2013-14 Scholarship Excellence Award given to Nicki Nelson

Photo of Nickola Nelson.Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Ph.D. Program Director Nicki Nelson is known nationally and internationally for her work on childhood language disorders and their effects on literacy development. Over the course of her career at Western Michigan University, she has been responsible for more than $2 million in funded projects related to issues in language and literacy. 

Much of Dr. Nelson’s work to improve clinical assessment and intervention practices percolated in projects here in southwest Michigan. She is now completing the standardization phase of the Test of Integrated Language and Literacy Skills (TILLS) through funding from the Institute of Educational Sciences.

In 2010, Dr. Nelson published the second edition of her widely used text, Language and Literacy Disorders: Infancy through Adolescence. In 2011, she received Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the highest recognition of professional achievement bestowed by this organization.

She continues to serve as editor-in-chief for "Topics in Language Disorders," requiring that she often process up to 60 manuscripts a year. Dr. Nelson is a frequently sought speaker and has been involved in countless presentations over recent years, often presenting original research she has co-directed with students.

Her passion for scholarship excellence is most evident in her careful tutelage of developing researchers as she helps them hone in on the right questions, talk through their rationale, and re-edit their manuscripts for publication. She has contributed vastly to the development of young scholars and their research careers, often interdisciplinary in nature.