Council of State Speech-Language-Hearing Association Presidents

Nancy McKinley Leadership Award

Philosophy and Purpose: Nancy McKinley, CSAP President 2001, was the embodiment of a selfless volunteer dedicated to promoting the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology, and supporting those who had chosen one of these professions as their career. This award is intended to recognize a member of a speech-language and hearing association for his or her exemplary contributions to their speech and hearing association (SHA). This individual should have demonstrated selfless dedication and commitment to the development of an initiative or program designed to promote the work of the SHA or professionals in the field of communication sciences and disorders.

Award:  The CSAP Nancy McKinley Leadership Award will be presented annually at the Fall CSAP Conference. CSAP will provide a $500 check to the State Speech-Language-Hearing Association of the awardee, and the awardee will receive a certificate in acknowledgement of the award.

Nominations deadline has been extended to September 30, 2021.

2020 Recipient - Anne Gilbertson, MS, CCC-SLP, Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association

What her nominators said…..        

  • The name “Anne Gilbertson” has been synonymous with “PSHA” for many years.
  • Anne’s selfless years of service to the state association and enduring accomplishments make her a stand-out candidate for this award.
  • Anne Gilbertson has fostered a pragmatic shift in our board and our membership making knowledge and understanding of legislative and advocacy issues more accessible to students and professionals alike.
  • She truly embodies the characteristic of “ selfless dedication to promoting the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology” through her “exemplary contributions” to PSHA.


  • Served on PSHA Executive Board since 2001; roles included PSHA President (2x), VP for Professional Preparation and Continuing Education, Treasurer, VP for Governmental Affairs, PSHA STAR representative
  • Member of PSHA Licensure Task Force since inception
  • Led advocacy efforts for passage of the updated Practice Act to better align with current scope of practice in speech-language pathology and audiology, provide consumer protection, clarify ambiguity about the use of instrumental assessment for voice/swallowing, and establish Provisional Licensure for new graduates
  • Consulted, advocated, and interfaced with multiple levels of government including PA State Board of Examiners for SLP/A, PA Insurance Commissioner, House Professional Licensure Board Committee
  • Provided testimony on behalf of the Association on issues related to scope of practice
  • Created FAQ for Provisional Licensure which was adopted by State Board of Examiners for SLP/A
  • Ongoing education, leadership and mentoring to membership regarding licensure issues
  • Facilitated the creation of a Schools Committee for the Association to address ongoing issues regarding school certification
  • Worked with Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) in establishing the Educational Specialist certificate to assist those from out of state to be employed in PA schools
  • Encourages student interest and participation in governmental relations and regularly participates in student advocacy activities
  • Instrumental in identifying new lobbyist group for the association to better track and advocate for legislation impacting the professions
  • Currently pursuing a position as a professional representative on the PA State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology

Criteria for Selection

A nominee for the Nancy McKinley Leadership Award should have demonstrated outstanding contribution(s)/achievement(s) in the following area(s):

  1. Leadership in the development of a program initiative within the SHA which was established to address an identified need within the state or the SHA.  Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • increasing membership in the SHA
    • addressing shortages within the field, including initiatives for outreach to students and retention of professionals
    • creating legislative activity programs
    • enhancing consumer awareness of the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology
    • providing support to professionals in the field in terms of workload issues
    • establishing partnerships with media, businesses, related associations or other organizations for the purpose of consumer outreach or other benefit to the professions
    • designing innovative communication programs to promote the professions and increase consumer awareness, including the development of web programs
    • promoting leadership development within the SHA
    • creating outreach programs for employers designed to support  professional members working within those agencies or organizations
    • other programs/activities which incorporate the spirit of this award
  2. The program(s) developed by the individual who is being nominated must have proven to be sustainable as judged by measurable outcomes, including but not limited to demonstration that the program has been in operation for at least two years, and evidence of impact on enhancing the mission of the SHA.  Sustainability is evidenced by length of time in operation, stable source of funding commitment from the SHA, specific impact on professionals and/or consumers, and establishment of program continuity.
  3. The individual who is being nominated must have served on the board of directors and/or have been a committee member of the SHA within the past five years. The award is intended to recognize recent leaders in SHAs.
  4. Members of the CSAP Executive Board, including Commissioners and Committee members, are not eligible for nominations or receipt of the award during their term of service to CSAP.

Nomination Procedures

  1. Nominations for the Nancy McKinley Leadership Award are to be submitted by the SHA to the CSAP Honors Committee 
  2. The nomination must include:
    • Completion of The CSAP Nancy McKinley Leadership Award Nomination form (below).  Submission of the form is restricted to State Speech-Language-Hearing Associations (SHA) who are members of CSAP. Signature of the president of the SHA is required.
    • Narrative describing the nomination, not to exceed three pages (in a font no smaller than 10 point and double spaced), which addresses the following areas in addition to providing a complete description of the program initiative(s) and the contributions of the individual being nominated.
    • Background information about the individual leader, including the individual’s personal efforts which have led to the program initiative
    • How the program addressed a need within the SHA.
    • Why the program is innovative or exemplary.
    • How the program is sustainable.
    • How the program is connected to the mission of the SHA.
    • How the program is connected to advancing the work of the professions.
    • How members and/or consumers have benefited from the initiative
    • Concluding statements about how the efforts of the nominee demonstrated exemplary volunteerism to the SHA and the professions.
    • Two letters of support.
  3. Each SHA is limited to one nomination per year.
  4. The nomination packet must be submitted online by deadline date.
  5. These materials will be reviewed by the Nancy McKinley Leadership Award Committee and a recommendation made to the CSAP board for approval.

Submit Nomination by September 30, 2021

The CSAP Nancy McKinley Leadership Award

  • This form must accompany the “narrative” as described under Nomination Procedures in 2(b), as well as two letters of support. Attach documentation to this nomination form or email to no later than September 30.
  • Nomination Information

  • Nominator Information



Past Recipients

  • 2019 – Jayanti Ray, PhD, CCC-SLP, Missouri
  • 2018 – Deborah Ross-Swain, EdD, CCC-SLP, California
  • 2017 – Mary Bahr Schwenke, MS, CCC-SLP, Wisconsin
  • 2016 – Tracy Bombara, MS, CCC-SLP, Delaware
  • 2015 – Not Awarded
  • 2014 – Carolyn Wiles Higdon, PhD, CCC-SLP, Mississippi
  • 2013 – Vernice Jury, Connecticut
  • 2012 – Jody O’Donnell, Idaho
  • 2011 – Laura Jo McKamey, Montana
  • 2010 – Cherry Wright, Texas and Donna Fisher Smiley, Arkansas
  • 2009 – Katrina Zeit, Ohio
  • 2008 – Tammy Emerson, Idaho
  • 2007 – Vicki Lord Larson, Wisconsin