Mayor H. Paul Memorial Lecture

January 19, 1951 – November 26, 2001

Mayor PaulMayor Paul was a graduate of Rutgers University, working in the VISTA program, teaching history to inner- city students when he was involved in an auto collision in 1974. Mayor suffered severe damage to his brain stem that left him quadriplegic and unable to talk or swallow. Now called locked-in syndrome, his condition was almost unprecedented at that time since few had survived such devastating injury. With no established therapies to turn to, Mayor and his parents had to create a treatment program through their own investigations and efforts. In 1977 and 1978, Mayor and his family came to the Waisman Center to work with professionals at the Trace Center and Communication Aids and Systems Clinic (CASC) to establish an alternative communication modality for him. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the CASC and Trace Center team, Mayor was able to use a head light to spell out messages on a letter board. His improved ability to communicate allowed him to live a more independent and fruitful life. He traveled widely, took continuing education courses at his local college in southern New Jersey, volunteered at an elementary school, and was featured in numerous media stories detailing his accomplishments and the legal precedents set by his continuing battles with insurance companies to maintain his independence in his own residence. In 1990, Mayor received the prestigious Individual Achievement Award for Persons with Communication Disabilities from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, which was presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. That same year, he established a college scholarship for graduates of Vineland High School, his alma mater. Until his death at the age of 50, Mayor maintained an active life, wintering in Miami, spoiling his niece and nephews and continuing his volunteer work and contributions to his community. This lecture series commemorates his courage and determination.

  • 2004—Mabel L. Rice
    University of Kansas
    “Language Growth of Children with and without Language Impairments: Timing Mechanisms and Linguistic Distinctions”
  • 2005—Mary Ann Romski
    Georgia State University
    “Comparing Early Language Interventions for Toddlers with Significant Communication Disorders and Developmental Delays”
  • 2006—Carolyn Mervis
    University of Louisville
    “Williams Syndrome: Cognition, Personality, and Genotype/Phenotype Correlations”
  • 2007—J. Bruce Tomblin
    University of Iowa
    “Genetics of Individual Differences in Language Development: Pathways to Cognitive Systems for Language”
  • 2008—Elena Grigorenko
    Yale University
    “Reading the Genome for Genes for Reading”
  • 2009—Sally J. Rogers
    University of California-Davis
    “Research into Infant-Toddler Interventions for ASD”
  • 2011—James McPartland
    Yale University
    “Development of the Social Brain in Autism”
  • 2012—J. Bruce Tomblin
    University of Iowa
    “Do Subcortical Systems Contribute to Individual Differences in Language Development?”
  • 2013—Janet Werker
    University of British Columbia
    “The Effects of Experience on Language Development”
  • 2014—Molly Losh
    Northwestern University
    “Deconstructing the Autism Phenotype Through Family-Genetic and Cross-Population Studies”
  • 2016—Jeffrey Anderson
    University of Utah
    “Noise in the Machine: Brain Connectivity from Autism to Zen”
  • 2017—Pat Mirenda, PhD, BCBA-D
    University of British Columbia
    “Language Development and Autism: To Be (Bilingual) or Not to Be”