Kenn Apel new Director of Communication Science & Disorders

Dr. Kenn Apel
Dr. Kenn Apel

Dr. Kenn Apel has begun a three-year appointment as director of The Florida State University’s School of Communication Science & Disorders. And no, that’s not a typo in his first name. He’s “double-n Kenn.”

Apel, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Speech-Language Pathology at San Diego State University and his PhD at the University of Memphis, also holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology (CCC-SLP). He joined the FSU Communication Disorders faculty five years ago from Wichita State University.

His priority as director will be expanding research opportunities.

“In collaboration with the faculty, I would like to help increase our research presence nationally. My hope is that we collectively decide to make that a goal,” he said. “We already are instilling the importance of research in our students, and we want to build on that without sacrificing the clinical aspects of our program.”

Dr. Apel also plans to work with the newly formed School of Communication Science and Disorders Alumni Board, which he hopes will help provide means to connect alumni more closely to the School, as well as provide additional clinical sites for training and mentors for students.

“When our students leave here, they should have an established relationship with the School and strong sense of being a part of a community,” he said. “The Alumni Board can really help create that.”

Dr. Apel succeeds Dr. Juliann Woods, who led Communication Science & Disorders for three years while continuing her research and teaching duties. She chose to return to research and teaching full-time. Dr. Apel also plans to continue his research, including work on a $20 million grant with colleagues in special education, education and psychology. “I look forward to being involved in the research and involving our students in it, as well,” he said.

Dr. Lawrence C. Dennis, dean of the College of Communication & Information, praised Dr. Apel’s vision and his focus on research.

“We are indeed fortunate to have Kenn Apel continue the tradition of excellent leadership in Communication Science & Disorders that dates back to L.L. Schendel,” Dean Dennis said. “His emphasis on research will help lead our program, which is already ranked among the Top 20 in the nation, to even greater success.”