Dr. Lilly Cheng

Dr. Li-Rong Lilly Cheng is the Director of the Chinese Cultural Center at San Diego State University. She served as Professor in the School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and Executive Director of Chinese Studies Institute at SDSU. Professor Cheng served as a member of the board of trustees of the Campanile Foundation of SDSU. She is the past chair of the Multicultural Issues Board for the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) and the chair of Education Committee for the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP). She is a Fellow of ASHA and received the Honors of ASHA. She served as the past president of IALP (International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics). She was the founder of the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus of ASHA. She has dedicated her life to education with a focus on the children, women,underserved and unserved. She has provided professional and humanitarian assistance and resources to individuals, schools, clinics and groups with special needs including deafness, autism spectrum disorders, speech and language disorders and disability across the lifespan across the globe. 

Dr. Cheng served as the Chair of the Medical Assurance Board of the State of California and Board Member of the California Health Foundation. She served as the Chair of the International Affairs Board of the City of San Diego and the Chair of the Asian Pacific Historical Thematic District. She serves on the Board of Jewish Family Service of San Diego and the Historical Resource Board of the City of San Diego.

Professor Cheng was the past President of the Phi Beta Delta Chapter at SDSU. She has received many awards from SDSU and professional organizations. She was selected as the outstanding alumnus of Michigan State University. Dr. Cheng is the recipient of the 1997 ASHA Award for special contributions to Multicultural Affairs and the recipient of the 2002 Diversity Award from the California Speech & Hearing Association. She is on the editorial board of several major professional journals.

She has numerous professional publications and has lectured all over the world. In 2007, she received the best research article award from Council of Exceptional Children. She has taught Chinese to individuals across the life span in a multitude of settings. In 2010, she received the Humanitarian Award from the Asian Heritage Foundation. She received the 2012 Monty’s Award from SDSU. She received the 2013 Diversity Award from CAPCSD. She served as consultant for Sesame Street and Tiffany and Company.

Currently, Dr. Cheng serves as the Chair of the Board of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. Professor is the current president of Phi Lambda. Dr. Cheng has published numerous research articles and books on Communication Disorders and Language Learning focusing on the development of an optimal language learning environment (OLLE). She is a frequent keynote speaker on the various topics of speech language pathology and language learning around the world. She advocates for diversity and inclusion and believes strongly that education is a human right.