Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
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GENE R. POWERS
Gene R. Powers, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, died August 24, 2005. He was born February 10, 1928, in White Deer, Texas. Gene graduated from White Deer High School and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communication (theatre arts) from Texas Tech University in 1949. Following service as an officer in the United States Air Force, he received Master of Arts (1958) and Doctor of Philosophy (1960) degrees in speech pathology and audiology from the University of Iowa.
Gene began his professional career at the University of Connecticut where he served as director of the Speech and Hearing Center and professor of speech pathology. In 1974, he was appointed professor of communication sciences and disorders and director of The University of Texas Speech and Hearing Center. He served as a member of The University of Texas faculty until retirement in 1993.
Gene’s teaching and research interests were in the areas of voice disorders and speech disorders resulting from cleft lip and palate in children. He was author of Cleft Palate and co-author of Psychosocial Aspects of the Cleft Palate Problem, and he was widely recognized for his research on speech disorders in children with orofacial anomalies. In the last years of his tenure with the University, he was tireless in emphasizing the importance of multicultural issues in the discipline of communication sciences and disorders. He directed training grants to support the education of master’s level clinicians in understanding the effects of cultural and linguistic diversity on services for children and adults with communication disorders. His interest in this aspect of the field was ahead of its time; his legacy is a nationally-recognized program in the area of cultural and linguistic diversity in communication sciences and disorders. Importantly, the many students who completed the introductory course in communication sciences and disorders remember Gene fondly for his knowledge, quiet humor, and wise counsel.
In addition to research, teaching, and program development, Gene contributed significantly to the development of the professions of speech/language pathology and audiology in the United States. He was a fellow and served as chair of the Education and Training Board, Ethical Practices Board, and Board of Examiners in Speech and Language of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. He also served as chair of the Committee on Standards and as a member of the Executive Board of the Council of Graduate Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders and received the Award for Distinguished Contributions from the organization in 1985. In 1971-72, he was vice-president of the American Cleft Palate Association. Gene was a member of the Texas Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and, following retirement, president of the American Board of State Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
Gene brought a warmth and good humor to his department and to the College of Communication during his years of service to The University of Texas at Austin. His collegial spirit was deeply valued by his colleagues as critical to team building in the academic environment. He consulted often, volunteered unselfishly, and worked toward developing a community of scholars with a common mission.
Gene is survived by his wife Rose, children James, William, Charles and Caroline, and a large and loving set of grandchildren.
William Powers Jr., President
The University of Texas at Austin
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty
This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors Thomas P. Marquardt (chair), Barbara L. Davis, and Fred N. Martin.