A Visit to SLHS 2012!

Recently I had the distinct pleasure of revisiting the SLHS Department. As usual, the place was humming! I was greeted by SLHS Chair Gail Ramsberger and she accompanied me through areas of the building familiar and renewing to me. She had some exciting updates: 

Gail: It’s been another extraordinary year in SLHS. Recently nearly 100 students graduated with their BA, MA, AUD or PHD degrees. This includes the largest undergraduate class in SLHS history! Undergraduates are certainly drawn to the discipline because of the employment prospects, but I also think SLHS faculty have been doing an amazing job teaching our undergraduate students. Students selected Assistant Professor Neeraja Sadagopan (for the third time in four years) as the 2012 SLHS Faculty Member of the Year. She is truly an amazing teacher and she teaches one of the most challenging undergraduate courses in the curriculum. It’s wonderful that students appreciate good teaching even when they must work really hard. Its teachers like Professor Sadagopan who are attracting and retaining students to the SLHS major. 

SLHS will undergo University Program Review next year and reaccreditation by ASHA’s Council on Academic Accreditation in the following year.  These two processes help to determine future resource allocations, as well as provide faculty with justification for maintaining and changing specific aspects of our academic programs.  As part of both review processes, it is very valuable to have letters from alumni that address the strengths (and weaknesses) of their academic experience.  Letters from alumni who completed their SLHS degree within the last 5 years or so are especially appreciated. Letters should be addressed to Gail Ramsberger, Sc.D., Chair and Associate Professor, UCB 409, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0409.   


Ryan Armstrong


< In the clinic reception area, students were enthusiastically greeting visitors and clients. I was impressed with their energy and assistance. Many thanks to Ryan Armstrong (left), Clinic Center Assistant, for nabbing and maintaining a parking spot for me. 

Traveling around to the north hall, we found Susan Moore (right) diligently working on a grant (one of "thousands" she has written, many successfully granted). Sue is Director of Clinical Education and Services, directs the Speech, Language and Hearing Center and is a member of the graduate faculty. She shared a message for all alumni: I hope all of your are well and thriving--Come back and visit us!  >



Brenda Dowell


< Heading up to Gail’s office I saw a very familiar face, Chair Assistant Brenda Dowell, (left) who was busy managing her office. She has been with SLHS/CDSS for 30-plus years serving faculty and students well!  She received a well-deserved Chancellor's Employee of the Year Award in 2005.

I wandered down to the CLC, my old stomping ground (director from 1982-1986). I found Amy Thrasher,  Clinical Assistant Professor, and her staff busily engaged with the children…a good place to be when you want your spirits raised! I was greeted by a young man (right) and found Amy in the midst of children, parents and student clinicians doing what they do best....interacting with children in an array of language activities, reading, singing, learning language indoors and out...I was there for less than 30 minutes and the variety was impressive!

Summer 2012 clinical activities will include family education and coaching for families of children with Down syndrome ages birth to 3 to support interaction and communication development. Family meetings on Friday mornings will include discussion and practice in communication enhancing strategies, coaching through the review of video of interactions at home, and information about local resources and opportunities. (Children are not present during family meetings.) Scottish Rite Funding is available for families. 



Here's photographic evidence of the high energy one always finds in the Child Language Center--a welcome deja vue! 





< I walked upstairs looking for new "subjects" and ran into Amy Dodd, (left) M.A., CCC-SLP, a Professional Research Assistant who has been working in SLHS since January of 1993. Research projects she's currently involved with are Speech and Language Development in the Deaf Child of Hearing Parents and the National Early Childhood Assessment Project.


I also met faculty member Willie Moers (right), who has taught all levels of American Sign Language for over a decade at SLHS including an anthropological course titled Ethnography of the American Deaf Community. Willie graduated from Gallaudet University and brings a rich background and knowledge base from the deaf community to SLHS. >



Dr. Peter Ramig/SLSH



< It was a treat to see Peter Ramig (left) who was in the Department when I worked there. Peter related that he is paring down on activities. He is working on a couple of invited book chapters and presenting workshops to professionals on the treatment and research of stuttering in children and adults. If that's "paring down" you can imagine the level of his productivity over his years at SLHS/CDSS. His writings include numerous research articles and chapters on stuttering including The Child and Adolescent Stuttering Treatment  and Activity Resource Guide, co-authored with Darrell Dodge, and Practical Therapy Strategies for Working More Effectively with Children and Teens Who Stutter.  He has also been involved with a team of researchers-clinicians from various universities that developed numerous professional training videos and DVD's on stuttering treatment.  






< While in an upstairs hallway, I was pleasantly surprised when a student approached me to find out what I was doing. I loved Leslie Grush's curiosity and the opportunity to visit with her. Leslie (right) is a degree candidate in audiology and filled me in on the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA). The SAA is a national student organization that advances the rights, interests, and welfare of audiology students and the public they serve. Amy will serve as SAA Treasurer next year. She showed me a map (left) showing SAA's international membership. For more information check out SAA's about us page. Thanks Leslie, it was a pleasure to meet you! Good luck with your SAA duties next year.






Anne Hyde-Smith (right) was in her office, another familiar space to me. Anne is Director of the Child Learning Center and will be taking a leave of absence to provide assistance to her mother. As an experienced preschool teacher and specialist in language assessment and intervention, Anne brings needed expertise to the CLC. Last year she published an article titled Pathways to the Assessment of Learning: A Family-Centered Culturally Responsive Approach to Transdisciplinary Assessment in Early Childhood with Susan Moore, Camilla Pratt and Rosemary McKnight in an ASHA Special Interest Group Journal, Perspectives on Language Learning & Education.





< I was fortunate to bump into Brenda Schick, who invited me to visit her class in the early afternoon. Dr. Schick studies the development of signed and spoken languages as well as its' relationship to cognition in deaf children. She was teaching a doctoral graduate course in audiology that afternoon and the students tolerated my interruption with a wave to the camera! 






SLHS clinicians and client

< I worked my way back to bottom floor to see some individual therapy sessions that Kathy Hardin '04 had graciously invited me to observe. Kathy is a Clinical Assistant  Professor who oversees clinical services to older adolescents and adults with neurogenic disorders. Her areas of specialization include post-concussive syndrome, moderate to severe traumatic brain injury, stroke, dementia, and the cognitive changes associated with cancer.

Student Clinicians Megan Findley and Mary Ervin were working with Jim who has aphasia. Jim was enthusiastically engaged with his clinicians and didn't mind the presence of the camera whatsoever. Jim and his clinicians' energy was contagious! >





< In another therapy room down the hall, student clinician Molly Madison, also supervised by Kathy Hardin, was working with an equally enthusiastic client, Sheryl. They were engaged in a well planned session designed to help Sheryl's language and recall in her post-stroke therapy. 

I met a new faculty member who began at the department in Fall of 2011, Judith M. Brooke (right), Clinical Assistant Professor. >
< I finished my tour with a visit to Christine Yoshinaga-Itano
(left), another familiar face from my past. Christine is Professor of Audiology at 
SLHS, the Institute of Cognitive Science and the Center for Neurosciences at CU. She also teaches at the Dept. of Otolaryngology & Audiology at the CU-Denver campus and is involved in research and teaching at the Marion Downs Center. Her current special projects include working in early screening and intervention for children with autism and deafness and working with audiology students on infant speech discrimination.  
The clock outside of Christine's office caught my attention as I left, a small icon that made me think of the variety of ways SLHS provides expertise to CU and the wider community. >
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to SLHS.. dear old CDSS, and would highly recommend that you also visit. Call ahead -- you'll enjoy seeing new and familiar faces while learning about current projects and research. Thank you to those I encountered for allowing an interruption in your day. Of course I didn't get to see everyone nor grasp the totality of all programs, services or research that comes out of that building...maybe another visit is in order...so much to see and report. As alumni, we can be very proud! 
Cynthia Gray '76