full-time faculty member who has exhibited extraordinary achievement in the integration of teaching, research or creative accomplishment, and service.

Since coming to Penn State in 1990, Light has focused her research on improving communication outcomes and enhancing quality of life for individuals who have significant speech and language impairments and require augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), such as signs, communication boards or speech generating assistive technologies. She is involved in a series of multidisciplinary, collaborative research projects designed to enhance language development, improve literacy outcomes and enhance communicative competence for people who require AAC, and to improve the design of AAC technologies for individuals with significant speech and motor impairments.

She initiated the AAC assessment and intervention program at the Penn State Speech Language and Hearing Clinic. This program serves individuals with significant communication disabilities and their families to improve functional communication, enhance participation in society and maximize overall quality of life. She also provides support to a wide range of local and state agencies and school districts concerning the delivery of evidence-based AAC services.

Light is editor of the journal Augmentative and Alternative Communication. She has made more than 200 scholarly presentations at universities, seminars and conferences around the world.

Last Updated March 21, 2013