Lynne E. Rowan; Robert and Lois Douglass “And why exactly should I write you a letter of recommendation?” asked Dr. Lynne Rowan. Why indeed, I wondered. No one had ever posed such a pointed—yet completely appropriate—query at this point in my undergraduate education. I had just assumed that I would continue along my path in ... Golden Apple
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Golden Apple  |   September 01, 2010
Lynne E. Rowan; Robert and Lois Douglass
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Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Professional Issues & Training / Golden Apple
Golden Apple   |   September 01, 2010
Lynne E. Rowan; Robert and Lois Douglass
The ASHA Leader, September 2010, Vol. 15, 45. doi:10.1044/leader.GA1.15112010.45
The ASHA Leader, September 2010, Vol. 15, 45. doi:10.1044/leader.GA1.15112010.45
Lynne E. Rowan

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“And why exactly should I write you a letter of recommendation?” asked Dr. Lynne Rowan. Why indeed, I wondered. No one had ever posed such a pointed—yet completely appropriate—query at this point in my undergraduate education.
I had just assumed that I would continue along my path in speech-language pathology, making the transition from undergraduate to graduate with about the same amount of reflection required to decide whether to order a small or medium mocha coffee.
Dr. Rowan had always stressed, and certainly required, that her students think critically and process information. Her undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Illinois instructed me not only in child language development, but also in how to integrate facts, analyze situations, and apply research in a pragmatic manner. In my practice as an SLP in a middle school, I consider the whole child—not just his/her evaluation results or progress in meeting Individualized Education Program goals—when making recommendations and communicating with parents and colleagues.
And I continue to think of Dr. Rowan fondly now when I ask my students, “What exactly does study harder look like?” “Why do you think you earned a C- on that project?” “Why do you think I’m looking at you with my eyebrows raised and my head tilted to the side?” The importance of asking those pointed, reflective questions is a lesson that Dr. Rowan taught me. I hope I’m carrying on that fine tradition.
Michelle Zimmerman-Smith Grayslake, Ill.
Robert and Lois Douglass

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Robert and Lois Douglass' monumental contributions to our profession began in 1951 when Dr. Bob Douglass founded the Department of Communication Disorders at California State University, Los Angeles. For more than 40 years, Bob’s innovative leadership in organizing and administering its associated clinics provided hundreds of clinicians the opportunity to gain expertise in speech-language pathology principles and practice. Bob energetically and creatively served our profession as president of the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association and vice president of planning for ASHA.
In the 1980s Lois, a distinguished private practitioner, joined her husband in guiding and instructing students at the university. In her Pasadena, Calif., private practice, she had developed unique, effective clinical and counseling approaches to working with young children and their families.
What sets these remarkable clinicians apart and makes their ideas continue to resonate in speech-language pathology is their genuine fascination with and love for humanity. They are passionate about communication sciences and disorders and our responsibility to maintain its integrity. They speak eloquently to the rights of our clients to receive the highest standards of treatment and counseling. As individuals, and as adoring and respectful life partners of 66 years, Bob and Lois embody intellectual curiosity, humility, and humor.
Not content to have devoted decades to our field, they redefined “retirement” and broadened their involvement with humanity. Bob provided solace and meaning to the lives of those in hospice care, worked alongside scientists at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, and became a poet. Lois volunteered tirelessly to establish a superb music program at the local elementary school. Together, they established a program at the Los Angeles Braille Institute about world cultures for adults who are blind.
Bob and Lois Douglass exemplify the finest personal and academic qualities to which we should aspire as professionals. These humane, erudite people have benefitted countless speech-language pathology students, clients, and families. Their principles and ideas will continue to inspire and energize the discipline.
Steven and Janet Paulson Los Angeles, Calif.
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September 2010
Volume 15, Issue 11