Clinical, research opportunities at Barkley Center inspire Judy Harvey's career progress

Judy Harvey observes during a session of the Memory Workshop

Clinical, research opportunities at Barkley Center inspire Judy Harvey's career progress

28 Apr 2021     By Kelcey Buck

Judy Harvey first came to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as an undergraduate student. After a few changes in her major, she eventually found her home at the Barkley Memorial Center studying to be a speech-language pathologist, and Barkley has remained a part of her life ever since. 

“I was on my third major studying special education and thinking about specializing in education for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing,” said Harvey, an assistant professor of practice in Special Education and Communication Disorders. “I liked it a lot, but then I took the Intro to Communication Disorders class and I thought, ‘This is for me!’ I have never stopped feeling that this is the field for me.” 

Harvey completed both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Nebraska then worked as a speech-language pathologist at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln. After about 15 years at Madonna, Harvey started taking classes again at Nebraska. 

“I wanted to update my knowledge of the clinical evidence in our field,” Harvey said. “I wanted to be part of creating it as well as using it.” 

She finished her Ph.D. with an emphasis in adult neurogenic communication disorders and communication accommodations in 2013 and began working as a faculty member in SECD. Her research interested started out primarily focused on reading and reading techniques for individuals with brain injury. As students’ interests and the populations served in the Barkley Speech Language and Hearing Clinic expanded, so too did Harvey’s research interests. 

“My current clinical research is about the effects of a memory education and strategy training course on individuals who are aging, and their perceptions and confidence about their memory,” Harvey said. 

Since 2014, Harvey has collaborated with Tabitha Health to offer a Memory Workshop at the Barkley Clinic designed to help adults develop strategies to maintain sharp memories as they age. In addition, she has served on thesis committees for a student studying the effects of an intervention for attention for individuals with brain injury, and another student interested in how SLPs assess accents and accent modification as an instruction option. 

“I’m really proud to be a clinician-researcher, maintaining a clinical practice while exploring answers to clinical questions of my own and helping students answer theirs.” 

Harvey was recently promoted to associate professor of practice, effective July 1. 

“This promotion means a lot to me,” Harvey said. “In academia, we are constantly using feedback to improve ourselves, our teaching, and our methods. This particular feedback felt very positive and inspires me to keep trying to do my best work in teaching and research.” 

Now, she is looking forward to continuing to build upon the work she has been doing at Nebraska the last several years. 

“My goals are to continue to be a productive part of a strong communication disorders program, to build on research collaborations, and to continue to put out really strong new SLPs in the field.”

Special Education and Communication Disorders