Out of the Darkness: The Remarkable Story of Kathe Perez, '86

Kathe Perez, MA SLP '86

Update: Kathy is moving forward with her book, Out of the Darkness: A Remarkable Story and blogging about her writing process at:

Kathe Perez completed her MA in speech language pathology from CU-Boulder in 1986. She moved to Philadelphia and worked for four years with renowned otolaryngologist Robert T. Sataloff, MD. She then returned to Colorado and worked for six years at our own SLHS clinic as a clinical instructor until beginning her private practice Exceptional Voice, Inc. http://www.exceptionalvoice.com/

In 1993, Kathe began her Ph.D. work (CU-Boulder), but it was never finished. Since then, her story has been one of fortitude, survival, and success. As Kathe explains, “I am forever ABD [All but Doctorate]. I sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in June 1998 and was unable to complete this degree." She had just completed her written and oral exams. She had met with her committee in April that year to get their blessing to begin her “big study” when the accident happened. She took a two year medical leave from her Ph.D. work, but at the end of those two years, she was far from ready to return to it.

One week after completing her first, and what has turned out to be her only half-marathon, she was involved in an auto accident which instantly changed her life. (continued)

"Mini-Reunions" a Regular Occurance for CU SLHS Alumni

'08 alums Kate Hoover, Amanda Vargo, Amy Bell & Sarah Shellquist gather during the holidays:
Beth (Landry) Murphy, Laura Biegner, Sherry (Ferguson) Baum, Patty (Ogrodnick) Walton on steps of Paul Revere house in Boston ASHA, 2007

In visiting with SLHS alumni over the past few years, we find that many of you maintain and value friendships with members of your graduating class. Alums tell us they see these connections as true assets in their professional and personal life. We love to feature these stories and photos. To see Amanda Vargo's bio (pictured here with fellow alums) go to: http://www.speechlanguagepractice.org/?q=node/147

Drop us a line and tell us about continuing friendships or reunions with your classmates! We are interested in photos and stories about "mini-reunions" where and whenever they occur-- holidays, ASHA, work, etc. We will visit with you to obtain the details. Contact us at slpweb@colorado.edu (continue to see other pics)

CU Graduate Dr. Keiko Gondo Seeks Colorado Bilingual Programs for Research

Keiko Gondo, MA '85, PhD '97

Note from Web Curator: Fellow alum Keiko Gondo is currently seeking opportunities to interview researchers and/or practitioners who are working with PDD children, especially those in Colorado multilingual programs who serve bilingual children with PDD. She plans to visit in fall of 2009. If you know of such programs or are interested in participating in Keiko’s interviews, please contact slpweb@colorado.edu For her full bio see: http://www.speechlanguagepractice.org/?q=node/137

CU alum Keiko Gondo is currently involved in research on dual and multicultural programs for children with special needs, specifically the language development of bilingual children with PDD. She writes, “In Japan, there is an increased number of children who have multi-cultural and bilingual backgrounds, though a small ratio compared to the US. There are also a number of children with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) and related disorders. As a developmental clinical psychologist, I now have more opportunities to see PDD children who are raised in bilingual families than before. Many doctors recommend that these children stop using two languages and limit development to one." Keiko seeks to test the premise that bilingualism compromises the general language development of this population. She points out that there is little empirical evidence to support this for bilingual children with PDD in her country. “At least in Japan, there is no case study evidence thus far. My colleague and I began a longitudinal case study of an English-Japanese bilingual boy with PDD and planning to add more cases this year. The results of our observations thus far do not show any disadvantages for him by maintaining two languages.” (continued)

Working for Change in Public School During Tough Economic Times: Katy Kronenwetter '92 Succeeds!

Katy Kronenwetter '92

Kathleen Kronenwetter attended CU at Boulder and received both her BA (1990) and MA (1992) in Communication Disorders and Speech Sciences. Her new private practice website is http://www.openbooktherapy.com

Kathleen (Katy) Kronenwetter MA, CCC-SLP,has worked for the Cupertino Union School District in California (CUSD) for four years. Two years ago she began working very hard with the Cupertino Educator Association and the CUSD Board Members to get the speech language pathologists off the teacher’s pay scale and onto the psychologist's pay scale.

Katy is proud to report success with her endeavor. She writes, “This was successful and with increased pay, recent graduates are now applying for jobs within the CUSD”. Other school districts should take note of her endeavor which, according to Katy, “solved the shortage problem and the high cost of contract speech language pathologists.”

Katy didn’t stop there. As Director of Special Education for her teacher's union this past year she took steps to insure economic stability for special educators at Cupertino. She revealed that while the pay scale issue was in the works, “the school district administrators were asking the employees for ways to save money--to determine what programs could be cut. Our business accountant attended our Pupil Services meeting and asked that we talk to him if we had any ideas. The day after he spoke to all of the special education staff, I decided to walk in and read the four ideas I had written down. I was nervous, I was a bit shaky, but I kept moving forward.”(continued)

Welcome SLHS Graduates!

CU Photo by Casey A. Cass

The Speech Language and Hearing Sciences recognition ceremony 2010 was held on May 7 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., at the UMC Middle Ballroom.

The phrase "the last best place" was coined by William Kittredge, a well-known western writer, as the title for an anthology of stories, poems and memoirs about Montana. We'd like you to think of CU SLHS as one of your last, best places, where you worked hard, prepared for your career and shared experiences with fellow students. Stay in touch with the SLHS department and visit your alumni website often, we want to hear about your experiences as you establish and continue your career.

Here are some ways to stay in touch as a CU alum (continued):

May is Better Hearing & Speech Month!

Preparing for BSHM

Last year, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, "at ASHA's urging, introduced legislation supporting the goals and recognition of BHSM. House Concurrent Resolution (H.Con.Res.) 352 was introduced by Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), co-chair of the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus, and Senate Concurrent Resolution (S.Con.Res.) 83 was introduced by Senator Hillary R. Clinton (D-NY).

Both resolutions recognize the importance of speech and hearing services for all age groups in the United States, including those who have experienced hearing loss, speech-language disorders, and traumatic brain injury.(continued)

Interview with Dr. Rachelle Sheely on RDI Program for Families dealing with Autism

RDI's newest publication, 2009
RDI's newest publication, 2009

Dr. Rachelle Sheely is passionate about examining the complete and often complicated life of children with autism. Along with her husband, Dr. Steven Gutstein, she is director, author and well-respected family interventionist for Relationship Development Intervention (RDI), an internationally recognized treatment program for autism spectrum disorders. Using RDI principles,Dr. Sheely and her husband founded the Gilbert Hall School newly opened in California this past October. They have also authored books and guides widely used by professionals in the field of autism. The latest book by Dr. Gutstein, The RDI Book: Forging New Pathways for Autism, Ausbergers & PDD. It is described as "the most comprehensive and updated guide for parents and professionals who are interested in constructing and retracing small, gradually more complex developmental steps, to provide opportunities for people with ASD to attain a quality of life as competent, independent and emotionally connected adults."

Drs. Sheely and Gutstein became interested in autism over 15 years ago. They focused on the communicative relationships of children with autism. This orientation is grounded in the belief that relationships are the “vehicles of dynamic intelligence”. While other interventionists were focusing on language and academic deficits, they wanted to sort out what made autism relationships different from those deemed normal.(continued)

SLP Alumni... Friends for Life!

CU SLP students Patty (Ogrodnick) Walton, Tina (Roberts) Farrell, Laura Biegner, Julie (Cavalier) Artiglere, and Sherry (Ferguson) Baum
Patty (Ogrodnick) Walton, Tina (Roberts) Farrell, Laura Biegner, Julie (Cavalier) Artiglere, and Sherry (Ferguson) Baum celebrating Laura's birthday

University of Colorado SLPs Patty (Ogrodnick) Walton, Tina (Roberts) Farrell, Laura Biegner, Julie (Cavalier) Artiglere, Sherry (Ferguson) Baum, and Beth (Landry) Murphy have kept their alumni ties strong. Since graduating as SLPs from CU (then CDSS) in the mid-eighties, they treasure each others company amidst their busy work schedules. They gather to celebrate birthdays, meet at ASHA and document their fun with photos, some of which they have shared here.

Sherry (Ferguson) Baum writes: "We got together for our 20th at Patty Ogrodnick Walton's house with 15 of us, I think. Conferences are often a way to gather, like ASHA where we have shared laughs and sessions together. Most of use are very different in our professional paths, which is so great and fun. We all look the same when we see each other, not aging or anything. We are either blind or polite to each other. Some of the folks from classes a couple of years ahead and behind our class of '85 mix with us too.(continued)

2008 A Good Year for SLHS!: Interview with Gail Ramsberger, Chair

Dr. Gail Ramsberger, SLHS Chair
Dr. Gail Ramsberger, SLHS Chair

By Donna Boudreau, PhD '97

The Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences experienced some exciting developments in 2008 and is looking forward to 2009! In an interview with Gail Ramsberger, Department Chair, she shared details about the current state of affairs in SLHS at CU with an eye towards what is to come.

One of the most exciting areas of change that has occurred since many alumni have completed their individual tenure at CU has been the addition of new faculty to SLHS. (continued)

Check for handouts from ASHA Convention 2008

ASHA Convention Logo
ASHA Convention Logo


ASHA convention 2008: Celebrating the Winds of Change comes to a close this weekend. If you missed it you can log in as ASHA member to "my planner" to check out the possibility of finding handouts from specific presentations (if the presenter uploaded them.) Go to: http://www.asha.org/about/events/convention/program-courses/myplanner.htm

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