“It’s important to me to improve the lives of people with disabilities,” she said. “That’s been my professional mission statement since I started working as a speech-language pathologist.”

Hanson performs research in communications sciences and disorders and teaches both undergraduate and graduate classes in Augmentative and Alternative Communications, Advanced Communication Science, Theories and Methods of Graduate Study and Research, and Neuromotor Speech Disorders.

In her role leading the Speech-Language-Hearing Association Hanson helped provide continuing education training for speech-language pathologists and audiologists so they could better help their clients with speech, language, swallowing, hearing, balance, and processing disorders. Hansen and a coalition of other professionals work with the state Department of Education to make sure all children who need help with communication have a plan in place before they start school.

“It’s been extremely gratifying to fulfill my professional mission in this way,” she said.

Hanson joined USD in 2005. She earned her master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her doctorate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The award was established in 2011 by Blair and Linda Tremere of Golden Valley, Minn., to encourage and recognize the valuable role that Arts & Sciences faculty play in the lives of their communities and states. Linda (Schuller) Tremere is a 1970 alumna of USD with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a native of Amherst, S.D. Blair Tremere, a native of Sioux Falls, is a 1968 graduate of USD with a bachelor’s degree in government and journalism. He received his master’s in public administration from USD in 1971.

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