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Hundreds of students who studied in the Department of Communication Disorders entered their profession having learned from James Wilson. A rarity at UCM, he spent the last 10 years of his professional career teaching on the same campus and in the same academic building as his son, John, a professor of theatre.
Taking advantage of an opportunity to be closer to home and to become a part of an outstanding Speech Pathology Program, the professor emeritus of communication disorders came to Central Missouri in 1977. The previous year he earned a Ph.D. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Denver. He also studied at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree with a major emphasis in speech-language pathology in 1964 and the Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology in 1965.
Before coming to UCM, Wilson taught previously at Marshall University in Huntington, WV. While climbing the faculty ranks at UCM from assistant professor to professor, he supervised the Speech-Language Diagnostic Team, and taught graduate and undergraduate courses such as Introduction to Communication Disorders, Principles of Clinical Management, Language Disorders in Children, Articulation Disorders, and Observation of Clinical Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
Outside the classroom, Wilson served the campus community and his department through membership on a number of campus committees including chairing his department’s committee for national accreditation by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. He kept current in his field through research, made presentations at state and national conferences and meetings, and provided leadership for organizations such as the Missouri Speech-Language Hearing Association in which he served as president. He also assisted in writing and developing policies and procedures related to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s First Steps Program.