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Melinda L. Richards
Division of Communication Disorders, Department of health & human performance
Middle Tennessee State University, USA
Melinda L. Richards, Associate Professor, holds the Bachelor’s in Music Education (Magna Cum Laude) from Tennessee Technological University; the M.Mus. (percussion performance) and the Ph.D. in Speech Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Following a successful career as Commander/Conductor in the United States Air Force, she returned to her native Tennessee to become a certified speech-language pathologist (SLP). Having served in this capacity for seven years in the schools of Putnam County, she joined the Communication Disorders faculty in 1997. Dr. Richards has taught Speech & Language Development to students from the College of Education; Introduction to Communication Disorders, Communication Problems in Childhood, and Anatomy & Physiology for Speech Pathology and Audiology to students in the major, as well as provided clinical supervision in the MTSU Speech & Hearing Clinic. Additionally, she developed and strengthened the course offerings of Neurology for Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists and the Clinical Practicum (externship) in the Schools. Regarding the latter, she developed the application and won approval from the State Department of Education to offer bachelor-level licensure enabling qualified graduates to work in the schools, through the School Speech-Language Teacher license, making MTSU the only undergraduate program in the state to offer this credential. Dr. Richards holds dual licensure from the Tennessee Departments of Education and Health-Related Boards. Over the course of her career, Dr. Richards has held a number of positions in leadership, in service to the university, the state, and the nation. Dr. Richards served from 2002-2005 as Faculty Senator, during which time she served on the University Steering Committee; on the University Standing Committee on Veteran’s and Military Affairs from 2010-2013; and currently serves on the Academic Misconduct Committee. She was selected in 2012 to be a member of a team of professionals from her discipline to work with colleagues in South Africa through the People-to-People Exchange Program. Dr. Richards is past president of the Tennessee Association of Audiologists & Speech-Language Pathologists; past chair of the State Board of Communication Sciences & Disorders; and currently serves as the Tennessee SLP representative to the Advisory Council of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She is presently serving as President of the National Association of Pre-Professional Programs.
Therapeutic efficacy of music adjunct to traditional therapies for children on the Autism Spectrum.