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J. Scott Yaruss

Communicative Sciences and Disorders


J. Scott Yaruss comes to MSU with an overarching goal to help speech-language pathologists improve their ability to provide meaningful and lasting support for people who live with stuttering.

The professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders brings nearly 20 years of experience from the Stuttering Center of Western Pennsylvania, as well as extensive connections within the research and support communities for people with fluency disorders. While at the center, Yaruss built and directed a strong clinical program that combined research, education, service and support for people who stutter, their families, and clinicians.

Yaruss holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and psychology from the University of California Berkeley, and a master’s and doctorate in speech-language pathology from Syracuse University. He has been an assistant professor and director of Stuttering Programs at Northwestern University, and most recently, an associate professor and director of the Master’s Degree Programs in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh. He has also worked as the Coordinator of Clinical Research for Speech-Language Pathology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Yaruss has served in various posts for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Special Interest Group for Fluency Disorders and on the Board of Directors of the National Stuttering Association. He has maintained a private practice since 1993 and has been active in the stuttering self-help community for nearly 20 years. In 2011, he co-founded Stuttering Therapy Resources-a specialty publishing company focused on providing practical materials for helping speech-language pathologists help those who stutter.

Yaruss plans to relocate from the Pittsburgh suburbs to greater Lansing with his wife, Virginia, in early 2017. He has two grown daughters, three dogs, and three turtles that put him in a peaceful frame of mind. Yaruss is an amateur photographer, an even more amateur backyard astronomer, and he loves to scuba dive.

Yaruss researches and specializes in fluency disorders such as stuttering and cluttering. His goal is to enhance clinical and didactic opportunities to help student and community clinicians develop their skills for working with individuals with these and other communication disorders. He will collaborate with his MSU colleagues to create a research and treatment center for fluency disorders that combines effective communication, cutting-edge technology, and the latest research-based treatment approaches.

Yaruss considers himself a life-long learner, and continually seeks to expand his knowledge and understanding of communication disorders through ongoing research and new partnerships with scientists and educators. His primary goal is to collaborate with his MSU colleagues in building a world-class department for educating speech-language pathologists.

Yaruss considers one of his primary scientific contributions to be a comprehensive assessment tool for documenting the impact of the stuttering disorder on people’s lives. The Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering [AK1](OASES; Yaruss & Quesal, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2016) is used by clinicians worldwide, and is increasingly becoming the standard tool for evaluating treatment outcomes across a range of treatment approaches.

Yaruss has published nearly 70 peer-reviewed articles and more than 110 other papers, chapters, and books, often in collaboration with colleagues from around the world. His diagnostic protocol, the “Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering (OASES),” has been translated into approximately 30 languages.


Yaruss and one of his doctoral students recently received a small grant from the National Stuttering Association to study neural pathways associated with language formulation and speech production in people who stutter. He has several other projects that will soon be submitted for funding, including a study designed to enhance an automated speech recognition system so it can decode stuttered speech.

Yaruss has been invited by educational units and professional associations from 47 states in the U.S. and 17 nations to provide about 400 continuing education workshops to more than 25,000 speech-language pathologists.

Although the goal of each workshop is to educate clinicians, Yaruss says he comes away from each session with a keen sense of the “state of the field” in clinical practice and scientific advancement. He draws upon those experiences in his teaching, writing and research as he works to build on the foundation of understanding in the field of communication disorders.

* Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
* Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh
* Finalist for the University-Wide Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Pittsburgh
* Fulbright Senior Specialist
* PsyLife Visiting Fellowship at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia
* Honored Professor of South West University “Neofit Rilsky” in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
* Speech-Language Pathologist of the Year, National Stuttering Association
* Two Editor’s Awards from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for publications in the journal Contemporary Issues in Communication Science and Disorders

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