Remembering Robert Kroll
On March 17, Dr. Robert Kroll passed away with his wife Fiona by his side. Dr. Kroll, or Bob as he was known by most, was an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Speech-Language Pathology. He will forever be remembered as a pioneer in stuttering treatment and research, not just in Canada but internationally. After obtaining a doctoral degree in speech-language pathology at Bowling Green State University in the US, Bob brought his expertise in fluency disorders back home to Toronto. He was one of the first in Canada to offer intensive treatment programs for individuals who stutter, first at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry and later at the Speech and Stuttering Institute, where he also served as Executive Director. As an expert clinician who was very much in tune with the needs of his clients, Bob continued to improve how stuttering treatment was provided, culminating in the development of the Fluency Plus program. His intensive treatment program attracted clients from all over the world. Through lectures and workshops, Bob generously shared his immense knowledge and clinical expertise with clinicians nationally and internationally. Bob also was a gifted researcher who helped advance our understanding of stuttering through many collaborative projects with others. He was one of the first, not just in Canada but internationally, to recognize the great potential of novel brain imaging technology to advance our knowledge of the neurological basis of stuttering and especially how speech treatment can influence these neural processes. The clinical research that Bob and his team at the Speech and Stuttering Institute conducted led to the development of best practice clinical care pathways for children with speech and fluency disorders, with training provided to clinicians all across Ontario. For many years, Bob took great interest in the education of our students. He was a beloved teacher, who taught courses in both fluency disorders and research methodology, provided guest lectures, and mentored uncountable students to develop their stuttering treatment skills during clinical placements. On top of his busy clinical and research work, Bob was equally interested in professional issues. Among his many contributions, he was a member of the board at the College of Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists of Ontario where he served as President for two years. Just before he passed away, Bob was awarded the CASLPO Outstanding Contribution Award. While his legacy will live on forever, Bob will be missed greatly by his colleagues, students and friends, but most of all by his wife, Fiona, his children Aaron and Noam, his step-child Michelle, and his grandchildren Ari, Mickey, Cameron and Devin.