First Annual Betty Webster Clinical Education Symposium

The School of Communication Sciences and Disorders hosted its first annual Betty Webster Clinical Education Symposium on October 17th, 2022. To learn more about this event, we spoke with audiology and speech pathology clinical education directors, Jennifer Taylor and Katherine Mendez. We also spoke with Marilyn Wark, emeritus clinical professor.

Offsite clinical educators and MSHC clinical faculty were invited to the symposium. Taylor explained, “[we] wanted to begin giving our offsite clinical educators support and a way to connect. The symposium offers continuing education in the area of clinical education as a thank you to the offsite clinical educators who support our students and program.”   Mendez added, “we hope the symposium will highlight clinical education as its own area of clinical practice with its own evidence-based practices.”

This Symposium was developed in honor of Betty Webster, PhD. Mrs. Wark offered insight into her history: 

“Dr. Elizabeth J Webster received a PhD in Psychology from Cornell University. She served on the inaugural faculty of the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology at the then Memphis State University in 1970. She taught coursework in counseling, ran parent and client counseling groups, and authored books and articles about counseling and clinical education. Betty was a significant resource to the faculty and students, always using her listening skills to understand their questions and concerns and gently escorting them to a conclusion. When she retired in 1985, an anonymous donor provided the funds to establish the Elizabeth J. Webster Institute, requesting that the curriculum be open to local professionals and focus on counseling or clinical education. The first Elizabeth J Webster Institute was in 2009.” 

Mendez stated, “we hope the symposium will help our School carry on the legacy of excellence in and respect for clinical education, which Betty Webster embodied.”

Mark DeRuiter, MBA, PhD, CCC-A/SLP, F-ASHA, was the speaker for this year’s symposium. DeRuiter is a professor and the director of the Doctor of Clinical Science in Medical SLP program at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a nationally recognized speaker in the area of clinical education. His talk was entitled, “Ethics in Clinical Supervision”. We are very grateful for the insight he brought to our clinical educators at this event. Shannon Seay, an offsite clinical educator in audiology commented, “(The symposium was) very well done and organized, and the presenter was very interesting. I very much enjoyed the whole evening – thank you!”

Attendees from the symposium