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Jo-Anne Prendeville, EdD, retired this summer from her role as associate professor of communications sciences and disorders (CSD) at the College of Allied Health Sciences.
Prendeville started at the university in 1989, then transitioned to the College of Allied Health Sciences when it formed in 1998. At CAHS, she led several U.S. Department of Education Personal Preparation grants and taught many CSD classes, as well as a class on "Freshman Success in Allied Health.”
How did you come to UC? "I had been a speech-language pathologist in the community for a long time when I saw an ad in the newspaper. CSD was looking for a supervisor for graduate students who would be teaching English as a Second Language learners from across the university. The program was in conjunction with the ESL program in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, & Human Services (CECH).
"I started working about a day and a half a week as a supervisor in the program. It started out part-time and even year-to-year.
"Then a wonderful opportunity arose with two U.S. Department of Education Personnel Preparation grants that had a focus on preschool children and literacy. The principal investigator/project director was leaving and I had the opportunity to become project director of those grants, which opened the door for much of what I did after.
"Once those grants ended I wrote several grants of my own, most of which had to do with language and collaborative literacy—that set me on my course!”
How has UC changed during your time here? "The biggest change was transitioning to the College of Allied Health Sciences (CAHS). When I started in CSD we were in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences and the other departments that were to be CAHS were in other colleges across the university. As the transition began, the departments came together to form the Center for Health Related Professions, which ultimately became the College of Allied Health Sciences.
"It was a really fun time. It gave us an opportunity to build camaraderie with people from other areas—we worked together and we did a lot of planning together, which created a true team atmosphere.”
What will you miss the most? "The biggest thing I’ll miss is all the people at Allied Health. It’s not a big college, so there’s a real closeness among faculty. There’s a real ability to connect and interact with people.
"And there are the students, who I feel are the real reason that we’re there. I was able to teach across all the different levels: freshmen, juniors, graduate students and doctoral students, students in classrooms and students doing research. Students vitalize you—that’s what makes it so enjoyable and worthwhile. Teaching at UC is a very energetic experience.
"I had a wonderful opportunity at UC. I loved my job; it’s just that I wanted time to do other things.”
Do you have any specific plans for retirement? What are you most looking forward to? "Everybody asks that question! I do have things I want to do—reading a lot, for one. I’m making up for lost time of being able to read. I like to learn new things. UC has the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and my goal is to take two classes each session in something that is totally out of my element.
"I also have a colleague in CECH, Allison Breit-Smith. She has a grant that I’ll be a part of for a little bit of time across the year, enough to get my feet wet and engage with people.
"But I’m going to make an effort to keep in touch with people from UC and the college—those were very important relationships.”