Patricia Prelock, Ph.D., Provost and Senior Vice President

Patty Prelock at Faculty Recognition eventWelcome to the Office of the Provost. It is both a privilege and an honor to serve as the Chief Academic Officer of the University of Vermont. UVM is home to a community of scholars, students and faculty alike, committed to academic excellence, inclusivity, and impact.

The classrooms on our campus are the heart of a thriving academic ecosystem. They are natural extensions of the laboratories, archives, studios, clinics, and field sites where, every day, our faculty members are engaged in acts of discovery and creation that change the world and elevate their teaching. Our students not only benefit from this academic ecosystem, they contribute to it, working side-by-side with faculty members making important discoveries of their own.

Our academic programs are carefully designed to provide students with deep scholarly content, and also with broadly applicable and timeless skills – critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication – necessary for their continued evolution as life-long learners in our rapidly changing environment.

The University of Vermont is committed to diversity, inclusion and the shared values of openness, justice, respect, integrity, innovation and responsibility. Our efforts to become a more diverse and culturally aware campus began more than three decades ago. Our journey toward cultural competence continues, fueled by the passion of our students, staff, and faculty and supported by our broader Vermont community.

Perhaps most importantly, we nurture and develop the next generation of leaders. Our graduates leave our campus prepared for success in their chosen fields, and with a readiness to assume roles as engaged citizens eager to contribute to their communities and to the greater good.

I invite and challenge you to learn more about UVM, its history, and the faculty and students who have built our past and are shaping our future so you, too, can become part of our academic ecosystem. I hope you will join this community of scholars who integrate knowledge, discovery, service, and leadership to make meaningful change. I look forward to learning from and with you as your intellectual adventure unfolds.

Patricia Prelock, Ph.D.,
Provost and Senior Vice President


Patricia Prelock, Ph.D., is Provost and Senior Vice-President, University of Vermont.  Formerly, she was the Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Vermont for 10 years. She is also a Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders, and Professor of Pediatrics in the College of Medicine at the University of Vermont. Dr. Prelock received her Ph.D. in speech-language pathology from the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Prelock is a recognized expert in the nature and treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and has been awarded more than $23 million dollars in university, state and federal funding as a PI or Co-PI to develop innovations in interdisciplinary training supporting children and youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families, to facilitate training in speech-language pathology, and to support her intervention work in ASD. She has over 206 publications and 584 peer-reviewed and invited presentations/keynotes in the areas of autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities, collaboration, IPE, leadership, and language learning disabilities. In 2019, she was named Associate Editor for the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Dr. Prelock received the University of Vermont’s Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award in 2000, was named an ASHA Fellow in 2000 and a University of Vermont Scholar in 2003. In 2011, she was named the Cecil & Ida Green Honors Professor Visiting Scholar at Texas Christian University and in 2015 Dr. Prelock was named a Distinguished Alumna of the University of Pittsburgh. In 2016, she received the ASHA Honors of the Association and in 2017 she was named a Distinguished Alumna of Cardinal Mooney High School. Dr. Prelock also received the 2018 Jackie M. Gribbons Leadership Award from Vermont Women in Higher Education. Dr. Prelock is a Board-Certified Specialist in Child Language and was named a Fellow in the National Academies of Practice (NAP) in speech-language pathology in 2018.  She was the 2013 President for the American Speech-Language Hearing Association and was President of the ASHFoundation in 2020 and 2021, and currently serves as past president. Dr. Prelock was a member of the core leadership team responsible for the successful $5.5M proposal to establish the Osher Center for Integrative Health at UVM.

Areas of Expertise and Research

  • The nature and treatment of autism in children, specifically addressing issues of social cognition and theory of mind using social cognitive interventions
  • Identification of the neurological underpinnings of emotion recognition and theory of mind deficits in children with autism
  • Interprofessional education and collaborative practice
  • Family-centered care

Dr. Prelock’s current research investigates the nature and treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) emphasizing the role of emotion regulation, social communication and perspective taking as important components of social cognition. She and her colleagues have developed both a parent informant and child measure of theory of mind that have been used as outcome measures for assessing intervention effects following the use of social stories and comic strip conversations. They have also been involved in developing parent training to support joint attention, social communication and emotion recognition in young children with ASD. Both in the past and currently, Dr. Prelock has been engaged in the applications of family-centered care to support the effective communication of individuals with significant disabilities and their families to increase their access to care and evidence-based interventions recognizing their unique communication needs. Dr. Prelock also been engaged in interdisciplinary research, examining best practice models for assessment and intervention planning that are family-centered and culturally competent. She has more than 20 years of experience mentoring students in clinically-applied research and has secured more than $11.3 million dollars as a PI or Co-PI in training and research grants to support the interdisciplinary education, leadership and research skills of master's, doctoral and post-doctoral students across the disciplines of speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, nursing, medicine, social work, nutrition and education. Dr. Prelock has a strong working relationship with her collaborators in neuroscience and psychiatry in the Larner College of Medicine, where she holds a secondary appointment in pediatrics. She is also developing a new focus on brain-behavior changes seen in children and adolescents with ASD following social cognitive interventions.

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

85 South Prospect Street
304 Waterman Building
Burlington, VT 05405-0160
Phone: 802-656-4400

Executive Assistant to the Provost

Lori Desotell
Phone: 802-656-1417

Assistant Provost and Provost's Chief of Staff

Kerry Castano
Phone: 802-656-1299