Heidi M. Harbers, Ph.D., Sp '80
What could be better than spending every day thinking and talking about something that really interests you? Oh, and by the way, it happens to be something you’re really good at.
This is the work-a-day world for Heidi M. Harbers. Having earned a master’s and subsequently a doctorate in speech pathology and audiology after graduating from Marquette, Heidi’s advanced degrees parallel her passion for helping children with language disorders.
An associate professor in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at Illinois State University, Heidi not only teaches courses including phonetics, phonology and articulation disorders but also incorporates service learning projects that help her students and children in the community.
Her research and clinical interests focus on children’s early literary skills. This recipient of Illinois State’s Outstanding Teaching Award and the Illinois Speech, Language, Hearing Association’s Clinical Achievement Award has been recognized for her professional contributions—and enthusiasm.
“I love sharing and conveying my interest in the field of speech-language pathology with students and practitioners,” says Heidi. “It’s so wonderful to watch students have ‘a-ha’ moments as they think through the information you present them, or to help a professional problem-solve.”
The ability to question and think are at the heart of Heidi’s professional success—success she attributes to her Marquette professors, who always encouraged dialogue, probing what was going on in students’ heads. It is this type of intellectual exploration that makes every day for Heidi a day to make a difference.