The National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) has acknowledged The University of Tulsa student group with Gold Chapter Honors. This recognition is given annually to affiliates demonstrating superior efforts in supporting the organization’s mission to inspire, empower and support students in communication sciences and disorders programs.
“I am proud that we took initiative this year to earn chapter honors from NSSLHA for the very first time. I have been impressed with our chapter’s leadership, participation and commitment to service, and I am excited to see what we accomplish in the future,” said Rachel Zandy, president of TU’s NSSLHA chapter.
TU’s very active student group conducted a number of campaigns to increase the awareness of communication sciences and disorders including sending letters to state and federal legislators advocating for an array of issues from autism therapy alternatives to speech-generating device access.
The group also contributed $200 to help fund NSSLHA scholarships through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation (ASH Foundation). They also donated $300 to the NSSLHA Loves campaign, a community service initiative that honors organizations that work with people living with communication disorders. This year, NSSLHA honored the John Tracy Clinic in California as the leader in early childhood deaf education and one of the world’s largest private providers of services to young children with, or at risk of, hearing loss.
The TU NSSLHA chapter also provided scholarships and educational opportunities for student members including:
- Mary Clancy who received a scholarship to help fund her Albert Schweitzer Project at The Lindsey House.
- Brian Farish who received a scholarship to fund attendance to a national voice conference to further his research efforts.
- Several members who received scholarships to attend the national American Speech-Language and Hearing Association Conference.
- The chapter funded student attendance for the movie Concussion and lecture featuring Dr. Omalu, the neuropathologist who first identified chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
- The chapter hosted a representative from the Hanen Centre about the program, “It Takes Two to Talk,” which focuses specifically on improving the communication skills of toddlers and preschoolers with language disorders.
In order to help fund scholarships and educational opportunities, the TU chapter conducted the annual Route 66 Conference on Communication Disorders. The 2018 event marked the 23rd-anniversary conference attracting more than 1,200 professionals from a three-state area. The keynote speaker of the 2018 conference was Dr. Joan Mele-McCarthy, executive director of the Summit School serving students with dyslexia and other learning differences.
TU NSSLHA chapter members also volunteered at community events throughout the year including:
- Laps for Little Ones – Little Lighthouse (school for children with special needs)
- Garden party – Little Lighthouse
- Tulsa Walk for Apraxia of Speech
- Buddy Walk for the Down Syndrome Foundation
- Purchased batteries for hear aids for Tulsa Public Schools
The TU chapter of NSSLHA, which has 50 members, is one of 300 NSSLHA chapters in the U.S. Board leadership for the 2017-18 school year included Rachel Zandy, president; Kate Leahy, vice president; Madaline Ross, treasurer; and Claire Collard and Erin Wilcox, Route 66 Conference co-chairs.