You might have thought the CSD Department was going to the dogs on Thursday when 24 dalmatian puppies showed up for class. We could not have been more proud of our own Brenda Bender when she was honored as Teacher of the Year during the May 2015 Commencement ceremony.
Bender, associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, was named Teacher of the Year at graduation last May.
After getting her masters at the University of North Texas in 1994, she worked in the speech pathology field for about five years before she decided to pursue her doctorate at the University of Memphis. After the department chair at ACU contacted Bender and offered her a position, she came onto faculty at ACU in 2001. She relies on a multitude of techniques to achieve her goals with her patients, and she also utilizes a variety of activities in the classroom to help her students. Becca Clay, May 2015 graduate of the ACU Graduate Program , was awarded the September Therapist of the Month Award from Pediatric Plus.
Becca has a strong faith in the Lord which was evident during her undergraduate and graduate experience at ACU and continues to be observed in her work, and especially in her church involvement.


We are proud of Becca and the way she is providing Christian service and leadership in her corner of the world! But no, it was just the first year graduate students waiting to listen attentively to their professor, Cruella de Vil (Dr. When she was announced as the recipient of the award at graduation, her students gave her a standing ovation. Not only is she honest with her students, she also uses fun, hands-on activities to engage her students, Clay said. Bender’s teaching philosophy is driven by her belief that we are all “created for communication” and that “everyone in the classroom is learning.” These two guiding principles mean that she engages her students every day and learns alongside them in every class.
Bender will continue to open her students’ minds, tune their ears to speech and treat patients in need of her help. As a member of the Little Rock Church, Becca is active with the youth group leading the 6th-7th grade girls small group. After reviewing applications for 227 potential students, we were pleased to welcome a group of 24 young people to the 2015-2017 cohort.


Twenty nine years and two degrees later, she is the teacher of the year in the communication sciences and disorders department. Even today, several months after graduation, several of her former students warmly recall Dr. She served as the department chair from 2006 through spring 2015, while teaching graduate classes, investigating speech disorders and continuing to treat patients.
These students came to ACU from a dozen universities (ACU, Biola, Hardin Simmons, Harding, Ouachita State, San Diego State, Texas Christian University, Texas State University, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, University of North Texas, University of Texas Pan Am,  and Utah State). Fortunately, Cruella was kind to the puppies and just instilled within them a lot of wisdom and knowledge!



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