University of Minnesota President Tours UMD

President Joan Gabel visited the Community Sciences and Disorders Department

DULUTH, Minn. – The new University of Minnesota president is touring the UMD campus and meeting with students and staff about opportunities in Duluth.

President Joan Gabel visited the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department on Wednesday.

She tells us the tour helps her learn about the programs in Duluth and how they fit with needs across the state.

“I’m also looking for how things fit together across they system because the university serves the entire state and we want to be anchored with a sense of place in each of our communities but pull all of that together for state-wide impact,” said President Gabel.

Students showed Gabel some of their work in the university’s voice-making lab.

They’re working on banking the voices of people who suffer from ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

“Around ninety-five percent of people who are diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease lose their ability to speak, so we’re taking steps here at UMD to preserve their voices so they can communicate even long after they’ve lost their speech,” said Jolene Hyppa Martin, an associate professor in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department.

The department offers a free speech, language, and hearing clinic where students get experience working with real clients.

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