Crais Receives Distinguished Alumnus Award

Vanderbilt University’s Department of Hearing & Speech Sciences presented Elizabeth Crais, PhD, Professor in the UNC-Chapel Hill Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, with the Judith S. Gravel Distinguished Alumnus Award at a ceremony in May 2010.

Crais Receives Distinguished Alumnus Award click to enlarge Dr. Edward Conture, Vanderbilt University’s Director of Graduate Studies, presents the Gravel Distinguished Alumnus Award to Dr. Betsy Crais.

The Judy S. Gravel Award is given annually by the faculty at Vanderbilt University Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences to recognize alumni career excellence.

“Of course, we don’t hand out awards lightly here at Vanderbilt,” said Dr. Anne Marie Tharpe, Chair of Vanderbilt’s Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences. “It isn’t enough to only be a leader in one’s field, to steward over $4 million in research and training grants, or to mentor hundreds of students. We expect our awardees to be of great character, and Dr. Crais is no exception.”

Dr. Crais has been active within early intervention for over 30 years as a speech-language pathologist, university professor, clinical supervisor, and researcher. She has published a number of articles and book chapters and made numerous presentations dealing with working with young children with special needs and their families. Her current research focuses on the early identification of and intervention with children at risk for autism. She is part of the Program in Early Research, Leadership, and Service (PEARLS), a UNC-Chapel Hill research team that includes Drs. Linda Watson, Grace Baranek, and Steve Reznick.

“Betsy Crais’ teaching prowess has been recognized by the University with an Outstanding Teaching Award; her federal research and training awards have brought some of the best and brightest students in the country to UNC-Chapel Hill; her professional leadership has been recognized by her UNC colleagues as well as those around the country as evidenced by her invitations to present workshops, guest lectures, and conference presentations,” said David E. Yoder, Ph.D., Chair and Professor Emeritus with Department of Allied Health Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. “I am so pleased that she has been recognized with the Speech and Hearing Science Department’s Gravel Distinguished Alumnus Award at Vanderbilt University.”

Dr. Betsy Crais (left) with Dr. Anne Marie Tharpe, Chair of Vanderbilt’s Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences.

The Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences at UNC, established in 1969, and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, are internationally recognized for excellence in education, research, and professional service. One of seven divisions in the Department of Allied Health Sciences, UNC School of Medicine, the Division’s academic degree programs include a master’s (MS) in speech-language pathology and doctoral degrees in audiology (AuD) and speech and hearing sciences (PhD). The audiology and speech-language pathology programs at UNC are among the nation’s top-ranked graduate programs.

For more information about Dr. Crais, please contact Kyle Gray at 919.966.3352 or