Catherine Balthazar, Ph.D.

  Dean College Health & Human Services
  708-534-4592 ext. 4592
  Office Location:


  Office Hours: By appointment.


  College: CHHS



GSU combines a dynamic environment with a unique mission. 

The institution’s commitment to civic engagement and serving the needs of the surrounding community make it a very satisfying place to work. I am continually inspired by our committed students and my creative, energetic colleagues. 

I have been a speech-language pathologist and university professor for more than 20 years. Most of those years have been spent on the Communication Disorders faculty at GSU, but I also taught at Eastern Washington University for two years, and spent a few years in private practice providing early intervention and school-based services.  My area of expertise is child language, and my specialty is treating older school-aged children with language impairment. I have completed several treatment studies, as co-principal investigator for the Building Complex Language Project, which was funded in 2009 by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation’s Clinical Research Grant, and from 2011 to 2013 by a National Institute on Deafness and Other Communicative Disorders Academic Research Enhancement Award.  I have co-authored chapters on complex sentence intervention for three major textbooks on treatment of childhood language disorders, and several articles and presentations related to my research on the topic.

Language impairments and related learning disabilities are both high-incidence conditions that together account for 60% of all students between the ages of 12 and 17 served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part B (U.S. Department of Education, 2008). Although there is a respectable body of research on the treatment of language disorders in preschool children, treatment outcomes research addressing language impairment in older school-age children and adolescents is sparse. My continuing goal is to draw much-needed attention to these children.

Throughout my career, I have worked to advocate for my profession and my clients as an active member of our state professional organization, the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association.  I have served multiple terms on the Executive Board, and have chaired the Membership Committee, Website Committee, and Publications Committee, as well as serving as Editor of the association’s monthly newsletter.  This service has kept me informed of the important legal and logistical issues facing Illinois speech-language pathologists and individuals with communication disorders. It has allowed me to participate in legislative lobbying and community education projects related to those issues.  Most importantly, it has given me the opportunity to keep my GSU students well-informed of the ethical, legal, social, and political climate that shapes health care and education in this state.

Outside of work, I stay busy with my husband and three sons.  Fortunately, I love to cook, and spend my spare time experimenting with new recipes and challenging myself to tastefully use up any and all leftovers.  I get lots of practice on Boy Scout camp-outs, where I have recently learned to cook almost anything in a Dutch oven.  I love the outdoors, and enjoy running (well, jogging) and gardening whenever the weather allows.

Researchgate Profile


Balthazar, C.H., and Scott, C.M. (in press). Complex sentence intervention. In: McCauley, R., Fey, M., and Gillam, R. (Eds.), Treatment of Language Disorders, 2nd Edition. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.

Balthazar, C. H., and Scott, C. M. (2015).  The place of syntax in schoolage language assessment and intervention. In: T. Ukrainetz (Ed.), Schoolage Language Intervention: Principles and Procedures for Oral and Written Language Success. Pro-Ed.

Scott, C.M., and Balthazar, C.H. (2013).  The role of complex sentence knowledge in children with reading and writing difficulties.  Perspectives on language and literacy, 39 (3), 18-26. NIHMSID: 510200.

Scott, C.M., and Balthazar, C.H. (2010).  The grammar of information: Challenges for older students with language impairments.  Topics in Language Disorders, 30, 288-307. PMCID: PMC3626072.


Balthazar, C.H., and Scott, C.M. (2013, November). Scaffolding complex sentences: Treatment procedures and pre-post comparisons in school-age children with SLI. Presentation at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention, Chicago, IL.

Balthazar, C. H., and Scott, C. M. (2013, June). Relative clause productions of older school-age children referred for language testing and relationships with test scores.  Poster presented at the Symposium for Research in Child Language Disorders, Madison, WI.

Balthazar, C. H., and Scott C. M. (2011, November).  Designing interventions for complex language: General frameworks and specific individuals. Presented at the Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, San Diego, CA.

Scott, C. M., and Balthazar, C. H. (2011, October).  Interventions for spoken and written language disorders in school-age children and adolescents:  State of the art and science.  Invited presentation for the Crossroads Conference on Communication Disorders, West Lafayette, IN.

Balthazar, C. H., Koonce, N. M., and Scott, C. M. (2011, June).  An exploration of the relationship of three experimental measures of complex sentence knowledge to CELF4 scores. Poster presented at the Symposium for Research in Child Language Disorders, Madison, WI.

Scott, C. M., and Balthazar, C. H. (2011, February).  Building complex language for a complex world: Assessment and treatment for children and adolescents with language impairment. Presented at the Convention of the Indiana Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Indianapolis, IN.

Scott, C. M., Balthazar, C. H., and Koonce, N. M. (2010, November). Assessing and Treating Sentence Complexity Found in Expository Texts. Presented at the Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Philadelphia, PA.

Grants and Awards

Award # R15DC011165-01
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communicative Disorders
3 years/$300,000

Clinical Research Grant
American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation
1 year/$50,000

Advancing Academic Research Careers Award
American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation

Professional Development Award
Governors State University                                        

Foundation MiniGrant
Eastern Washington University Alumni Foundation

Faculty Research Grant
Eastern Washington University                 

Professional Development Award
Governors State University                

Full Scholarship
Indiana University


Alpha Eta Honor Society / Gamma Psi Upsilon Chapter                                

Faculty Excellence Award / Governors State University