INSPIRATION SERIES: Julie Bergquist '06, Has Found Her Calling

Julie Bergquist '08 Alum"I have found my calling." This is how Julie Bergquist feels about her current service to families as a dedicated SLP and DONA  International (Doula Organization of North America) Certified postpartum doula. Julie graduated in 2006 from SLHS with an MA. In her previous work, she primarily served voice and swallowing patients for 8 years at National Jewish Health. Prior to that, she worked in the public schools for 3 years. After experiencing a wide age-range, her passion for newborns and families emerged. 

Julie currently provides restorative postpartum care, education, referrals and support to families of newborns. She related to us that she is "...currently going into the home setting, working with families during the postpartum period, supporting infant feeding, both in lactation and alternate feeding methods including syringe, cup, and bottle feeding." 

Julie explained what truly inspires her work: "I support mamas who are struggling to feed multiples using both breast and/or bottle, mamas who are having breast health issues and/or supply issues, guide families through their babies' tethered oral tissue challenges, teach paced bottle feeding, connect these families to other local professionals including IBCLCs (International Board Certified Lactation Consultants), mental health providers, pediatric dentists, feeding therapists, etc. to support their feeding challenges that go beyond my expertise, and the list goes on.  

Julie's passion in her work is evident, "I am moved beyond words at the vulnerability of these families, and specifically with the mamas I work with. I have the honor of serving them during a very raw, and sacred time in their lives, often beginning the day after birth. It is such a joy to be a guide along the feeding journey, beginning at such a tender time. My greatest joy is seeing these mamas grow in their confidence and be empowered along the way." 
The black and white photo on the right is Julie with Dr. Jack Newman, MD of the Newman Breastfeeding Clinic in Ontario, Canada. 
Below, Julie is seen with her daughter Avery, "The girl who made me a mother…what a journey we have been on together! And I would do it all over again in a heartbeat." 
Thank you for the first in our INSPIRATION SERIES, Julie. We are proud to claim you as one of our alumni. 


It was time for another visit to SLHS on behalf of fellow alumni for an annual update. Rest assured, fellow alumni, that the Department continues to make us proud! Currently, Professor Anu Sharma, PhD in Audiology, is serving as Interim Department Chair. She follows Dr. Gail Ramsberger as chair. Gail continues her work in adult neurogenic disorders of communication in addition to her teaching positions. Both professors have held watch over exciting developments in the Department during their time as Chair. 

Amy Thrasher, Clinical faculty

Last year, interior upgrades were done to the clinic entrance and the clinic is very welcoming upon arrival. You can see a portion of the Departments faculty and staff on our lovely campus trees in autumn.

After checking in and greeting one of my favorite familiar faces, Brenda DowellAssistant to the SLHS Chair, I headed downstairs to a favorite place, the Child Learning Center. Affectionately known as the CLC, the Center has been a resource for our community for over forty years, providing intervention services for children with needs along with their typical peers in a play-based educational setting. Before joining the staff and kids outside, I went back upstairs and managed to catch Amy Thrasher (left) in her office. Currently on break, Amy serves as clinical faculty in the Toddler Group and Preschool programs of the Child Learning Center. She developed a program for young children with autism focusing on joint attention and peer interaction through the use of storybook reading and video modeling, Story of Friendship. In collaboration with the Temple Grandin School, Amy also developed a social communication intervention program for adolescents with autism and similar learning profiles using coaching and video self-review, Perspectives. Amy also leads a family education and support group during the summers for families of young children with Down syndrome, Early Circles as part of CLC services

Amy encouraged me to meet new CLC staff including Early Childhood Specialist and current CLC Director, LJ Werner, along with another familiar face from INREAL days …Janine Randol, Clinical Faculty who skillfully manages the Toddler group. Jenny Koslowski is another able member of the CLC staff. Also present was OT, Kathy Keith who regularly consults with the SLPs. It was a treat to join the children and teachers in the back yard and as you can see by the photos below, the CLC was in full action mode.

CLC Photos, L to R, Top to Bottom: LJ Werner w/ CLC child, Janine Randol w/ child, two CLC children, Grad Student Amy Maule, Class of '17 w/ parent & child,
CLC Child having fun in a tunnel, Grad Student Nina De La Rossa, Class of '17 w/child, Erin Leary, '17 (R) w/Janinie & CLC children, Janine w/ OT Kathy Keith.
JL Werner with CLC child Janine Randol with CLC child Two children playing on CLC playground CLC grad student, parent and child
CLC child crawling through tunnel   

I was captivated by Dr. Anu Sharma's research and witnessed the action first-hand in her state-of-the-art clinical lab where she examines brain changes and neuroplasticity in hearing loss. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and utilizes assessment of cortical auditory evoked potentials, high-density EEG, and other brain imaging techniques in conjunction with behavioral experiments to determine changes in the brain, specifically the impact of hearing loss on the brain. Current results show that even mild hearing loss can result in significant change. See Dr. Sharma's article on Compensatory Changes in Cortical Resource Allocation in Adults with Hearing Loss and a second on Cross-Modal Re-Organization in Adults with Early Stage Hearing Loss.

Dr. Sharma's research team includes SLHS Audiology students who perform electrophysiology testing (using auditory, visual and somatosensory stimulation) source localization and EEG brain dynamics as well as speech perception and cognitive behavioral experimentsShe is tracking the effects of intervention with hearing aids and cochlear implants on cortical plasticity and behavioral outcomes. She is interested in neuroplasticity at both ends of the age spectrum, infants and young children, as well as age-related hearing loss in older adults. She is seen here with student Emily Deeves (left) with their patient (right) who is undergoing an EEG. Detailed information about Dr. Sharma's research can be found at EEG LAB and on the Brain and Behavior Laboratory website.


I met some of the new SLHS faculty members who are engaged in exciting projects. The first new faculty I met was Dr. Christine Brennan (left) who is a developmental cognitive neuroscientist and speech-language pathologist interested in investigating the brain systems supporting language development and speech processing. She comes from the Neuroscience Lab at Northwestern University and is now the Director of the ANCAR Lab (Applied Neuroscience for Communication and Reading) at the University of Colorado Boulder.


Dr. Brennan’s current research extends from her previous phonological work conducted in the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at Northwestern University that focused on how the auditory cortex encodes phonemes, how it synthesizes phonemes into words, and how these processes are affected by experience. Dr. Brennan’s current research aims to improve our understanding of how the organization of the auditory cortex for phonological information may differ in children with and without language-based learning disabilities in which phonological skill is implicated, including dyslexia. Her research projects utilize standardized behavioral measures, experimental tasks, and functional neuroimaging (fMRI). She is a member of the Institute of Cognitive Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, as well as a member of the Intermountain Neuroimaging Consortium (INC). Professor Brennan currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in speech and hearing sciences. She earned her PhD and MA from Northwestern University. I appreciated her willingness to meet impromptu as she was soon to teach one of her courses: 5576 SLHS Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology. 





Next door to Christine Brennan I found Assistant Professor, Dr. Christina Meyers-Denman (right) who comes to SLHS from the University of Arizona in Tucson where she received her Ph.D. in Speech, Language, and Hearing Science with a Cognitive Science Minor and specializations in Child Language Disorders, Language Learning, Intervention, and Early Bilingualism. 

Christina’s areas of expertise includes applied research in early childhood. She heads up the brand new Improving Treatment Outcomes for Young Speakers Lab (iToys) where she and students work with children who experience late vocabulary development. The Lab’s learning sessions pair normal children with those needing clinical intervention. Clinicians incorporate child-centered intervention, focused observation, parent involvement and gestural support bridges. Dr. Meyers-Denman's research will weigh the benefits of the approach with particular attention to the use of gestural support in advancing children's vocabulary development. 




Dr. Brenda Schick's contributions to the field of Deaf and Hard of Hearing in research, curriulum development, and evaluation is exceptional. She is currently on Sabbatical and in the thick of an exciting new grant funded by IES. With the help of graduate students, she is studying the role of fingerspelling in literacy development in young deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Her past work, funded by NIH, focused on the development of a Theory of Mind in deaf children and how it relates to their language skills. Her work shows that complex language skills are essential for the development of skills in social cognition. With colleagues from the University of Washington, she also developed a tool to assess Quality of Life in students with a hearing loss.  

Some of Dr. Schick's other projects include the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA), a tool she co-developed which evaluates the skills of K-12 interpreters. With colleagues, she published data on the performance skills of interpreters who work in the K-12 setting. Her work on the EIPA has been incorporated into a Classroom Interpreting website dedicated to K-12 interpreting. 

Brenda co-developed a sign language curriculum (video and books) designed for parents titled Sign With Me, as well as a series of children's books that have been translated into ASL by deaf adults and children, titled Read With Me. She has served as the school board president for Rocky Mountain Deaf School, a bilingual charter school for deaf children in metro Denver. She was also a classroom teacher for deaf children. In addition, she is a CODA, having grown up in a deaf family. 


What would the SLHS department do without grad students? Raul San Agustin, Graduate Assistant (left) is the one who has been supplying me with new SLHS alumni lists each spring. He provides office support for the department by assisting with the application process; communicating and interpreting departmental and campus graduate regulations to current graduate students, staff, and faculty; describing the graduate program to prospective students; creating spreadsheets and other data sheets to assist the graduate committees in the selection and recruitment of graduate students; and maintaining documentation files as requested by state and federal agencies. He comes well prepared for these tasks with a background in  marketing/consumer products industry. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and is currently studying a Master’s Degree in Marketing (MS in Marketing) at CU Denver. Raul says he has "found that working in higher education at the SLHS Department has been amazing. As a current graduate student, I can empathize with fellow students and am happy to support their journeys.


The Department's student organization NSSLA is alive and well, I always seek out their bulletin board (right) to prove it! 


Raul and the entire staff and faculty are welcoming faces who would entertain your visit anytime if you'd like to see what's happening at your Alma Mater. Just contact the Department to schedule a visit! 

See other SLHS faculty and staff bios online.  

               Many thanks to Anu Sharma and all of the faculty students and staff who took time to spend time with me on this visit. 

~ Cynthia A. Gray, '76

Congratulations to SLHS Faculty, Anne Whitney!

We like to celebrate SLHS faculty as well as alumni by occasionally putting their work and goals in the spotlight. Anne Whitney took time from a busy transition to tell us about her current journey. Ask Anne about her retirement and you’ll find a renaissance in the making, a combination of professional and personal goals that relate to her passions.

Anne was at CU from 1992 on. She first came as a summer replacement supervisor and at the end of summer, Susan Moore asked her to stay on. Anne took a year’s leave of absence from Thompson R2-J School District and commuted from Ft. Collins for that year. She then stayed on the following summer and beyond. Anne tells us that she took a 2-year departure to work in the publishing world, but when that was over, Susan hired me back and I even had the same office and phone number.  

Anne made many valuable connections with community agencies in the area. Fortunately, some will continue. She gave us some background.

"While at CU, I developed a relationship with the Odyssey School at Centennial Peaks Psychiatric Hospital and we did all their academic and language evaluations for them for 7 years. We realized that 64% of the students (ages 8-16) had a never previously diagnosed language disorder and of that cohort, 81% had poor phonemic awareness and reading difficulties.  So, I began looking for a curriculum that could help them. I attended a Reading in the Rockies conference in Vail around 1995 where Jane Fell Greene spoke of her new curriculum called LANGUAGE ! that was for 4th-12th grade students with language and literacy issues. That started my passion for scientifically based reading interventions that continues to this day.  My stint in publishing was actually co-writing the 2nd edition of the LANGUAGE ! Curriculum. I was fortunate to meet some of the best movers and shakers in the world of dyslexia at that time and that launched me into working with Dr. Louisa Moats and becoming one of her national trainers for Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS).  This is a professional development series of courses that I’ve trained in several states to both general education teachers and special education teachers. I’ve worked with Dr. Moats in writing LANGUAGE ! Live, the newest version of Jane Fell Greene’s original curriculum. Currently, I’m working with Dr. Moats in writing the 3rd Edition of LETRS.  I’ll continue with LETRS trainings during my retirement."

Looking back at her experience in the SLHS Department, Anne has some encouraging views.

Over the years of working in SLHS, I’ve seen the dichotomy between the academic faculty and the clinical faculty narrow. I believe that Dr. Ramsberger’s work to achieve recognition of clinical faculty with a career ladder of assistant, associate, and full professor certainly did a lot to help narrow the gap. I also appreciate the new young faculty members who have joined the department and their acceptance of clinical faculty as parallel peers.  Among the clinical faculty, I’ve appreciated the friendships and the caring we have for each other. This is a group who always has each other’s backs. Overall, the department has continued to develop a solid footing in the College of Arts & Sciences and the work of our researchers and clinic has been recognized internationally, nationally, and locally.

When asked about specific memories or stories, Anne tells us that, for her, they come down to her students and the enrichment they brought to her life. Anne’s creativity and connection with students is well known. 

I’m proud of our students and happy to maintain lifelong relationships with many of them. One memory I have is of the fall semester several years ago when the second year students were scrambling to turn in their Passion Papers, then the major part of the comprehensive examination. They had clinic, classes with midterms, and this paper all due around the same time in mid-October.  Stress levels were high. So, to break the stress, I arranged to take all the 2nd year students to a Corn Maze and then out to dinner. Letting loose in the cornfield was just what the students needed. I think there were a few that had trouble finding their way out again, but when it came time to head for dinner, they managed to appear. After a delicious Mexican food dinner and the appropriate beverages to go with Mexican food, the stress levels were reduced dramatically. That was a super fun time.

Another fun memory was the year that I had my usual Language Learning Disability diagnostic teams. Back in the day, the students would bring snacks for the clients and some of us to share in the observation room. This particular year, we had an incoming class of 39 so each team had 6 members. My two teams started to get competitive with each other on who could bring the best snacks. One team went with a little kid theme and make triangle peanut butter sandwiches, ants on a log, and juice boxes to drink. A second team went for a home baked theme. I can’t even remember what all they brought. But the winner for the year was the team that had a Mexican theme. They had a serape draped over the table, a large sombrero in the middle, guac and chips and other Mexican delights, but to top it off, they had fake margarita glasses and margaritas (virgin, of course)

A more recent memory was my last Salad Bar. At the end of each semester, on the last day of clinic, tradition dictates that we have a salad bar lunch together to celebrate the survival of the semester.  So, unbeknownst to me, at my last Salad Bar lunch this past spring, the students put on a fashion show for me.  You see, everyone else has CCCs that represent the Certificate of Clinical Competence. Mine, however, is for Color Coordinated Codependent. So my fashion show consisted of an array of students, both male and female, dressed from head to toe in each of the colors of the rainbow. They even carried matching purses or books that were in the same color family. How great was that?

In terms of inspiration, I’d have to say the many children and adults who have come back to tell our students and me how the work we did on reading changed their lives. One young man with dyslexia ended up going into the seminary, a field he wouldn’t have chosen were it not for his improved reading skills. Another young man started at SLHC when he was 14, had been homeschooled but was unable to read “cat, fat, sat.” He worked diligently with our students and was able to finally re-enter public school, was admitted to a vocational school, and finally started junior college. There are many, many more stories to tell, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell the best story of all, the story of Ian Weber (name used with permission). Many who read this will remember Ian from his early days in CLC all the way to his current lessons at SLHC on reading. Ian is an inspiration not only to me but also to every student who has worked with him. His constant cheerful mood, ‘can do’ attitude, ‘never give up’ spirit are qualities that inspire each student who has worked with him over the years. He makes slow but steady progress and is able to read at a low 2nd grade level now, a skill he’s proud of and proclaims, “That’s easy.” after mastering!  Ian gives back more than he knows and each year, when students write their Essential Learning Experiences for their portfolios, I look forward to reading how Ian has touched the lives of our students - because each year, his clinician chooses Ian to write about.

We wanted to know about Anne’s plans for the future. Here’s where we see that retirement equates with new exploration and opportunities. 

Probably the thing I’m most excited about in relation to literacy and dyslexia is the calming of the Reading Wars and more acceptance of code-based reading instruction as a necessary approach to reading for all students but especially for students with language learning disabilities and dyslexia. There’s more work to be done, but many states are now adopting dyslexia laws and have approved lists of curricula from which districts may choose. The professional development is improving as well. The focus on morphology that is the newest swing of the pendulum is very exciting and one I’ve been waiting for since the late 90s.

We learned that one of the things that drives Anne in our field are the career choices we have. “The beauty of this field is that it’s so diverse. There are so many avenues and career changes possible all without leaving the field that there’s no reason to ever get bored. Fortunately, this motivates her to stay connected to our field, “I’ll continue to write and to train teachers about literacy and struggling readers, writers, and spellers. I’ll probably do some diagnostics in my private practice. As for leisure time Anne told us that she hopes “to spend more time on the golf course and heavens knows, my game needs more practice. And I’d love to travel to see animals and take pictures of them in the wild.”

Many alumni know Anne in some capacity from her past 24 years at SLHS. She was recently honored by the department in a celebration at the CU Koenig Alumni Center.

Join us in congratulating Anne as she “retires” while continuing to be a vital part of our field as author, curriculum developer, practitioner, and respected colleague. 

CO/WYO Reception at ASHA 2015 a Success!

There was standing room only at the ASHA 2015 CO/WYO reception, held at the Tivoli Student Center on the Auraria Campus. The event was planned and sponsored by our very own SLHS, along with Metropolitan State University of Denver SLHS, Audiology and Speech Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado, Division of Communication Disorders at the University of Wyoming, the Colorado Speech Language Association, and the Wyoming Speech Language Association. Lively conversation among faculty, students, and alumni was the order of the evening. Dr. Gail Ramsburger and other sponsoring administrators, including CU Alumni Mark Guilberson, now Director and Associate Professor of Early Childhood Language at the U. of Wyoming. SLHS Chair, Gail Ramsberger, who coordinated planning for the event and looks forward to more collaboration, said, It was great to see so many colleagues from Colorado and Wyoming and wonderful to hear how life has developed for our alums since leaving CU.  Denver seemed to be an outstanding venue for ASHA and I hope they bring it back so we can have a repeat of the Open House event in the not so distant future. 



Congratulations to Dr. Rosemary J McKnight and Hannah Cuviello, students in the MA-SLP program in SLHS. Both been selected to receive very prestigious Graduate Student Scholarships from the American Speech Language Hearing Foundation.  Hannah and Rosemary will receive their awards at the ASHFoundation Founder’s Breakfast that takes place during the ASHA Convention in November

You are invited to an open house during ASHA. Join us!

ASHA 2015 Coming to SLHS Home State!

Good news alumni near and far, this year's ASHA Convention, the premier annual event for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists is coming to you. Join more than 12,000 of your peers for this once-a-year opportunity at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado from November 12–14, 2015, as we celebrate our 2015 theme, Changing minds. Changing Lives. Leading the way

ASHA announced that, In the spirit of the 2015 Convention theme—"Changing minds. Changing lives. Leading the way," we're happy to welcome, as a keynote speaker, Stanford psychologist and bestselling author Kelly McGonigal, PhD.

Dr. McGonigal is passionate about translating leading-edge research from psychology, neuroscience, and medicine into practical strategies for health, happiness, and personal success. Her audio series, "The Neuroscience of Change," merges the newest scientific findings with contemplative wisdom to give listeners an innovative process for transformation. In her book, The Upside of Stress, Dr. McGonigal unites trailblazing discoveries on the "correlation between resilience—the human capacity for stress-related growth—and mindset, the power of beliefs to shape reality." She explores the concept that embracing stress can actually make us stronger, smarter, and happier.

Connect with friends near and far. We're counting on SLHS Alums to give fellow convention visitors a Big Rocky Mountain Welcome. Shortly SLHS will announce details on a special gathering planned for alumni from Colorado and surrounding areas.  

For more information and program details, go to The 2015 ASHA Convention site 

Job Openings at Columbine Health Services / Ft. Collins

Kate Connell, MA, CCC-SLP, Director of Therapy at Columbine Therapy Services, Lemay Avenue Health and Rehab Facility, Ft. Collins, CO has announced SLP job openings in the per diem pool and a possible regular part-time to full-time SLP position. They would consider a CF for the regular position and per diem positions IF you are doing a fellowship elsewhere full time. "Columbine has been a leader in providing long term care and services since 1971. Their locally owned and operated health care continuum offers a spectrum of services including; independent living, assisted living, rehabilitation, skilled nursing facilities, medical equipment, pharmacy services, home care, hospice care, and care for those with memory impairment." (from website)

Columbine Health Systems

Management Office

802 West Drake Road, Suite 101

Fort Collins, CO 80526



         See Employment Details

Dr. Christine Yoshinaga-Itano's Child Screening Research Featured in CU Arts and Sciences Magazine

The Colorado Arts and Sciences magazine recently featured an article on SLHS Professor Christine Yoshinaga-Itano, highlighting her groundbreaking research on newborn hearing screening. Dr. Yoshinaga-Itano's research became a catalyst in establishing screening programs and guidelines for early detection and intervention across the nation. 

In 1997, Dr. Yoshinaga-Itano's research, which expanded upon the pioneering work by Dr. Marion Downs, convinced the Colorado Legislature to pass one of the Nation’s first laws mandating universal-newborn-hearing screening. Christie was the first to demonstrate that early intervention with infants who had hearing loss as a single disability, resulted in an 80% success rate for maintaining age-appropriate language development and intelligible speech in the first five years of lifeStandard newborn hearing screening programs suggested by her work are now in all 50 states. In addition to Dr. Yoshinaga's work in the U.S., she has provided support to many countries advancing their own early hearing detection and intervention programs, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, Korea, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Thailand, Philippines, and South Africa. Recently, she also traveled to China to help audiologists with the infrastructure to improve their services and outcomes.

In 2004, Dr. Yoshinaga-Itano was honored by the Lake Drive Foundation for Children Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Mountain Lakes, N.J. , for her ground breaking research which revolutionized early diagnosis and intervention strategies for infants. For further details and more information on newborn hearing tests, see the original Colorado Arts and Sciences magazine article by Clint Talbott. Congratulations Dr. Yoshinaga-Itano!

CU Alumni Chapters and Affinity Groups around the World

From the CU Alumni Website: The CU Alumni Association has more than 50 chapters and affinity groups around the World. Local chapters host a variety of events from family-friendly outings to Buff watch parties at the best local bar. As an alum, get involved by recruiting top students in your area or participating in volunteer opportunities with other Buffs. As a student, you can network with alums and share your experiences with prospective students through events like Senior Sendoffs.

Click on the interactive Google Map below to locate chapters.


CSHA Spring Conference and Job Fair

CSHA Spring Conference and Job Fair will be held May 4th, 2015 at Children's Hospital in Aurora, Colorado. 
The main presentation topic will be Diagnosis and Treatment of Voice and Upper Airway Disorders Across the Lifespan by Brian E. Petty, MA, CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist and singing voice specialist at the Emory Voice Center in Atlanta, Georgia, 
There will be a Special Luncheon Presentation titled Challenge 2015-2025: Integrating Expertise to Improve Outcomes  with Ellen C. Fagan, EdD, CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist and ASHA’s Director of Continuing Education.  

In addition the annual CSHA Job Fair will be running simultaneously from 8 to 1. Representatives from a variety of settings including school districts, hospitals, clinical settings and contract services are expected to attend. Be sure to bring copies of your updated resume and be prepared to interview! The Job Fair is available free to CSHA members and $20 to non- members or free in conjunction with the Spring Conference. See the registration form for registration information. 

For more details see the BROCHURE

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