Faculty member David Shapiro is WCU’s first Madison Professor

David A. Shapiro, professor of communication sciences and disorders at Western Carolina University and one of the nation’s top speech-language pathologists, is the first faculty member to hold the university’s newly created title of Madison Professor.

David Shapiro

David Shapiro

Chancellor John W. Bardo announced Shapiro’s selection for the professorship Wednesday, Aug. 13, during the annual Opening Assembly.

The Madison Professorship, approved last year by the board of trustees, is designed to reward faculty members who have worked at Western for many years and who have achieved outstanding recognition as teachers, scholars or artists. The new professorship was recommended by faculty leadership as a way to acknowledge the contributions of distinguished longtime faculty members – and to keep them from being hired away by other institutions.

“The intent of the Madison Professorship is to recognize very special individuals who have, by their actions and professionalism, exemplified the core principles for which this increasingly great university stands,” Bardo said.

Named in honor of Western’s first president, Robert Lee Madison, the professorship carries a salary supplement and additional support for scholarly work. The title is granted for a period of five years, and may be renewed for additional five-year terms.

A member of the WCU faculty since 1984, Shapiro (pictured) has traveled across the globe to conduct cross-cultural comparisons of stuttering intervention techniques in different countries in an effort to determine best treatment practices. His efforts have resulted in the formation of a coordinated international research team involving clinicians and researchers from 14 nations across six continents.

Shapiro was recognized for his global work last summer when he received the International Fluency Association Award of Distinction for Outstanding Clinician as part of the organization’s Fifth World Congress on Fluency Disorders in Dublin, Ireland. The IFA is an interdisciplinary organization devoted to the understanding and management of fluency disorders and to improvement in the quality of life for people with fluency disorders in all parts of the world.

A prolific researcher with more than 50 published works and 100 professional presentations to his credit, Shapiro is author of the 1999 text “Stuttering Intervention: A Collaborative Journey to Fluency Freedom.” Adopted by numerous communication sciences and disorders programs at colleges and universities worldwide, the book dispels common myths about stuttering and presents Shapiro’s unique assessment and treatment methods. After overcoming his own stuttering disorder, he developed strategies that actively involve family and friends of those being treated.

Shapiro is a fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, a professional organization of more than 110,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists and hearing scientists. The University of North Carolina system recognized him in 1999 with the Board of Governors’ Award for Excellence in Teaching.