A memorial fund has been established in honor of Dr. Karen Steckol, a professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders who died in November 2011 after a three-year struggle with cancer.
In addition to serving as department chair, Steckol was clinical director of UA’s Speech and Hearing Clinic, Alabama’s oldest audiology clinic, which serves more than 9,000 Alabamians each year. During her tenure and with the help of the faculty, clinical services such as an autism clinic for babies and a neonatal hearing screening program were initiated. It was also possible to expand speech and hearing services for adult clients and increase the size of the department’s faculty and clinical staff under her leadership. She was instrumental in securing a new building for the department and its clinic in 2004, which greatly expanded public access to the clinic’s services.
She served as president of the UA Faculty Senate for three terms and was known for developing a strong and productive working relationship with UA’s senior administration.
Steckol’s research interests focused on the development of child language. These interests led her to expand the clinical services provided to the students in the Tuscaloosa city and county school systems. She was a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the Society for Research in Child Development, the Jean Piaget Society, and the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences.
Memorials can be made to UA’s Karen Steckol Memorial Fund at Office of the Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Box 870268, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, 35487. Memorials may also be made to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN, 38105; the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 26 Broadway, 14th Floor, New York, NY, 10004; or the Steckol Foundation at the Kentucky Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 833 East High Street, Suite 263, Lexington, KY, 40502.