Inaugural SLP Class Present Capstone Projects

The University’s first cohort of Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) students – set to graduate from the program which initially started in 2015 – presented their capstone projects at the Hafter Student Community Center on Thursday, April 13. The 25 poster presentations were divided into two one-hour sessions, with each student available to answer questions and discuss their capstone with attendees, which included the Salus community, family and friends.

“This is a really proud moment for our department,” said Kathleen Youse, PhD, CCC-SLP, BC-ANCDS, Speech-Language Pathology department chair/program director and associate professor. “This is our first graduating class, so these students will forever be remembered as the group that got it all started.”

Salus SLP Capstone Presentation
According to Anna Fuller ‘17SLP, being able to display her capstone, “The International Dysphagia Diet: Viscosity, Timing and Repeatability of Liquid Consistencies,” together with the whole class demonstrated the hard work and determination of each student as well as their collective supervisors and advisors. “Being able to present my capstone project as part of the first SLP class was such a privilege,” she said. “I not only was able to showcase my project and passion, but I was able to share in the joy of my classmates as well.”

After the evening ended, Samuel Farrand ‘17SLP even wished there had been more time to present his capstone, “Yes, And: An Improv Comedy Pilot Study” to more people and to view more of his classmates’ as well. “It felt great to present a two-year project in front of my peers and advisers,” he said.

Salus SLP Capstone Presentations
Anna’s honored to be a part of the University’s inaugural SLP class graduating next month. In 2010, during the University’s five-year strategic planning process, the dean of the College of Education and Rehabilitation envisioned the expansion of programs offered. After conducting an intense environmental scan, SLP was chosen as a graduate degree program. Soon after, faculty and staff were hired in preparation for the development of the new department and program. And by July 2015, 25 students were admitted to become the Class of 2017. Anna thanks her professors and clinical supervisors for taking a chance and starting the program from the ground up.

“We have been able to pave the way for many years to come,” she said. “We have implemented so many ideas and projects that have assisted our community and helped others to better understand what we do as a profession.”

Samuel said he was thrilled to be a part of the first SLP class at Salus, feeling incredibly welcomed by everyone in the community from the day of his interview to today.  Throughout the program, patience and flexibility were key, he said, noting that “the inaugural class had a real-life quality to it, which I feel will make the transition to practice easier.”

The entire class is incredibly dedicated to the program, according to Dr. Youse, and has set the bar for future SLP graduates very high.

“They know that they will be our first group of alumni and have worked hard to help us develop the program into something special,” she said. “They have been and will continue to be strong advocates and representatives of Salus and its mission and values.”
Additionally, Anna and four of her classmates from the Class of 2017 presented their capstone projects at the following professional conferences:
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention on November 17, 2016 in Philadelphia:
    • Caitlin Raymond, “Communication In-Service for Paid Caregivers Working with Adults and Children with Special Needs”
    • Jessica Cecco, “Understanding Nursing Staff Perspectives on Dysphagia and Mealtime Management: Following SLP Recommendations”
  • Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association (PSHA) Convention on March 30, 2017 in Harrisburg, Pa.:
    • Bridget Turnbach, “The Impact of Dialogic Reading on Expressive Language Development”
    • Amanda Kaufmann, “Benefits of Autism Parent Support Groups”
  • Ohio Speech-Language-Hearing Association (OSLHA) Convention on April 1, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio:
    • Anna Fuller, “The International Dysphagia Diet: Viscosity, Timing and Repeatability of Liquid Consistencies”