Every year speech-language pathologists and audiologists from across California gather at the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CSHA) Annual Convention & Exhibition to network, to be inspired and to gain a deeper understanding of the breadth and depth of their profession. This year, the convention was held on March 16-19, 2017, in Pasadena.
“I would 100 percent encourage future students to attend this conference,” said Skylar Edwards ’17. “The networking opportunities are endless and there is so much to learn. It is amazing to be surrounded by so many people with the same passion.”
Sarah Kenney ’17 also sees the value of attending the annual CSHA convention as a student. “The sessions enhance and reinforce the concepts and techniques currently being learned in classes, while also introducing us to what is most current and upcoming in the field,” Kenney said.
Kenney shares her advice for students attending CSHA for the first time. “Go to a session in every time slot and don’t neglect the Exhibit Hall. Talk to people sitting next to you wherever you are and remember that person can be someone with a lot of experience and help to offer you. […] Some connections you make will be purely social, but you never know when that person one row back during a session will happen to know someone who is looking to fill a position you would be perfect for.”
Edwards also emphasized the networking opportunities and recommended being prepared to make the most of opportunities that may arise. “Many companies attend and are interested in hiring. Don’t be afraid to get your name out there. Bring a resume and maybe even interview for a job or two.”
Fellow student Stephanie Herold ’17 added, “CSHA can be a bit overwhelming your first time, but it’s so beneficial and inspiring so take advantage of all that is has to offer. CSHA is the perfect place to both learn and network.”
During the convention, speech-language pathologists and audiologists are recognized for their outstanding service. Clients are also recognized for their contributions. Edwards was incredibly touched by the story of Ethan Santa Cruz and Ashley Pimentel, who received the Child Distinguished Consumer of the Year Award. They attend Mable Barron Elementary School in Stockton, where they have been working with speech-language pathologist Wendy Frush, MA, CCC-SLP.
“The video they created was meant to help teachers at their school understand ways they can enhance the learning of students who are hard of hearing,” Edwards said. “Getting to see how our hard work as speech-language pathologists really can be rewarding for both us and our clients brought me to tears and reinforced my certainty in choosing a remarkable field.”
Edwards, Herold and Kenney attended the Pacific Speech-Language Pathology Alumni Association Alumni and Friends Breakfast. Herold shared, “It was amazing! It was one of my favorite parts of the convention. It was so inspiring to meet and talk to people who were in my same position at some point.”
Kenney echoed her sentiments, “It helped me to see how close-knit the community at my university is and what kinds of relationships I can look forward to having after I graduate and start my career.”
For Edwards, interacting with alumni was a reminder of the number of career paths that are open to speech-language pathologists. “It is always a pleasure to meet Pacific alumni and learn about what path in our field they took,” Edwards said.
Larry Boles, PhD, CCC-SLP, professor of speech-language pathology and graduate director, received the CSHA District 3 Outstanding Achievement Award.
Caitlin Elam ’17, received the CSHA District 3 Outstanding Student Award.
Melissa Jakubowitz ’81, MA, CCC-SLP received the CSHA District 3 Distinguished Achievement in Speech-Language Pathology and/or Audiology Award. Watch the video.
Deborah “Debbie” Wallace ’13 received the CSHA District 3 Outstanding SLPA Award.
Jeannene M. Ward-Lonergan, PhD, professor of speech-language pathology and department chair, received the CSHA District 3 Outstanding Service Award.
Rupa Balachandran, PhD, associate professor of audiology and department chair, presented “Computer-Based Therapy for Central Auditory Processing Disorders: Audiologists and Parents in an Inter-Disciplinary Team.”
Dr. Boles and Karen Jacobs, MA presented “CSDCAS Best Practices.”
Kristofer Brock ’07, ’08, MS, PhD, CCC-SLP, along with Monica Franco-Mora and Neymi Suarez, presented “Do Animations Facilitate Understanding of Graphic Symbols in Children with Autism?” Dr. Brock also presented “Aided Language Modeling for an AAC User: A Push-In Speech Camp Model.”
Kathleen Fitzmaurice Catterall ’75, ’76, MA, CCC-SLP and Charlotte Lopes, MA, presented “A Year in the Life of an RPE Supervisor.” Catterall also presented “Communication and Aging–An Overview.” Catterall also presented with Robert E. Hanyak ’79, AuD, associate professor speech-language; Deborah Swain, EdD; Patti Solomon-Rice, PhD; Shellie Bader, M.A; Diane Collins, MA; Joan Havard, M.A; Holly Kaiser, MA; Henriette Langdon, EdD; and Margaret “Dee” Parker, PhD, “Let’s Collaborate – CSHA’s Interprofessional Relationships with Our National and State Related Organizations!”
Jakubowitz, along with co-authors Barbara Moore, EdD, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL and Monica Ferguson, MS, presented “What? I Don’t Have Time to Treat 5X a Week?” Jakubowitz and Moore also presented “Is Telepractice Right for Your District?”
My “Mimi” Tran ’04, ’05, MS, presented “Welcome Home to Home Health!”
Dr. Ward-Lonergan, along with Michele Anderson, PhD, Nickola Nelson, PhD, and Geraldine Wallach, PhD, presented “How to Screen, Identify, and Plan Interventions for Students with SLI, Dyslexia, and Related Disorders.”
By: Anne Marie H. Bergthold
Photo Credit: California Speech-Language-Hearing Association