University of Delaware and state of Delaware officials were on hand to dedicate a conference room in the new Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic to Lauren Devard. Twelve years ago, out of frustration with access to speech therapy services in the state, Lauren’s mother Samtra called Representative Valerie Longhurst. The shortage of speech-language pathologists in Delaware was exacerbated by a lack of a graduate program, which Longhurst, now the House Majority Leader, urged the University to remedy. Fast-forward to 2016 and Lauren’s name is emblazoned in the new STAR Campus clinic to honor the family’s efforts.

I never would have thought that a constituent call twelve years ago would still have such a positive impact on my life. I couldn’t be happier than I was when we dedicated the conference room in Lauren’s name,” said Rep. Longhurst. “Samtra was my first constituent call as a newly elected official. I didn’t want to let them down.”

The Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic is the public-facing arm of the new Communication Sciences and Disorders Master’s Program, which, once candidacy is officially granted, will consider students for its inaugural class in the fall. The master’s program is the first of its kind in Delaware. Housed in the College of Health Sciences, graduate students will work with clients at the clinic as well as holding externships in schools, agencies and medical facilities.

Lauren’s mother, Samtra Devard, was in awe of the honor bestowed on her daughter.

“Our hearts are overwhelmed knowing that Lauren’s journey will make the road for other families facing similar circumstances a little smoother than it was for us,” said Samtra Devard. “We thank the University for the Lauren Devard Conference Room. It is a lasting legacy that we will cherish always.”

The Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic is an integral part of STAR Health, which are the open-to-the-public, healthcare offerings of the College of Health Sciences.

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