MURRAY, KY (KFVS) - Dr. Kelly Kleinhans, associate professor with the Murray State University College of Education and Human Services, was recently named president-elect for the Kentucky Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Her term as president-elect will begin August 1 and span through July 31, 2018, at which point she will assume the responsibilities of president through July 31, 2019.
This is then followed by a one-year term as past president.
With encouragement by her colleague Dr. Sharon Hart, Kleinhans joined KSHA in 2001 after accepting a position with Murray State's Center for Communication Disorders.
"[Hart] indicated the Kentucky Speech-Language-Hearing Association's annual state convention was terrific and provided a venue for faculty to stay in touch with students," explained Kleinhans.
"After many satisfying years attending and occasionally presenting at the state convention, I called upon KSHA for help navigating a regulatory issue that was negatively impacting the Kentucky graduate programs in speech-language pathology."
Largely due to her efforts toward reform, Kleinhans was recruited by past president Tim Ball for an executive council position.
"I served as KSHA's vice president of higher education from 2013-16, which provided me with the opportunity to learn about KSHA's governance issues and strategic planning," continued Kleinhans.
"This was an eye-opening look into the many activities the association was engaged with to support our members."
More than 1,700 KSHA members were invited to participate in the election process to select the organization's new president-elect, treasurer-elect, and secretary-elect.
"I am energized about the opportunity to work with the current executive council as these talented individuals are committed to supporting the work of Kentucky speech-language pathologists and audiologists," shared Kleinhans.
"The current president, Ms. Christie LaCharite, and the incoming president, Dr. Janice Smith, have done a phenomenal job of creating a culture of inclusiveness by engaging KSHA members across the various practice settings and increasing involvement of members who typically are not active with the association."
Kleinhans' main roles as president-elect will be to support the current president as she carries out her duties and to serve in her absence.
Upon becoming KSHA president, Kleinhans will serve as the association's chief executive officer, which involves a myriad of responsibilities concerning the implementation of the organization's strategic plan to ensure that it is fulfilling its mission.
"It will be my responsibility to represent the association in Frankfort, support team members engaged in advocacy, monitor operations of the KSHA office and fiscal operations, as well as chair executive council meetings," stated Kleinhans.
Dr. Robert Lyons, assistant dean of the Murray State College of Education and Human Services and academic director of the Center for Communication Disorders, shared words of congratulations for his colleague. "We are very excited for Dr. Kleinhans and are confident that she will serve KSHA well in this new role.
Dr. Kleinhans is an effective advocate for speech-language pathology and is an experienced leader in the field."