Dr. Wright-Harp presented the Certificate for Special Contributions in Higher Education by ASHA


Dr. Wilhelmina Wright-Harp was presented the Certificate for Special Contributions in Higher Education by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) at the annual awards ceremony held in Philadelphia, PA on November 18, 2016.  This award is designed to celebrate distinguished achievement in academia with only one award being bestowed annually.  Dr.Wright-Harp was recognized by ASHA for her outstanding track record of teaching, leadership, mentoring (students and faculty), and development of innovative educational programs. Her achievements in two of these areas are highlighted below.


Her outstanding mentoring programs have had an impact at both the local and national level. Dr. Wright-Harp has been a pioneer in the development of innovative programs for doctoral students. As Co-Project Director with Dr. Kay Payne of a Doctoral Mentoring program funded by the U.S. Department of Education OSERS (2000-2004), she directed a retention program which provided full scholarships or 8 doctoral students.  Eighty-seven percent (7/8) earned Ph.D. degrees and are working in university settings. Since joining the faculty at Howard, Dr. Wright-Harp has directed or served as a member of 20 dissertation committees. After realizing that the majority of these groundbreaking studies were not published, she established a Manuscript Dissertation format. Then in AY 2013-14, she directed the first two Ph.D. candidates to complete manuscript dissertations in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders putting Howard on the map as being the first HBCU to achieve this feat.  At the national level while serving as Deputy Director of the National Black Association for Speech, Language and Hearing (NBASLH), Dr. Wright-Harp helped design and launch a SLP Praxis Review course to address the disproportionate failure rate of African American and other minority groups on the praxis exam.  For over 25 years she also served as a lecturer for the Review course in the areas of 1) Neuroanatomy of the Speech and Language Mechanisms and 2) Neurogenic Communication Disorders. 


While Chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Howard (2009 – 2013), Dr. Wright-Harp was a major change agent as administrator.  Her accomplishments include:  successfully directing three degree programs (B.S. and M.S. in speech-language pathology and Ph.D. in Communication Sciences); acquiring funding for program expansion and development, directing an accreditation self-study leading to re accreditation of the master’s degree program in speech-language pathology (2010 —2018); securing funding for a major renovation of the HU Speech and Hearing Clinic (HUSHC) resulting in a state-of-the-art facility;  establishing partnerships with the Physical Therapy Department and Orthodontic program of the HU Dental School to enhance student training in the assessment and treatment of the speech impairments resulting from oromyofunctional disorders; establishing the first partnership with Howard University Hospital (HUH) through a team consisting of Drs. Joan C. Payne and Martine Elie to serve as a satellite site for training master’s level students in the Medical SLP track; implementing programs to enhance student recruitment/retention (Johnetta Davis Student Mentoring Award; 2002-03 & 2003-2004); increasing visibility of the department through biannual newsletters and an annual COSD Open House; preparing two comprehensive reports for the Presidential Commission on Academic Renewal, promoting use of technology in the classroom by partnering with CETLA for faculty training with Blackboard (BB) and Distance Learning resulting in 100% BB certification; and establishing the Researcher in Residence (RIR) program with Dr. Ida Stockman, Professor Emerita from Michigan State University serving as the first (RIR).  As a result of her phenomenal track record as a transformational leader, Dr. Wright-Harp has received several awards including three major awards: 2011, DC Speech and Hearing Association (DCSHA) Distinguished Leadership Award in Speech-Language Pathology; 2012, Outstanding Chair Award — 2012 COSD Graduating Class and 2013 Most Dedicated Chair Award — 2013 COSD Graduating Class.

Most recently as Associate Dean of the School of Communications Dr. Wright-Harp developed and implemented three innovative programs: 1) a Junior Faculty Mentoring Program designed to improve the successful trajectory of new faculty toward promotion and tenure.  This 2-year program was launched in 2013 and the outcome was100% (10/10) success with all junior faculty being awarded reappointment in AY 2015-16; 2) a Research/Creative Bring-Your-Own-Lunch (BYOL) to promote research and grant collaboration among faculty in the schools 4 departments (Media, Journalism & Film; Strategic, Legal and Management Communication; Communication Sciences and Disorders; Communication, Culture & Media Studies).  This program has reduced the silos that previously existed in the school by increasing visibility of faculty research and launching departmental partnerships for collaborative research and creative work projects; and 3) Night with the Authors designed to celebrate faculty who have book publications.  This program has helped showcase the tremendous work of our book authors as well as serve as a mechanism to help tenure track faculty and doctoral students learn basic book publishing strategies.