SLP Clinical Educators: Newest Group for ASHA’s Leadership Development Program

Mayro and Morton - Salus Speech-Language
L-R: Trish Martin Mayro & Leah Morton
Two Salus University Speech-Language Pathology clinical educators, Leah Morton, MS, CCC-SLP, and Trish Martin Mayro, MA, CCC-SLP, were recently selected for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) Leadership Development Program (LDP). They are part of the  audiologists and speech-language pathologists’ cohort this year, for which only 30 participants are chosen through a competitive application process.

“When you’re in academia, you’re always looking for different ways to learn,” Ms. Morton said. “This is a great opportunity for me to learn and polish my leadership skills and work on being a leader for my students as well.”

Ms. Mayro agreed. “ASHA wants to develop leadership skills of the everyday SLP,” she said, specifically noting she is looking to strengthen her connections within the organization on both a national and state level.

The year-long program is for energetic professionals with leadership potential, encouraging its members to develop these innate leadership skills and give back to the professions they serve through volunteering. Both Ms. Morton and Ms. Mayro praised the mentorship of the University’s Department of Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) administration in encouraging them to apply.

During their time in the LDP, each participant takes on an individual project, which includes specific elements of leadership activities, such as working with a team or gathering support from stakeholders.

Ms. Morton’s leadership project will focus on the Breastfeeding Resource Center—a local nonprofit community-based center—committed to providing expert clinical and educational breastfeeding services, where she has taken on a leadership role teaching Salus SLP students how to facilitate and support new moms and identify signs such as hunger in babies. “For me it’s also the idea of teaching them how to do all that – not just showing,” she said.

Ms. Mayro’s LDP work will involve the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association in a “train the trainer” type of project. After identifying the hurdle of placing students in externships, she plans to identify university programs across the state experiencing a similar difficulty in finding preceptors. She would then work to provide trained trainers to assist potential preceptors who may lack confidence. “If they had education [about the process], maybe they would be more apt to take on students,” she said.

The program kicks off on April 7 at ASHA’s national office in Rockville, Md., with graduation on March 13, 2018. Throughout the year, Ms. Morton and Ms. Mayro will also participate in two additional components of the LDP outside the above leadership projects:
  • Attending eight virtual workshops discussing leadership topics such as coaching and mentoring, conflict management, and strategic thinking.
  • Assignment to a learning team with other participants, who will serve as the advisory board for each other’s leadership projects. The teams are independent and will also meet virtually, as well as provide a venue for more interaction and exploration of virtual workshop content.