Faculty Spotlight: Derek Isetti ’08

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADr. Derek Isetti ‘08 is an awardee of the New Century Doctoral Scholarship and he hopes to shed light on voice disorders in the workplace.

Dr. Isetti grew up in Stockton, Calif. He received his master’s degree in speech-language pathology (SLP) at University of the Pacific through the university’s 24-month master’s program. This program allows students with undergraduate degrees outside the speech-language pathology major to obtain a speech-language pathology graduate degree; his undergraduate degree was in the theatre arts. The faculty he interacted with during his master’s program inspired him to pursue a doctorate degree in speech and hearing science at University of Washington.

As a professor he hopes to inspire his students just like he was inspired during his years as a graduate student. As luck would have it – he was given the opportunity to teach back in his hometown. “It’s wonderful to be back, not only in my hometown, but teaching alongside the people that inspired me. I feel like it’s a full circle moment. It’s like I’m returning to my roots.” For Dr. Isetti teaching SLP students is a different way to make an impact on society. “When you become a speech-language pathology professor you’re actually influencing multiple lives through the students. You’re indirectly connected to all of the individuals who will ultimately be served by your students.”

The New Century Doctoral Scholarship Award recognizes doctoral students who are pursuing a worthy research agenda. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation (ASHFoundation) recognized Dr. Isetti with this outstanding research scholarship at their 2013 Convention in Chicago, Ill. The focus of his research is to help individuals with voice disorders who may be negatively impacted in their jobs. Many people may think disabilities in the workplace are strictly physical. His research shows that there is another type of disability that is not visible to the eyes, only to the ears. It is important for employees with voice disorders to understand that they have rights afforded to them under the law.

Graduate school and research can appear daunting, greatly because of the costs. Awards like the New Century Doctoral Scholarship help finance the student’s research and are very uplifting. “It’s also incredibly validating because it lets you realize that I’m not the only who views this research as being worthwhile. Other people in the outside world also think that my research holds value. That’s very rewarding.” He has become so appreciative of his award that he plays an active role volunteering to help the ASHFoundation sell raffle tickets.

Speech-language pathology is a growing yet competitive field. Patients of varying ages can have a number of different communication disorders, from minor speech impediments to neural damage due to strokes. All in all Pacific’s speech-language pathology alumni are equipped with the right education and experience to set them up for a rewarding career.

Dr. Isetti always encourages undergraduate students to pursue studies in speech-language pathology. “For those who have a desire to help others, have strong interpersonal skills, and who are strong academically, I can’t think of a better profession. Because it is so varied, there are so many different patient populations you can choose to work with.” He places an emphasis on learning with a purpose rather than just a grade. “Don’t simply do well in your classes, but also try to shadow other speech-pathologists and try to have as many volunteer experiences as you can because it gets competitive. It’s definitely a competitive field.”



Welcome Back Dinner Prepares Students for Clinicals

slp dinner 1_resizedOn the evening of August 27, 2014 the Pacific Speech-Language Pathology Alumni Association hosted the 3rd Annual Speech-Language Pathology Welcome Back Dinner. The Welcome Back Dinner allows alumni and faculty to welcome the students back to campus, offer valuable clinical tips, and network. After the dinner, students were given an opportunity to learn from alumni experience in their choice of three (out of six options) roundtable sessions.

The roundtable sessions offer a variety of practice settings and insight for speech-language pathology students. At these sessions students have the chance to learn and interact with alumni working in their prospective fields. The six different roundtable session topics included: “Autism,” “Behavior Management,” “Discrete Trial Training and Positive Reinforcement,” “Early Intervention: Data Tracking,” “R,” and “Ross Information Processing Assessment-Geriatric Second Edition (RIPA G:2).” The rest of the night was divided into three sessions and students had the chance to sit at their choice of three (out of six) tables and soak in as much information as they could for fifteen minutes. There was so much to learn. Events like this are what set the Pacific experience apart from other programs. “Alumni provide first-hand experience, sharing their expertise and education,” commented Avenlea Gamble ’16.slp dinner_resized

Once checked-in, guests were able to mingle and catch up before being released for dinner. Nancy Harlow ’06, President of the Pacific Speech-Language Pathology Alumni Association, greeted guests and shared a few words. Susan Webster, Development Officer for speech-language pathology, thanked our generous sponsors, California Speech-Language Hearing Association (CSHA), the Pacific Speech-Language Pathology Alumni Association and generous alumni, faculty and staff that donated to the raffle. Dinner closed with raffle prizes for students; the prizes were generously donated by alumni and faculty for the students to use during their future clinicals.

Upon entering the speech-language pathology program, students are committing to help and care for others. The Welcome Back Dinner brings together these students and alumni that are already in the middle of this commitment and gives the opportunity to share this passion as well as helpful hints to make one another more effective. It is this passion for helping people that sparked the interest of student, Gamble and alumna, Mimi Tran ’04, ’05. Gamble described speech-language pathology as a “helping profession.” In conjunction, Tran said her “wanting to improve people’s lives,” inspired her to study speech-language pathology.



SLP Hosts Annual Graduate Research Presentation

Dr. Jeannene Ward-Lonergan hosted the annual Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Research Presentation on May 7, 2014 to showcase research studies conducted by students in the Master’s of Speech-Language Pathology Program. Students are enrolled in the Research Methods course taught by Dr. Ward-Lonergan and are responsible for conducting a literature review and designing a research study of their choice. At the end of the course the students have the option to carry out the study or take an exam to meet the requirements. This year there were 10 research studies.

slp research 1 resizedAlyssa Novales ’15 and Vanessa Wildie ’15 presented their research study on the “Sentence Structure and Speech Sound Considerations for School-Age Filipino-American Children.” Their pilot study will look at children five to seven years old and evaluate the speech differences between students who are exposed to the Tagalog language at home and those who only speak English. “Documenting speech and language differences will help educate administrators such as teachers and clinicians to make informed decisions when making referrals or diagnosing disorders,” said Wildie. “Since some speech and language differences may be attributed to diverse cultural linguistic backgrounds, children may be misidentified as having a disorder,” added Novales. Both Novales and Wildie were not raised bilingual but picked up some accents from their parents and relatives who primarily spoke their native language during family gatherings. However, the exposure did not affect their speech in school or as adults.

Another important study is the “Effects of cochlear implants on reading levels” presented by Amanda Lines ’15 and Kayla Villalpando ’15. Their study will compare reading levels of children with cochlear implants to children who do not have a hearing impairment. “Many deaf children have a fourth grade reading level. If we can show that cochlear implants can help children excel, it can really impact their education,” said Villalpano. There are strict criteria for the surgery and it can be expensive, especially for families without health insurance. “Cochlear implants can benefit deaf or hard of hearing children but are more appropriate for children who suffer from sensory neurological damage,” said Lines.slp research 2 resized

When asked what Dr. Ward-Lonergan hopes students take away from her course she said, “I hope they gain a greater understanding of the importance of research, more knowledge about the research process and evidence-based practice, and a sense of excitement about conducting research! There are numerous important questions that need to be addressed in our field of study, and I am very proud that so many of the students are already becoming active research contributors.”

Dr. Ward-Lonergan continues to see an increase in the number of students who have opted to conduct their research studies. Many of the studies are submitted for presentation at the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CSHA) and/or the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) professional meetings. This year all 10 research studies have been submitted for the 2015 CSHA Convention in Long Beach.



Dr. Larry Boles Creates Community Group to Benefit Aphasia Clients

Larry BolesAphasia is a condition that robs people of the ability to communicate and can affect one’s ability to express and understand verbal and written language. This condition is typically found in individuals who have suffered brain damage from illnesses such as a stroke, and affects more than two million individuals in the United States. Dr. Larry Boles, Associate Professor of Speech-Language Pathology (SLP), is creating a community group to help individuals who have been diagnosed with aphasia to regain their communication skills. “This group is a conversation group where individuals gather to share their stories in an attempt to regain conversations so that they can rebuild relationships with family and friends,” said Boles.

While providing therapy to a client, he noticed an increase in feedback and interactions from the client when he asked the client’s husband to give the cues for verb and noun pronunciations. This response inspired him to organize community groups. “Family members spend a lot of time with the client so it only makes sense to incorporate them into the therapy. And since then I’ve always encouraged couples therapy.”

The aphasia group will consist of clients who are already being seen at the Pacific Speech, Hearing and Language Center on campus. Many were referred to the group by former graduate students who were out on externships in area hospitals and clinics and by current SLP students working in the clinics. Dr. Boles also plans to have students lead the community group discussion, which gives students experiential learning opportunities.

“I’m hoping that with the students’ involvement in the community group they will gain a sense of humanity and gain confidence in conversation-based therapy and not rely solely on linguistic-based therapy,” said Dr. Boles, who anticipates seeing positive changes and an increase in “quality of life” in both the clients and students.

Dr. Boles has provided one-on-one therapy sessions to nearly 500 clients who have been affected by aphasia over the course of his career. He works closely with experts at the Aphasia Center of California in Oakland. Through this collaboration Dr. Boles says he is “fortunate to have access to other experts” in the field.

In addition to the community group, Dr. Boles has conducted research on “establishing alignment in aphasia couples therapy.” He found that when the spouse acts as the therapist, the clients can speak in longer phrases and have increases in elaboration and utterances. Dr. Boles presented this research at the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CSHA) Convention in March and will be presenting it again at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention in November.

To learn more about aphasia, visit the National Aphasia Association at www.aphasia.org.




Brett Snyder ’14: Many Paths, One Dream

Brett Synder resizedCommunication is the focal point of making friends, resolving issues, and raising awareness across the globe. Inhibiting communication can have disastrous effects on our relationships and our ability to cope with what’s going on in the world. Imagine a world where there is no communication; there would be no transfer of ideas and civilizations would cease to exist. Here at Pacific, we also believe that communication is vital. Pacific’s Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) students work with the full range of communication disorders and study hard to understand the diagnostics of speech issues, and evaluate language and communication disorders to treat all patients from infants to seniors. One student who stands out is Brett Snyder ’14.

When asked why SLP? Synder exclaims, “So many reasons, so little time! The field has so much depth and variety that it perfectly matches my natural curiosity. On a more personal level, I enjoy SLP because of the satisfaction you get from helping others to have a better quality of life. Being able to work with clients and their families is very appealing to me.”

Synder first studied biology at the University of California, Irvine until he transferred to the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Taking a further interest in his culture, Synder changed majors from biology to Hawaiian studies. After graduating, Snyder returned to the Golden State to work in public education before he decided to enroll in Pacific’s SLP graduate program. Snyder appreciated the accelerated program, “I hadn’t majored in speech pathology as an undergraduate so the prospect of getting my masters completed in just two years was very exciting for me. Visiting the campus and meeting the faculty and staff face to face really sealed the deal.”

After coming to Pacific, Snyder realized that he had many opportunities to be successful in his career. Professors not only did their best to prepare him and his colleagues with knowledge and skills, but also prepared them for their future careers through internship and externship experiences. During the summer, Synder was able to volunteer at an autism camp and worked alongside several speech-language pathologists and students. He also attended the Annual California Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CSHA) Convention to further his professional development. Throughout the convention, Synder was able to participate in networking opportunities with other professionals. Synder explains, “These experiences help us put into practice what we’ve learned in classes, help us to develop as professionals and establish networks.” Synder has also taken advantage opportunities to be involved with local and national organizations such as the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, as well as CSHA.

Though Snyder continues to have an interest in Hawaiian studies, he never regretted enrolling in Pacific’s SLP program. “I think my greatest achievement up to now is being accepted into Pacific’s grad program. Three years ago, I never would have imagined that I would be working on a masters degree. Several friends and relatives were understandably concerned about how successful I would be in majoring in Hawaiian Studies, so being where I am now makes me feel proud and validated in my decision to remain true to myself and pursue my interests.” Synder continues to feel at home with Pacific and reminisces about his memories here, “My best memory is the Department’s Christmas party skit. Hands down.”

Synder feels that speech language pathology has been the most intellectually satisfying profession as it requires him to be adaptable, observant, analytical, and introspective. Currently, his dream job is to become a speech-language pathologist and have a continually evolving career. He says, “At some point, I’d really like to travel and provide services to people across many countries. I would also like to open a clinic that offers all rehabilitative services under one roof. The clinic would be a teaching one, where professionals work with students to better prepare them for their careers. Essentially, something very similar to Pacific’s program. Finally, I’d like to become a professor or instructor to educate the next generation of SLPs.” In order to support future SLPs, Synder advises that they constantly stay ahead of the game, and always take the opportunity to do extra clinic observations. Most importantly he advises, “students should take the time to take care of themselves.”


Guest Blog: School Announces New Doctor of Audiology Program

I am delighted to announce our new professional doctorate degree program, Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Pacific’s Au.D. program will be the first in Northern California. It will be one of four accelerated programs in the country, and the only one in California. This program will be located on the new San Francisco campus with clinics on both the San Francisco and Stockton campuses. This three-year accelerated program will serve a cohort of 15-20 students per year and will draw students with undergraduate majors in speech-language pathology, biology, and pre-health. The first class of Pacific’s Doctor of Audiology students will begin in the fall of 2015 pending approval of the audiology accrediting agency.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, “employment of audiologists is expected to grow by 37% from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Hearing loss increases as people age, so an aging population is likely to increase demand for audiologists. The early identification and diagnosis of hearing disorders in infants also will spur employment growth. Advances in hearing aid design, such as the reduction of feedback and a smaller size, may make the devices more appealing as a means to minimize hearing loss, leading to more demand for the audiologists who provide hearing aids.” There is currently a shortage of audiologists in California since the only Au.D. Program in San Diego currently graduates eight to 10 audiologists per year.

Rendering of New San Francisco Campus
New San Francisco Campus

The Audiology Clinic on the Stockton campus will serve as a clinical site for students and has successfully operated since 2004. Our new Audiology Clinic on the San Francisco campus along with anticipated collaborations with many Northern California medical and audiology centers will provide student clinical experiences. The San Francisco Clinic will begin seeing patients in August 2014 and will provide residents throughout the San Francisco Bay Area with audiology and hearing aid services through patient visits and community outreach events.

An audiologist shortage statewide makes this new Doctor of Audiology Program critically important to both the region and state health care systems. The program will continue Pacific’s long history of producing graduates who are highly skilled health care practitioners. It will build upon Pacific’s reputation and strengths in health sciences, reach new student markets, and align with our strategic plan, Pacific 2020.

We are pleased to offer a wonderful opportunity to create a permanent legacy by naming the new audiology clinic, classrooms, labs, sound booths, and offices. Naming opportunities are recognized forever in our beautiful new San Francisco Campus building. We invite you to partner with us. Contact Susan Webster at 209-946-3116 or swebster@pacific.edu for more information.

Robert E. Hanyak, Au.D.
Department Chair
Associate Professor of Audiology
Department of Speech-Language Pathology

Alumni Spotlight: Sue Ulmer ’83

Sue-Ulmer“I want to be a positive role model and teacher for a profession that I continue to love!” exclaimed Sue Ulmer ’83 when asked why she takes Pacific student interns. Sue is the Department Chairperson for the Speech-Language Pathology Department at Stockton Unified School District and has held that position for over 12 years. Ulmer feels that she was selected as Department Chairperson because she volunteered for numerous committees and wanted to be involved in decision making for the department. Sue remarked, “I wanted to train other SLPs to do the best job they can do with therapy and the never ending paperwork.”

Transferring to Pacific in 1981, Ulmer’s selection of the communicative disorder major was inspired by her deaf parents. Ulmer has always loved working with the deaf and even used sign language for her talent portion of the Junior Miss Pageant when she was at Tracy High School. “I have attended Symposiums where Simalee taught visual phonics, which I still use with my students, whether deaf, hard of hearing or hearing. Since my area of interest was working with the deaf or hard of hearing, and she had an interest in it too (she taught sign language as well as visual phonics), I learned a lot from her. She was very encouraging, had a calming presence about her, and was easy to talk to, especially when things became challenging with workload and comprehensive exams.” She went on to say that she also enjoyed Professor Virginia Puich’s classes and her encouragement while she was in the undergraduate and graduate programs. “Both women were positive influences during that period of my life,” Ulmer recalled.

“My students make me smile, especially when we have been working on something (could be a sound such as “s,” “r,” etc. or language skills) and they finally ‘get it!’” She also has a 2 ½ year old grandson who amazes her with his language skills. Sue looks forward to traveling the United States and hopes to visit historical sites on the East Coast. “I would like to drive across the country in the fall to see the tree leaves changing and all of the beautiful colors!”

Jeralyn Oliveira ‘13, ‘14: Homegrown Tiger

When asked to chose one word to describe Pacific, Oliveira chose perseverance.
When asked to chose one word to describe Pacific, Oliveira chose perseverance.

Born and raised in Stockton, California, Jeralyn Oliveira ‘13, ‘14 is proud to call it her hometown. Actually it was one of the reasons she chose to attend Pacific. Oliveira doesn’t hesitate when asked about her background. She is a first generation student and comes from a low-income background, something Oliveira also takes pride in. Oliveira was awarded Pacific’s Community Involvement Program Scholarship and said “Without the program, I wouldn’t be here today.” The program recognizes students from low-income backgrounds and who have demonstrated potential for sustainable leadership, community awareness, and involvement.

Growing up Oliveira said she always wanted to be a physician assistant. When asked why not the physician, she said she didn’t know why. Through the encouragement and motivation of her fourth grade teacher, Mr. Strawn, she slowly started to realize her potential. “Mr. Strawn taught me to never settle for anything that was lower than my potential. He gave me the courage to become the physician and not the physician assistant,” said Oliveira.

Oliveira is a graduate student in the 15 month master of science in speech-language pathology (SLP) program. She recalled the haze that came with graduating from high school and not even knowing where to begin with choosing a career. “I was so excited when I learned that I was accepted to Pacific, but I had no idea what to major in.” Luck was on her side when she was roomed with a graduate student in the SLP program. “I loved listening to her talk about her classes and clinical experience. It seemed so challenging yet fun.” Encouraged by her roommate, she enrolled in an introductory course and never looked back.

In spring 2013, she received the Tolley Endowed Scholarship. “I felt relieved because it recognized and validated my hard work and gave me confidence going into the graduate program.” Oliveira acknowledges that access to higher education isn’t available to everyone and it’s one of the most important factors that pushes her to work hard. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to go to college. I want to live up to my full potential and be a good role model to my nieces and nephews,” she said. She is an aunt to three nieces and one nephew.

Role models that have made an impact in Oliveria’s life are Dr. Michael Susca, Professor Department of Speech-Language Pathology, and Alison Dumas, Director for the Community Involvement Program. She admires Dr. Susca’s work and his passion for the profession and appreciates how he challenges his students to become the best clinicians. “Alison is so supportive and compassionate and it’s great to be mentored by someone who understands and shares a similar background,” said Oliveira.

If she could offer some advice to prospective students, Oliveira said she would encourage them to take an introductory class or make time to observe some courses and schedule a meeting with Professor Simalee Smith-Stubblefield ’83. She also added that it is important for them to learn how to be organized and keep busy but also find “me” time.

Outside of the classroom, Oliveira enjoys painting and spending time cheering for her nieces and nephew at their sporting events. One of her nieces plays softball, a sport she loved and grew up playing. Some interesting facts about Oliveira are she has a fear of pregnant bellies because they look so delicate, loves to shop, is learning how to coupon, and loves trees. “I don’t know much about trees, but when I imagine where I’ll live someday, it’s a home surrounded by trees.”

Support students like Oliveira by contributing to the SLP Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship by contacting Susan Webster at swebster@pacific.edu or 209.946.3116. Click here to see how your support impacts our students.


Derek Isetti ’08 Receives A $10,000 Scholarship at National Meeting of Communication Professionals

Derek Isetti ‘08 received a $10,000 American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation New Century Scholars Doctoral Scholarship during the recent 2013 Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), held November 14-16 in Chicago, Illinois.

The New Century Scholars Research Doctoral Scholarship supports doctoral students committed to working in a higher education academic community in the field of communication sciences and disorders in the United States. This program is made possible through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation’s (ASHFoundation) Dreams and Possibilities Campaign.

Isetti is currently a doctoral student studying speech and hearing science at University of Washington in Seattle. He received his master of science in speech-language pathology from Pacific in 2008 and his bachelor of arts in drama from University of California, Irvine. After receiving his bacherlor’s Isetti worked as a Broadway performer for 10 years. “There is currently a television show on NBC entitled “Smash” which chronicles the making of a new Broadway musical. I mention this because for most of my life, this was no television drama; this was my world.”

On Broadway, Isetti was an understudy for John Stamos in the musical “Cabaret”. He was fortunate to be able to perform the leading role of the Emcee over a series of performances. During this period in his career, Isetti knew very little about the field of speech language pathology

When Isetti decided to pursue his education in speech pathology, his initial goal was to work with the performing community and other professional voice users. During his time at Pacific Isetti realized that “great professors are often performers in their own right” which motivated him to pursue the doctor of philosophy with the potential to make a huge impact on the community and profession.

Isetti is passionate about working with patients who suffer from spasmodic dysphonia (SD). “I am especially interested in how the knowledge of diagnosis and information about a disease might alter these listener impressions to facilitate smoother interactions with communication partners.” The scholarship will help further his research on SD and support his dissertation research on workplace barriers faced by individuals with voice disorders, and how severity of symptoms may differently affect hiring outcomes.

“Thank you so much. I am grateful, but just as important, I am proud to represent an organization whose mission has always been to serve others,” said Isetti.

The ASHFoundation is a charitable organization that promotes a better quality of life for children and adults with communication disorders. The ASHFoundation is affiliated with ASHA and is part of the Association’s annual convention?the most comprehensive development conference for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language and hearing scientists.

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation
ASHFoundation’s mission is to advance knowledge about the causes and treatment of hearing, speech, and language problems. The ASHFoundation raises funds from individuals, corporations, and organizations to support research, graduate education, and special projects that foster discovery and innovation in the field of communication sciences.

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 166,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems, including swallowing disorders.

Gloria Lee ’14: Making a Difference One Connection at a Time

Gloria Lee_resizedWhile many students were spending their summer vacations riding the waves or soaking up the sun at the beach, Gloria Lee ’14 spent her summer with Adventures in Communications at Camp Meadowood Springs in Oregon and providing health screenings to the local communities in Honduras.

As a student clinician, Lee worked with children with communications and social learning challenges. She saw three clients a week and provided two hours of therapy during each session. She also provided additional therapy sessions throughout the day during activities such as confidence courses, arts and crafts, zip line canopies, canoeing, nature hikes, and swimming as well as many others.

It was through Lee’s Pacific connections that she learned about this unique opportunity. One of her classmates was a recent student clinician and gave a presentation about how the Camp changed her life.

Lee’s trip to Honduras was also a result of her Pacific connection. Lee traveled with Michael Chuang ’14, Lee’s boyfriend and a student pharmacist, and the Rho Pi Phi Fraternity to Honduras where they shadowed doctors, gynecologists, dentists, pharmacists, and other health care practitioners. In addition, they provided free community health services at local schools such as blood pressure screenings and taught kids how to brush their teeth.

Her favorite memory was “hearing my client say basic words like cat and bathroom in Spanish for the first time. I was so excited.”

“I learned to be flexible with the children because different things work with different kids and we must learn to adapt to each of their needs. It made me more confident in what I had already learned and that speech is really what I wanted to do,” said Lee.

Lee initially came to Pacific as a candidate in the two-three pre-pharmacy advantage program after being inspired by her mom, a pharmacist and alumna of the School. Although she had completed her requirements to apply to the doctor of pharmacy program, she quickly changed her mind after a friend told her about the speech-language pathology program.

“I always knew that I enjoyed helping people, working with kids and loved language and literacy. It is my passion. When I learned about the opportunities that the speech-language pathology program had to offer, I knew it was the right career path for me,” said Lee. She said after speaking about the program further with Professor Simalee Smith-Stubblefield ’82 she was even more excited because the profession would “allow me to work with people of all age groups and work in all type of settings.”

Currently she serves as the co-chair for fundraising on Pacific’s National Student Speech-Hearing-Language Association executive board, is secretary and bible study leader in Delta Delta Delta Fraternity, and serves as a Pacific Ambassador. She is also heavily involved with Relay for Life where she served three years as captain in high school and again last year here at Pacific. She hopes to continue to travel on mission trips and travel to third world countries to provide health services. After graduation, Lee hopes to continue her education here at Pacific in the master’s of speech-language pathology program.


Graduates Honor Faculty with Donations to Endowed Scholarship

Rohrbach at the 2013 Pharmacy and Health Sciences Commencement Ceremony
Rohrbach at the 2013 Pharmacy and Health Sciences Commencement Ceremony

They say your college years are the best years of your life. To commemorate their time at Pacific, the National Student Speech-Hearing Language Association (NSSHLA) chapter, under the leadership of Lauren Rohrbach ‘13, donated funds to the new Pacific Speech-Language Pathology Alumni Associates Endowed Scholarship in honor of Professor Simalee Smith-Stubblefield ‘83.

The purpose of the scholarship is to recognize a speech-language pathology undergraduate student who is active in the NSSHLA Chapter or is an Alumni Association Ambassador and maintains a minimum 3.5 GPA and helps support the mission of the alumni association. Undergraduate students who are graduating can also apply for this scholarship as long as they will be returning to Pacific for the master of science in speech-language pathology program.

During an executive board meeting, the team learned about the new scholarship from Dr. Jill Duthie, Associate Professor of Speech-Language Pathology, who encouraged them to consider making donations. An important part of NSSHLA’s mission is to give back to the community and support current students. While they felt the scholarship was a great opportunity to support future students in pursuing their career, they also felt it would be monumental to honor Professor Smith-Stubblefield.

“We decided to honor Professor Smith-Stubblefield because she does so much for our program! She is our “mother” figure and is there whenever we need her,” said Rohrbach.

Rohrbach added that she is inspired by Professor Smith-Stubblefield because “not only is she a great mentor and a professor but she is an amazing woman.”

A gift of any kind, whether big or small is instrumental in moving the profession forward. Together, eight NSSHLA members donated a total of $180 to the scholarship. “We hope that we are leading by example and that we can inspire future generations to do the same and be involved,” she said.

Professor Smith-Stubblefield couldn’t disagree saying “I feel so honored that the students would recognize me in this way. Future students will benefit from their generosity and I want them to know how much I humbly appreciate their contribution to the Alumni Association scholarship.”

To learn more about how you can support students and the School, visit www.pacifialumni.org/phs.