Three people sitting at a restaurant smiling for a group photo

The Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) and Audiology programs at Salus University recently brought the party to New Orleans for the annual American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) convention. Respective program faculty, staff, students and alumni gathered at the weekend-long conference held in November to engage in workshops, networking, continuing education opportunities, and other fun festivities. 

Both Radhika Aravamudhan, PhD, CCC-A, dean of the University’s Osborne College of Audiology (OCA) and ASHA’s incoming vice president of academic affairs for audiology, and Robert Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP, FNAP, SLP chair and program director, emphasized how exciting it was to see the conference so well attended after the pandemic, as it has been virtual for the past few years, and last year had a limited number of participants. 

“For the first time, we had three students win ASHAs Audiology/Hearing Science Research Travel Award (ARTA), which sponsored Chase Sereno ‘24AUD, Lilliana Geraldes ‘24AUD and Yeva Mishailovs’ ‘23AUD attendance at the conference. It was a great opportunity for our students and faculty to present their work and network,” said Dr. Aravamudhan.

Two Salus members sitting at a table at a cafe smiling at the cameraSalus University was well represented throughout the weekend, but made a notable appearance during the presentations and posters portion of the conference, as audiology faculty; Dr, Aravamudhan; Victor Bray, PhD, FNAP, OCA associate professor; and Girija Sundar, PhD, OCA assistant dean for Distance Education, all gave presentations. The University’s SLP program also had a large showing as they participated in both virtual and live presentations and posters, including a podium lecture by Kelly Salmon, SLPD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, CLT-LANA, SLP assistant professor, and Kirstine Goldynia, SLPD, CCC-SLP, clinical educator, on dysphagia in individuals with intellectual disabilities, as well as a poster presentation from Serianni, based on SLP students’ capstone project. 

“A graduation requirement for our program is for students to develop, produce and then present a project of their choice, and we had a couple of the Class of 2022’s capstones accepted as both virtual and live posters,” said Serianni. “It’s a very competitive process to have your posters and presentations accepted, so having a chance to shine a spotlight on the University and our faculty and students in that manner were moments of great pride.”

And, although the conference itself was worth the price of admission, the exposure to New Orleans cuisine and culture was an added bonus and offered both programs the perfect opportunity to connect with alumni. The programs hosted a happy hour at a restaurant near the convention center, which brought together dozens of current and past SLP and Audiology faculty, staff and students to celebrate Salus. 

Serianni emphasized how energizing it was to reconnect with alumni and enjoy great Louisiana cuisine and spirits. “The conference was an amazing time to learn and reconnect with other professionals and alumni but was also a fantastic opportunity to experience New Orleans,” he said. “The conference did a superb job of incorporating Louisiana’s unique culture throughout the weekend, and it was exciting to take advantage of those opportunities while the team was there.”
Three salus faculty and alumni standing at the happy hour smiling at the camera