Speech and hearing professor Joan Roddy Regnell died Friday at the Virginia Hospital Center of acute renal failure, the Washington Post reported Saturday. She was 74 and lived in North Bethesda, Md.
Regnell, who taught at GW for more than 40 years, won the University’s excellence in teaching award in 1991 for teaching a popular undergraduate class in voice and diction. Last year, she won the University’s graduate adviser award.
“She had a personality you could not ignore,” said Geralyn M. Schultz, chairman of the Department of Speech and Hearing Science, in an interview with the Washington Post. “She really cared for her students, not just that they learned the material but that they would care for their patients, their clients. Her passion was palpable.”
In 2003, Washingtonian magazine printed a story about Regnell’s work with transgender people, training men to speak like women.
In 1957, Regnell graduated from the Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School where she received a bachelor’s degree. In 1960, she received a master’s degree in speech and hearing from GW and immediately began working at the University as an instructor and clinician. In 1962, Regnell became a full-time faculty member at GW.
Though Regnell retired in 2003, a decision that meant she could only teach one class each semester, she still spent all her time at the school and the clinic, the Washington Post reported.
In addition to her son, survivors include her husband of 52 years, Donald H. Regnell of North Bethesda; four children, Susan R. Charles of Rockville, Md., Terrie R. Feeney of Nashville, S. Todd Regnell of North Bethesda and Michael E. Regnell of North Potomac; two brothers, N. Joseph Roddy of Kensington and Thomas P. Roddy of Washington; and nine grandchildren, according to the Washington Post.