Hometown ASHA Convention Proves Successful


For the Salus University Department of Speech-Language Pathology, being a young program at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention that took place in Philadelphia on November 17-19 was a winning combination. Dozens of students, faculty, and staff from the University attended, including all five SLP faculty members and all 55 first-and-second-year students in the program, plus clinical educators and Audiology faculty.

“Salus participated in the ASHA convention to market the program—remember, we are only two years old—and to demonstrate the competency of it students,” said Bob Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP, assistant professor and clinical director of the University’s Speech-Language Institute (SLI). “It’s a national stage that allows our faculty and students to ‘perform’ by networking, presenting, re-connecting with classmates and colleagues, and learning the latest and greatest.”

Attendees focused their activities at the convention on topics of interest. Of the many activities, here are a few highlights:
  • Second year SLP students  Caitlin Raymond and Jessica Cecco presented their capstone projects research (“a huge honor,” says Mr. Serianni).
  • Faculty had several presentations (both lectures and posters) and attended national committee meetings. For instance, Mr. Serianni had three separate poster presentations on leadership qualities in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD), interprofessional education and practice; and accreditation of CSD programs; and Kathleen Youse, PhD, CCC-SLP, BC-ANCDS, and Carrie Knight, PhD, CCC-SLP, presented in their specialty areas of adult neurogenics and pediatric language, respectively.
  • Lindsay Bondurant, PhD, CCC-A, pediatric audiologist and director of the Pennsylvania Ear Institute (PEI), spoke about the need for collaboration between audiologists and speech-language pathologists when providing early intervention to children with hearing loss.
  • The University’s National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) was selected as ambassadors for Graduate Student Day and to participate in the NSSLHA Knowledge Bowl.
  • Salus representatives manned a booth in the exhibit hall to distribute University and program specific information.
  • Admissions staff met with potential Master’s, AuD, and PhD students during the Graduate School Fair.
In addition, members of the University’s interprofessional education speaker team were proud to represent Salus during a presentation that role-modeled interdisciplinary team-based care of a pediatric patient with Usher syndrome, a condition characterized by partial or total hearing and vision loss that usually worsens over time.

The ability to have the entire University and its respective programs participate due to the convention’s close proximity was incredibly positive, said Mr. Serianni. For Salus attendees, the convention was capped off with an Open House, a social event attended by well over 100 people interested in learning more about Salus and its programs. Hosted by faculty and president Mittelman, the event put the University “out there as offering  competitive programs,” Mr. Serianni noted.

As Serianni says, “We expect to get more interest in students applying to the programs, faculty wanting to teach here, clinical supervisors for on-campus and off-campus rotations for our students, job opportunities for our students, new research ideas and opportunities—the list could be endless.”