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AHS Distinguished Alumni Award recipient John Consalvi (left) and Dr. Patricia Barrett Malik, recipient of the Harold Scharper Award
AHS Distinguished Alumni Award recipient John Consalvi and Dr. Patricia Barrett Malik, who received the 2019 Harold Scharper Award, shared advice from their academic and professional journies with student leaders during a luncheon on October 18

AHS Celebrates Outstanding Alumni

A bilingual speech-language pathologist who has helped train and place bilingual clinicians throughout the United States and a woman who began her career at Illinois as a graduate student and ended it as the director of the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services were honored for their achievements during a ceremony on October 18.

In accepting the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Applied Health Sciences, John Consalvi said, “The best thing about receiving an honor like this is feeling that you are part of something special, something greater than yourself. What a tremendous gift.”

John completed his master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 1991. He became a bilingual clinician in the Chicago Public Schools system, an enormous system with thousands of students who were native Spanish speakers and only six bilingual speech-language pathologists. He founded Bilingual Therapies Inc. to train bilingual clinicians and place them in schools, growing the company into a nationwide staffing provider in 10 years. He recently launched SPEDXchange, an online resource that facilitates connections among those in the special education community, including special education teachers, speech- language pathologists, occupational therapists, school psychologists, school district administrators, and all staff that serve special education students and their families.

John received the 2018 Louis M. DiCarlo Award for Recent Clinical Achievement from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation. He is a Fellow of the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association, which awarded him Honors of the Association in 2017.

Dr. Patricia Barrett Malik received the 2019 Harold Scharper Award from the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services. Pat completed a master’s degree (1982) and Ph.D. (1988) in what is now the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, focusing on therapeutic recreation. Her graduate assistantship was with DRES, then under the direction of its founder Tim Nugent.

Pat held a tenured position at Illinois State University until 1998, when she resigned to help her husband Ron Malik grow a community rehabilitation business that changed the model for group homes. In 2005, she returned to the University of Illinois as director of the Beckwith residential program within DRES and assumed the leadership of DRES in 2014. Pat oversaw many efforts to advance accessibility and inclusivity at Illinois, including the development of a wireless remote control that makes campus elevators more user-friendly for students with severe physical disabilities and an innovation technology project with the Toyota Foundation that made it to the top 10 international entries.

Among the things she learned at Illinois, she told the audience at the event, was that making mistakes is part of living life. “The greatest mistake one can make in life is to be afraid of making mistakes,” she said.

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