The College of Communication and Information professor Dr. Leonard LaPointe was recently awarded the University Teaching Award, a prestigious honor from Florida State University recognizing faculty excellence in undergraduate and graduate teaching. The award is student-oriented, requiring students and alumni to nominate recipients.
Affectionately known as “Chick”, LaPointe is the Frances Eppes Distinguished Professor of Communication Science and Disorders. Dr. LaPointe teaches courses for Communication Science & Disorders undergraduate, graduate and doctoral level students. Courses like SPA 4104: Neurological Bases of Communication (Neuroanatomy), Cognitive-Linguistic Interactions and a doctoral-level research topics and dissertation supervision..
LaPointe has been nominated for teaching awards in the past, including the Teacher of the Year Award in 2013 and 2014, the Transformation Through Teaching Award in 2011, and a nomination for the Provost’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2002. He was named a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and awarded Honors from the same association.
“I am a teacher and a researcher because of the untold wealth it has brought to me,” he shared. “My definition of wealth is broad. It includes the satisfaction of curiosity and then passing it on to those who approach me with their eyebrows up. It extends to asking questions that haven’t been answered and attempting to piece together bits of information, pieces of data, shreds of interpretation, until some semblance of understanding is generated that was previously mysterious. It extends as well into seeing the light go on in the eyes of students who have to be led through the green fields of naiveté until they gain confidence and independence.”
“Helping them discover their own paths and watching them evolve into creative thinkers is all part of it. Research is a slow, tedious process and the reward is seldom dramatic or likely to make the headlines on a supermarket tabloid unless it is pseudoscience which I try to help my students recognize. The rewards arise from the realization that you like what you’re doing, you enjoy passing it on, and that it probably makes a difference.”