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Volume 2

Nancy McKinley
Leadership Award


Guidelines and Procedures

The deadline for the Nancy McKinley Leadership Award has been extended to October 15, 2020.

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 and Hearing Association of the awardee, and the awardee will receive a certificate in acknowledgement of the award.

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:
    1. increasing membership in the SHA
    2. addressing shortages within the field, including initiatives for outreach to students and retention of professionals
    3. creating legislative activity programs
    4. enhancing consumer awareness of the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology
    5. providing support to professionals in the field in terms of workload issues
    6. establishing partnerships with media, businesses, related associations or other organizations for the purpose of consumer outreach or other benefit to the professions
    7. designing innovative communication programs to promote the professions and increase consumer awareness, including the development of web programs
    8. promoting leadership development within the SHA
    9. creating outreach programs for employers designed to support  professional members working within those agencies or organizations
    10. 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:
    1. Completion of The CSAP Nancy McKinley Leadership Award Nomination form.  Submission of the form is restricted to State Speech and Hearing Associations who are members of CSAP.  Signature of the president of the SHA is required.
    1. 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.
    2. Background information about the individual leader, including the individual’s personal efforts which have led to the program initiative
    3. How the program addressed a need within the SHA.
    4. Why the program is innovative or exemplary.
    5. How the program is sustainable.
    6. How the program is connected to the mission of the SHA.
    7. How the program is connected to advancing the work of the professions.
    8. How members and/or consumers have benefited from the initiative
    9. Concluding statements about how the efforts of the nominee demonstrated exemplary volunteerism to the SHA and the professions. 
    10. Two letters of support.
  3. Each SHA is limited to one nomination per year.
  4. The nomination packet must be submitted electronically with a completed hard copy of the packet sent to the CSAP office.
  5. These materials will be reviewed by the Nancy McKinley Leadership Award Committee and a recommendation made to the CSAP board for approval.

Past Recipients

2007 - Vicki Lord Larson, Wisconsin

2008 - Tammy Emerson, Idaho

2009 - Katrina Zeit, Ohio

2010 - Donna Fisher Smiley, Arkansas

2010 - Cherry Wright, Texas

2011 - Laura Jo McKamey, Montana

2012 - Jody O'Donnell, Idaho

2013 - Vernice Jury, Connecticut

2014 - Carolyn Wiles Higdon, PhD, CCC-SLP, Mississippi

2015 - None Awarded

2016 - Tracy Bombara, MS, CCC-SLP, Delaware

2017 - Mary Bahr Schwenke, MS, CCC-SLP, Wisconsin

2018 - Deborah Ross-Swain, EdD, CCC-SLP, California


2019 Recipient

Jayanti Ray, PhD, CCC-SLP, Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association


What her nominators said…..        

  • It was clear she was a born mentor, leader and teacher.
  • Her drive to stay involved in service at MSHA and ASHA levels is a model not only for me, but for anyone who meets her.
  • Jayanti approaches each task and interaction with an optimistic and solution-oriented attitude. She is a natural leader who has the ability to anticipate challenges and take proper recourse.
  • She is truly an exceptional individual with highest moral values, great sense of humor and hard work ethic.


Dr. Jayanti Ray is an inspirational leader. She is tremendously knowledgeable yet humble, approachable, and kind-hearted. She not only mentors students and early professionals but provides guidance to other leaders who often seek her counsel. She has a naturally collegial and welcoming nature that infectiously draws people together to accomplish amazing achievements. Dr. Ray is currently a professor at Southeast Missouri State and adjunct doctoral professor at Rocky Mountain University and the University of Missouri. Dr. Ray has been a transformative force within the Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association (MSHA) for nearly fifteen years. During that time, she has served on the MSHA executive board as the vice president for communication (2006-08) and was the MSHA president-elect (2013-14), president (2014-15), and past president (2015-16). She has led and served on several committees for MSHA including: Minority Student Leadership Program (2005-present), Conference Planning Team (2019-20), Website Review Committee (2019), Awards Committee (2016-present), Nominations Committee (2016-present), and the MSHA Leadership Academy (2018-19). Jayanti has also been a contributor and editor of the Online Journal of the Missouri Speech and Hearing Association (2015-present), the MSHA e-weekly publication (2014-15), and the MSHA Link newsletter (2006-08).

Dr. Ray has also contributed greatly to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association as the representative from Missouri on the ASHA Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council (2016-19), a mentor for the Minority Leadership Program (2005-present), a volunteer for the Asian-Indian Caucus (2001-present), a reviewer on the National Leadership Development Project (2017-18), and a reviewer for the SIG 5 newsletter (2006-18).

She has shared her expertise nationally and internationally as a committee/board member for the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (2012-present), the International Association of Orofacial Myology (2008, 2014), and the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2013). In addition, she has been a reviewer/editor for the International Journal of Orofacial Myology (2003-present), International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (2013-present), Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2013-present), Journal of Allied Health (2015-present), United Way Grant Committee (2016-present), Prentice-Hall (2003-04), Plural Publishing (2017), and Jones and Bartlett Publishing (2017). She presents at multiple seminars nationally and internationally each year. Within her community, Dr. Ray gives of her time freely and also sits on several regional boards in eastern Missouri. Her tremendous contributions have been recognized through fifteen different awards and nominations, including several teaching/research awards from Southeast Missouri State, Washington State, International Association of Orofacial Myology, Speech and Hearing Association of India, and All India Institute of Speech and Hearing.

Most notably for the current nomination, while president of MSHA Dr. Jayanti Ray founded the MSHA Mentoring Young Professionals (MMYP) program in 2014. Dr. Ray’s efforts to continue to recruit mentors and mentees have led to the success of this program over the past five years. The MMYP program was initially approved by ASHA for the Emerging Leadership Program for 2014-15. Her passion for nurturing future leaders shines through as this program continues to successfully match graduate students and clinical fellows with career professionals who provide mentorship under her coordination of the program annually.


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