Speech-Language-Pathology Advisory Council Candidate Statements

Why are you seeking Advisory Council election? What related experience and/or qualifications do you have relative to the Advisory council position?


Donna Southerland Morris

I am interested in participating on an ASHA committee because I realize the importance to give back to our professional organizations. Being involved in the Advisory Council seems intriguing and would offer an opportunity for me to understand more about professional issues on a national level. This experience would augment my responsibilities as a course instructor, clinic director and off-campus clinical coordinator at UK. It will give me a deeper understanding of ASHA policy documents and issues of concern to ASHA members. Additionally, I am at a point in my career where I have flexibility in my schedule to participate in these activities.

As a member on multiple committees at UK (Faculty Council, Academic Affairs, International Affairs, Learning Management Systems, and iCATS Interprofessional Education), I have gained experience in collaborative efforts about decisions related to program policies and development. I have worked with professional policy documents for the past two decades in my undergraduate and graduate courses, and as clinic director. Therefore, I understand the importance of these documents for not only our ASHA members, but also for our students in training. Additionally, I am familiar with web-based tools and understand the need to use technology should I serve on the Council.


Theresa H. Rodgers

I have personally witnessed the evolving of the Advisory Councils as ASHA implemented the current governing structure. While tenuous at first, particularly during the transition period, the Advisory Council has become a significant voice for the ASHA membership, serves as an invaluable "think tank" for the Board of Directors, and the individual Advisory Council members remain effective communicators with the state speech-language-hearing associations. Having worked in schools, in government, and in private practice, and having functioned as an advocate as well as a decision-maker on a variety of issues involving all practice settings, I want to utilize my knowledge, experience and skills in serving on the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council. The person who serves in this capacity should not only have good leadership skills, but should have exceptional analytical, problem-solving and group process skills. It is only when multiple viewpoints are facilitated, respected, and considered, that the best decisions can be made from a member as well as an Association perspective.

I previously served four years (2008-2011) on the SLP Advisory Council, including during the governance structure transition period. I am the immediate past Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy (GRPP), an experience which provided invaluable opportunities to work with audiologists and speech-language pathologists across the country from all practice settings. In addition to serving on ASHA's Board of Directors (BOD) from 2012-2014, my VP position included service on the PAC BOD and liaising with the following committees: GRPP Board, Health Care Economics, Joint Committee on State-National Association Relationships, Medicaid, and School Finance. Named an ASHA Fellow in 2009, my service to ASHA has also included membership on the Ad Hoc Committee on Board/Committee/Council Review, Continuing Education Board, Council for Clinical Certification (chair in 2007 and 2008), and Committee of Chairs of Standards and Ethics. I have also served as a site visitor for the CAA and was a member of the Subject Matter Expert Panel during the development of the 2009 SLP Practice Analysis Survey. I am a former president of the National Council of State Boards of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, the Council of State Association Presidents, and the Louisiana Speech-Language-Hearing Association. I am currently serving on ASHA's Board of Ethics having been elected 2016 Vice Chair. I feel I have a broad, yet in-depth understanding of member needs from multiple practice settings and the communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills to be effective in serving on the SLP Advisory Council.


Beth A. Ellsworth

I've been a Speech-Language Pathologist for nearly 23 years. ASHA was always a "far away" entity for me. In my younger years, I grumbled about our yearly fees but I never thought about what ASHA did for me or the profession. In 2014, I completed ASHA's Leadership Development Program through which I was exposed to the idea of volunteerism within ASHA. I realized the importance of volunteers to ASHA to better support its members and state organizations. Following my completion of the program, I volunteered with our state organization - the Maine Speech Language Hearing Association (MSLHA) which had been struggling for years to be effective. As part of MSLHA's Executive Council, I witnessed ASHA's support and resources at work. We requested assistance from ASHA in developing a Strategic Plan for our state association. The ASHA representative assisted us in writing our vision and mission statements as well as developing long and short term goals. For maybe the first time, we felt like a legitimate organization that would actually benefit the SLPs and audiologists of our state - not to mention all of our clients, patients, students and families!

My interest in the position comes from understanding how important it is to have both a strong national organization as well as state organizations. I would like to continue to volunteer in ways that directly impact other professionals in our field and I see this committee as an opportunity to do so.

I have worked in a variety of settings including public schools, special purpose private schools, clinics, hospitals, in-home services, and currently in a very specialized mental health setting. I have had many years' experience working with small groups (e.g., classroom staffs) and on multidisciplinary hospital teams. Regardless of the size of the group, I love the process of collaborating and problem solving as a team. In my current position, I am always looking for the next "project" that would benefit the program. I pride myself in being a "big picture" thinker but am also able to scratch out the details as well. I have been involved in several projects including but not limited to: developing an admissions procedure for new patients, co-creating after school programming for our children in our inpatient setting, developing a digital communication "dashboard" to increase communication across our program and most recently developing a comprehensive staff training program for all new and existing staff. I thrive on challenge and opportunities to improve or enhance whatever program I am involved in.

I am excited for the opportunity to represent my state organization at the national level and understand the time and work commitments described. As part of the Leadership Development Program I met monthly with my development team via a variety of web-based meeting platforms. Being in a rural state, I have learned to utilize these platforms for other meetings I've been involved with through MSLHA and my own part-time business.


Martin B. Brodsky

I want to serve on the ASHA Advisory Council as Maryland's speech-language pathology representative so that I may advocate for our diverse group of professionals. Specifically, I want to help identify the key issues that face current and future clinicians and scientists. I will use the resources ASHA has to recommend actions for these challenges so that they may be addressed by ASHA's Board of Directors and the Association.

I have more than 20 years as a speech-language pathologist with experience as a clinician, researcher, university instructor, and invited lecturer. I work and interact with a wide range of students, clinicians, researchers, and administrators, who represent many settings but share common challenges. I experience many of these challenges first-hand and I am a strategic thinker who develops creative and innovative solutions. I also have extensive experience on task forces, panels, committees, and work groups in multiple professional forums. With the combination of these critical skills and experiences, I look forward to working with members from other states to find timely and effective solutions to the issues that confront all facets of speech-language pathology. As professionals, we focus on improving communication and swallowing functions and promoting access to resources. I remain a steadfast supporter of ASHA's advocacy and fundraising efforts (e.g., ASHA-PAC, ASHFoundation), patients, clinicians, and academicians. In the Advisory Council role, I will work hard to promote educational excellence, positive patient outcomes, and advance our profession's science by empowering Maryland's professionals to support ASHA's mission.

My professional service with ASHA began in 1998. Since then, I have served on the SIG 13 editorial committee, the National Convention's Abstract Review Committee and Program Planning Committee, and currently serve on the 2016 Topic Committee for Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders in Children and Adults. As an ARM Network member, I was an invited mentor for the Pathways Program. Additionally, I complete various types of peer-reviews, including those for the ASHA journals (JSLHR, AJSLP), practice and policy documents, continuing education courses, and The Practice Portal. I also served as an ASHA representative on the Society of Critical Care Medicine's 3-year Task Force on Post Intensive Care Syndrome. For both ASHA and Maryland, I am frequently invited to speak on topics in adult speech-language pathology. The collective knowledge from these experiences gives me key insights to ASHA's mission, services, policies, and programs.

My experiences in planning conferences, obtaining grants, and interacting with funding agencies gives me expertise in strategic planning and budget analysis. These skills will allow for a competent review of ASHA's budget and informed recommendations to ASHA's Board of Directors to move the agendas for education, clinical practice, and research forward. My clinical experience and 2 advanced academic degrees also provide a strong foundation for reviewing ASHA policy documents and offering recommendations to further ASHA's mission. It would be both a privilege and an honor to represent Maryland's collective voice as its representative on ASHA's Advisory Council and I ask for your support to do so.

Tiffany Taliaferro Woods

I think that this opportunity would be a wonderful way to contribute to our field. Also, I think that there are many issues and concerns that need to be addressed by our national organization. The advisory council is a great platform to address those concerns. As a member of SIG 1, I feel that I have access to speech-language pathologists who bring their concerns to our meetings and online discussions. I would love to be a part of the "voice", that represents SLPs from the state of Maryland. I also work mentor future-SLPs and have access to undergrad and graduate students who are currently studying in various speech-pathology programs and am aware of their concerns and needs.

My experience, as a clinician in the field for 6 years, will serve me well, if I am chosen for this position. As an early career professional, I am thoroughly engaged and immersed in culture, technology, mentorship and continuing education opportunities. I have been a mentor in ASHA's STEP program for the past three years. I also mentor undergraduate students outside of the program. I am an alumna of the Minority Student Leadership Program (MSLP 2007), which peaked my interest in leadership opportunities. I recently participated in the PROMPT training to further my knowledge of therapy strategies and approaches that will help my students and clients. I am currently employed in the schools and in the private practice setting, therefore I'm familiar with the needs of the pediatric population in both settings. Also, I am a participant in the Special Interest Group for Language and Learning in Education (SIG1) in which I participated in the group meeting at the ASHA convention this year. This is a forum that helps me to stay informed of the current concerns and needs in the school setting related to language. During my short career, I have attended the ASHA convention every three years to enhance my knowledge and awareness of breakthroughs, challenges and general knowledge of information in the field. I have also participated in the Maryland State and NBASLH convention to acquire additional knowledge. I love to share knowledge, further my own knowledge, and empower others to facilitate change in our field.


Rob Melchionna

I am a speech language pathologist with close to 20 years of clinical experience, with the vast majority of that time spent working with the elderly in skilled nursing facilities. I have experienced firsthand how changes in the "the industry" have effected reimbursements, quality of care, and the training that our new SLPs receive when they go to work in geriatrics. Our population is aging, with some projections stating that adults 65+ will outnumber those 18 and under within the next 15 to 20 years. It is imperative that we, as clinicians, be prepared to deal with the health complications and associated communication and swallowing disorders that accompany aging. We must also, as a profession, be ready to advocate for our elders so they get the care they need, and we must make sure our new clinicians are adequately prepared to provide the best care possible to our geriatric population. As a member of the Advisor Council, I hope to bring my experience and advocacy to the position to help guide the Board of Directors as they steer ASHA toward this future.

I have been a practicing SLP for close to 20 years, and all but 6 months of that time has been spent in skilled nursing facilities. Over the course of my career I have mentored many graduate students and clinical fellows. I currently serve as a clinical specialist for my company, where I act as an advisor, mentor, and problem solver for other SLPs in my company, in addition to evaluating and treating my own patient caseload. I am an active member of ASHA and regularly attend the annual convention. I am also a member of ASHA's SIG-13 and SIG-15, and am active in non-ASHA related online communities where I am able to connect with SLPs and discuss both clinical and workplace related issues.

Sharon Parisi

Having served one term as an SLP Advisory Council member, I have learned a great deal about ASHA. I have tried to help SLPs understand that THEY are ASHA and it is not some unknown entity. When any SLP asks what does ASHA do for me, I am the first one to chime in with all of the things that ASHA does.

I was concerned about Capitol Hill Day as I had never done anything like that before. Last year I looked forward to meeting the staff members of my reps and continue our talks from the previous year. I am very much looking forward to it again this year.

With my 36 years of experience as a school-based SLP, I feel that I can offer the ASHA leadership perspectives from those of us who work in the schools. I hope to use my leadership training even more as we continue our work to support our members.

I have been practicing as a speech-language pathologist for over 30 years. I have been in the same district for 23 years and feel that I have a great deal of knowledge and skill to offer ASHA, especially as a school-based speech-language pathologist.

I served on the executive committee for Massachusetts Speech and Hearing Association for 12 years, starting as school affairs chair and moving up to president. I was the MSHA representative on a committee with the Board of Licensure and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to create regulations for speech-language pathology assistants.

I served as mentor and supervisor for various CFY's as well as student interns. I am a graduate of the leadership training program of 2008.

I have been a board member of the Braintree Education Association as well as a board member and President of my synagogue. I currently serve on the Board of Lyric Stage Company of Boston.


Cary K. Cekola

Over the past five years at Western Michigan University, I have provided instruction and service at the student, department, college, university, community, and state levels. Serving as educator, mentor, and advisor with undergraduate and graduate students is something I am passionate about. Teaching in the university clinic and supporting students has empowered me to be the best educator I can be. I also hold my responsibilities to service in high regard. Frequently, my committee work has had a direct impact on students and fellow speech-language pathologists due to the delicate and serious decisions made. These service roles have allowed me to work alongside and learn from other faculty in the allied health professions and beyond. Prior to my work at the university, I was an engaged clinical practitioner in multiple medical settings and served a wide variety of clients. A thread of interprofessional education and practice was woven through these ten years and has informed my educational philosophy, practice, and teaching now.

When I was contacted by the Michigan Speech Language Hearing Association (MSHA) President, I was honored to be considered for this position. I believe my personal and professional experiences will enhance and inform my work at the national level. This is an exciting opportunity to serve ASHA, represent the State of Michigan, and grow professionally. I welcome the opportunity to serve the professions, discuss, advise, and advocate for the issues at hand, and play a role in ASHA's future as we move forward on the pathway to excellence.

I demonstrate the ability to actively listen, think critically, and make informed decisions about matters related to curriculum, student development, academic concerns, ethical dilemmas, interprofessional learning, committee growth, advocacy, and clinical service delivery. I believe my approachable nature, value of collaboration, sensitive and open attitude, desire to be an engaged learner, and work ethic will support my work on the Council.

When I joined the faculty, I brought knowledge and skills acquired and refined by ten years as a medical SLP. The populations I worked with were varied and diverse. This informed my roles as a clinical educator and committee member. My teaching centers on undergraduate and graduate clinical experiences, along with teaching a section of the introductory course. I developed an online version of this course after teaching in the traditional classroom. It adds value to the curriculum by providing distance education. I understand this electronic platform and am willing to learn more about technology used by the Council.

In my time with WMU, I have served on the Department Education and Curriculum Committee, WMU Grade and Program Dismissals Appeal Committee, MSHA Committee on Ethics, Van Riper Lecture Series Planning Committee, Interprofessional Education Committee, Student Services and Advising Council, Health Literacy Committee, and advised the WMU chapter of NSSLHA. I am currently working with MSHA to develop the University Liaison Committee. I believe this broad base of experience is well aligned with the desired characteristics and responsibilities of this position. Thank you for reading and considering my application.


Marilyn Fairchild

I went into the field of speech-language pathology to help others to communicate and connect with the world. As I have developed as a professional, I have grown to appreciate the importance of advocacy not just for the clients we serve, but for the professionals who serve them. I have learned through working for my state association that much of this advocacy is done through the work of volunteers.

Having recently concluded a term as Co-President of the Minnesota Speech Language Hearing Association (MSHA), I would like to expand my advocacy efforts from the state to the national level. I am a strong believer in the power of collaboration to find solutions, and I would like to assist ASHA as we move through an era of change in both educational and healthcare-based settings. I am currently participating in the ASHA Leadership Development Program, which has taught me about the importance of identifying and enlisting stakeholders. I believe every ASHA member is a stakeholder. With issues such as professional shortages, potential infringement upon our scopes of practice, and charged political discussions at the national level, it is more important than ever for us to pay attention, get involved, spread the word, and work to protect the interests of the people we serve.

I work as a clinical supervisor in the department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at the University of Minnesota and have Masters degrees in Teaching English as a Second Language and Communication Disorders. I have a strong professional interest and experience with issues pertaining to communication disorders in culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Based on my work with members of diverse communities, I believe firmly in the importance of identifying areas of shared concern among parties and appreciating the intentions and perspectives that others bring to the table. Keeping these things in mind facilitates the ability to broker positive change.

Relevant volunteer experience includes my recent term as Co-President of MSHA as well as my current role as Co-Chair of the Legislative Steering Committee and as a member of Policy Council. These positions have involved extensive cross-disciplinary collaborative work. I have worked with members of the Minnesota State Legislature, Department of Health, Department of Education, Board of Teaching, etc. I have also met with representatives from Music Therapy as they have sought licensure in Minnesota. Finally, I have been fortunate to meet with Janet Deppe and other ASHA staff members, which has heightened my awareness of issues that ASHA members face across the country, enabling me to better understand the national implications of what happens in Minnesota. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had at the state level and eager to take what I have learned to the national level.

Anne R. Lindgren

I believe that I would be able to offer the Advisory Council a perspective that includes both a professional practice lens and well as a "political advocacy" understanding. It is an unfortunate reality that to be best able to intervene effectively and appropriately with our clients and families, we need to be consummate therapists as well as devoted and articulate advocates. I feel comfortable and knowledgeable with the cutting edge professional practices and fully confident in my abilities to recognize how what we do plays into a larger organizational and operational framework. All of these skills are critical when navigating and advocating for the next generation of professional practice in the State of Minnesota and nationally.

I am currently employed as a Speech Language Pathologist in the Anoka Hennepin (AH) School District in the northern suburban ring of the Twin Cities Metropolitan area in Minnesota. I have been the President of the Minnesota Speech and Hearing (State) Association and served on other MSHA committees (e.g Legislative Steering Committee, School Issues Committee). I am currently serving a four-year stint as a Site Visitor for ASHA CAA. I have been fortunate to mentor both graduate students and Clinical Fellows in my position in AH. I have (and continue) to work with the State Department of Education on a variety of SPED and SLP issues. I am a volunteer member of the state educators union (EdMN) committee for SPED issues, and I continue to seek growth opportunities that expand my experiences and provide a platform to educate others about the professional skills and services of the SLP (e.g. Professional Development presentations).


Rachel K. Powell

I wish to serve on the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council so that I can be the voice for our membership on issues that are important and relevant to the profession in my state. I believe that the impact of policies in our profession are consistent across settings and throughout our states, and it is important that the ASHA Executive Board is aware of how our services are impacted by local, state, and national policies. By serving on the Advisory Council, I have the opportunity to ensure that the voices of the membership in Mississippi are heard. In addition, Advisory Council representation gives me the opportunity to communicate to members in my state the actions of ASHA in relation to legislative advocacy, ASHA's Strategic Pathway to Excellence, and the work of the Association on behalf of the membership. It would be an honor for me to serve on the Advisory Council for a second term.

Rachel K. Powell, is the immediate Past President of the Mississippi Speech-Language-Hearing Association (MSHA), and has served as the MSHA Vice President: School Issues. Rachel received her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Southern Mississippi, and her Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Louisiana State University. She specializes in language development and disorders, and literacy acquisition and disorders. She has served as a speech-language pathologist and diagnostician in both Louisiana and Mississippi public schools, and is currently employed by Brookhaven School District at a primary school as an SLP and Response to Intervention Specialist. Rachel currently serves as the Mississippi representative for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council. Rachel has been appointed to the ASHA Scientific and Professional Education Board (SPEB) for the 2016-2018 term.


Jayanti Ray

After working as a state association president last year, and also graduating from the ASHA Leadership Development Program at the same time, I developed a tremendous surge of interest in serving as a volunteer at ASHA. Before I could even think of looking for any open volunteer position at ASHA, I was asked by our current state association president and one of the past presidents whether I would be interested in my nomination as a Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council member. Without any second thought, I accepted the nomination with immense enthusiasm since it is a wonderful national-level volunteer opportunity.

As I am currently continuing my service as past president for our state association, I have developed an understanding of the current issues that are faced by our state professionals and students in the areas of reimbursement of clinical services, licensure, rural health, prevention programs, caseload/workload, continuing education opportunities, graduate programs and member resources, I would like to get involved in educating and empowering our state members regarding these issues. Also, I would like to enhance their leadership skills so that they can identify and analyze the factors affecting each professional issue in their respective work settings. I would also like to set up collaborative plans of actions for addressing the issues and seeking relevant solutions.

I understand that the SLP Advisory Council is charged with identifying and discussing issues of concern to ASHA members and also engaging in communication with the BOD members. I believe that the expertise I would bring to the Council is based on the ASHA LDP participation where I learned in great details about leadership, management and communication strategies.

Serving as a leader for my state association, and engaging in myriad volunteer roles, I find myself confident and as well as competent in assuming my future role as a contributor/facilitator in seeking solutions for national/state-level professional issues. Also, by assuming a variety of professional volunteer roles in nonprofit/community organizations, I have gained significant experience in strategic planning, conference/event planning, public health services, editorial jobs, and other office-based duties. I am ready to get involved in analyzing the existing professional issues and engaging members in meaningful communication exchanges with state and national associations.

Carla Vasser

As the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council member for the state of Missouri, I will act as an advocate for fellow members by identifying and discussing issues of concern with the Advisory Council in an effort to provide information and make recommendations to the Board of Directors. By serving in this position, I will help to further advance the vision, mission, core values, and strategic objectives of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association which will improve the member experience, expand interprofessional education and collaborative practice while promoting an increase in diversity and cultural competence among members. I am proud to be a Speech-Language Pathologist, and am passionate about serving an organization that has helped so many individuals improve their quality of life. I would be honored to serve ASHA and its fellow members in this capacity.

As an ASHA certified, Missouri licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, I have worked for Special School District of St. Louis, MO since I began my career in 2002. In addition to working as a Speech-Language Pathologist, I have also served as an Effective Practice Specialist in Speech & Language (EPS), Partner District Area Coordinator, and Area Coordinator in Planning & Development.

As an EPS, I supported Speech-Language Pathologists across K-12 settings in nine school districts here in St. Louis County through the provision of technical expertise regarding research-based best practices and professional learning opportunities. As a Partner District Area Coordinator, I supported and supervised Speech-Language Pathologists and other service providers across four elementary schools in collaboration with building Principals and other staff. In my current role as an Area Coordinator in Planning & Development, I support and supervise Literacy Coaches and Measurement/Assessment Coaches across St. Louis County. I am also a member of various district-level Goal Teams and committees tied to our Comprehensive School Improvement Plan spanning topics such as Academic Achievement, Technology, Standards-Based Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), Collaboration, Literacy, and New Teacher Orientation.

I am an active listener who is able to consider multiple viewpoints about controversial issues and effectively communicate the intended message to stakeholders. I consider myself a lifelong learner, and am fluent with various technology tools including email, presentation software, and online collaborative tools. I am a hard worker who is willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to fulfill my assigned responsibilities.


Christina Hansen

I have seen how much public policy influences the way that we as professionals practice. I believe this should, in fact, be the other way around. As clinicians, we are all committed to evidence-based practice, yet public policy dictates much of what we are allowed to do. I believe that we should promote evidence-based public policy in order to better support best practice in the field. Clinicians know what is best for our clients, but often times policy makers do not. They do not have the education, training, and experience that clinicians have. That is why I believe it is important for clinicians to advocate and to inform policy makers. Policy makers need to be able to make informed decisions in order to form evidence-based policies that will enable clinicians to provide better services.

In all of the positions I have held, I have made a point to align my clinical practice with what is both legal and ethical. I have spent long hours on the phone with both the Office of Public Instruction (for the schools), and the Montana Medicaid agency (for long-term, transitional, and hospital care) in order to ensure that my employer's procedures were in line with the law. In the schools, I was able to create a document containing the appropriate procedures for various circumstances to give to my colleagues. In long-term care, I was able to educate my employer regarding a new procedure they were attempting to implement which would have been in violation of Medicare law. I strive to ensure my practice is in line with the law, but I also want to strive to ensure the law is dictating best practice. That is why I believe in advocacy.

Jessica Reynolds

I am seeking a position on the Advisory Council because I have been actively involved in my state association's legislative planning since graduate school. As a graduate student I served as the chair of the political committee, which involved planning an advocacy day on campus and organizing lobbying efforts to legalize telepractice in Montana. Since graduating from the University of Montana, I have served as the chair of the political action committee for my state association.

I have always been passionate about public policy and advocacy. Prior to entering into the field of speech language pathology, I obtained a degree in political science, working on campaigns throughout college and actively participating in the University's competitive debate and Model Unite Nations programs. As a graduate student in Texas, I studied political rhetoric and coached collegiate debate. Despite my career change after this, I have remained active in policy discussions and advocating for professionals in our field and for the right of speech, language, and hearing clients to access quality, affordable services. I would be honored and excited to continue these efforts on a national level.

I have an extensive background in politics, advocacy, and public policy which qualify me for the Advisory council. First, I have an extensive educational background in public policy. I received a B.A. in political science from the University of Montana and an M.A. in Communication Studies (with an emphasis in political rhetoric) from Texas Tech University. During this time, I worked on several statewide and local campaigns. My duties included polling, fundraising, reviewing policy speeches, and coaching candidates on public speaking. I also participated in collegiate debate, first as a competitor, then as a coach. I instructed students on how to research, design, and present foreign and domestic policy initiative in competitions. Additionally, I served as a public speaking instructor for 3 years at Texas Tech University while obtaining my master's degree.

Once I decided to pursue a career in speech language pathology, I remained active in public policy and advocacy. As a graduate student I served as chair the student association's political committee. As chair, I facilitated an ASHA grant for outreach and advocacy. I organized a health care advocacy day which attracted speakers on ADA access and rights, health insurance policy, veteran issues, and autism education. In addition, I organized lobbying efforts to legalize telepractice for SLPs and audiologists in Montana. Finally, I currently serve as the chair of the MSHA political action committee, researching and lobbying for insurance reimbursement for SLPS and audiologists, expanding services to clients, and ensuring reasonable license renewal fees for Montana professionals.


Steven Kinkead

I feel strongly that it is a professional obligation to be involved in our state and national association. I have always advocated for our profession and the populations we serve. My interest in the future of our profession has been renewed in the past several years from my interactions with students at the University of Nebraska. I feel that we need to continue to be adapting our service delivery model to advance our profession in a positive direction in the future.

I have been active in my state association for years. I most recently served as President in 2013. During this time our association changed from contracting for a part time office manager to contracting with an association management company. I was responsible for negotiating the contract and transitioning all systems. This has proven to be a positive move for our state association.

While my full time profession is Director of Operations for Physical, Occupational and Speech services in hospitals and nursing care facilities, I am also an adjunct professor/supervisor at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. My extensive background also includes public school services. I feel that my professional experiences as well as my passion for our field makes me an excellent candidate for this advisory position. My top strengths include communication and strategic planning. I am never satisfied with the status quo and am always analyzing and looking for ways to improve processes.


Nancy L. Kuhles

I would like the opportunity to support ASHA's mission, services, policies and programs as a member of the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council.

I believe my experiences as a practitioner and educational consultant, in conjunction with my history of service to ASHA and the Nevada Speech-Language Hearing Association (NSHA) will benefit ASHA and ASHA members as I fulfill my role as a Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council member. As a member of the Advisory Council, I will bring my ability to collaborate and my leadership skills to serving ASHA, ASHA's Board of Directors and ASHA members.

I have a clear understanding of the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council member's role and responsibilities, and feel I have the essential skill set as well as commitment to fulfill them completely.

I wholeheartedly welcome the opportunity to serve ASHA, ASHA's Board of Directors and ASHA members as a Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council member.

I am a retired school-based speech-language pathologist with 27 years of experience in public education in Nevada. As a current and active member of the Nevada Speech-Language and Hearing Association (NSHA) and co-chair of the NSHA Coalition, I work closely with speech-language pathologists in school-based as well as private settings in addressing recruitment and retention issues. I collaborate with numerous local, state and federal agencies, associations, institutions of higher education, advocacy groups, legislative bodies and individuals in gathering and disseminating information, as well as implementation of strategies, targeting training, recruitment and retention of special education and related service personnel in Nevada.

As an educational consultant, I provide professional technical services to Nevada Department of Education, Nevada school districts and charter schools through an IDEA Special Projects Grant. Additionally, my responsibilities include project management, grant writing and development, and grant management.

I am a 2007 graduate of ASHA's Leaders Development Program (LDP) and I have applied what I learned from the program by developing my leadership skills. I have increased my knowledge of professional issues and identified projects with-in the state of Nevada that address issues affecting speech-language pathologists, audiologists, special education teachers and other related service providers.

I served on ASHA's School Finance Committee from 2007 to 2009. I am a member of ASHA's Speech-Language Pathology School Issues Advisory Board (2015-2016) and have been serving as NSHA's co-State Education Advocacy Leader (SEAL) since 2009.

New Hampshire

Victoria Chesterley

I am seeking Advisory Council election because serving on the Advisory Council has been one of the high points of my career in speech-language pathology. It may seem that one person could not have much influence over the larger issues that affect all of us, but as part of the SLP Advisory Council, I realized that what I do truly can have a positive effect on the day-to-day working lives of speech-language pathologists and the people they serve.

There were many times in my career when I was the only speech-language pathologist in a school or hospital and felt that I was constantly explaining my profession and justifying my services. Awareness of the benefits of speech-language pathology has improved greatly, but spreading the knowledge of our profession and our clients' needs to our elected officials will always be necessary. The more they know about our field, the better decisions they will make.

I took on the presidency of the New Hampshire Speech Language Hearing Association when it was on the brink of dissolving and nearly tripled the membership by the end of my term. I felt having a state association to represent the interests of speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech-language assistants was too important to let it fade away. The association has continued to grow and increase its influence throughout the state.

With NHSLHA as a springboard, I have advocated for certification for speech-language assistants in New Hampshire and testified before the state Speech-Language Pathology Board of Governors and state legislative committees to set and maintain specific educational standards for Speech-Language Assistants.

Before retiring in 2014 as the director of the Speech-Language Assistant Program at Nashua Community College, I placed students with speech-language pathologists for practicum. I visited many SLPs at their workplaces and talked with many more. Seeing and talking with speech-language pathologists in their working environments has given me a unique perspective on how speech-language services are delivered in the public schools. Too many SLPs have inadequate work spaces, no caseload limits and work very long hours in order to serve as many children as they possibly can.

The experience of participating in the past two Advisory Council meetings has taught me a great deal about advocating for change and the process of educating our elected officials about our profession. This knowledge has given me the confidence and determination to continue to work towards improving service delivery.

New Jersey

Katie Holterman

As an active member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and someone who thoroughly enjoys giving back to the profession/membership, I feel that serving in this role would be an excellent way to continue on this path. Working with the Board of Directors as a liaison to give the membership a voice and working alongside the board to fulfill ASHAs goals are both something that I feel is extremely important. I have been active at both the state association and national association levels, and consider this a great opportunity to link the two.

I have been an active member of both the New Jersey Speech and Hearing association and the American Speech Language Association since the beginning of my career. Having served on various committee for both associations, as well as having completed ASHA's leadership development program in 2012, I feel that I have good sense of the members needs as well as the vision and drive to assist the board in meeting those needs while effectively communicating ASHA's perspective back to the members. Linking the membership at the state level to the national level is important to me and would resonate with my work if elected to the advisory council. I have experience with serving pediatric and adults in a variety of settings, and have excellent insight into the challenges and opportunities facing the SLP today. This experience is a result not only of my clinical experience but the work done through my role as past co-chair of the NJSHA convention committee, member of the NJSHA healthcare committee and member of ASHA healthcare economics committee.

Linda M. Tucker-Simpson

I'd like to serve on the ASHA Advisory Council because being on the council would afford me another opportunity to give back to the profession of Speech-Language Pathology. Given one of the primary responsibilities of the council is to identify, discuss, and analyze information related to issues of concern to members I believe I have the ability to consider issues from various points of view as well as bring my many years of experience as a treating and supervisory speech-language pathologist, clinical instructor, adjunct professor, board member, treasurer and immediate past president of New Jersey Speech and Hearing Association's Board of Directors to help inform my decision making. I've served on a number of boards and committees where I was responsible for making decisions in the best interest of the people I was chosen to represent as well as make sound financial decisions that were aligned with the mission, values and goals of the association. I'm very familiar with web-based meetings, forums and the use of group emails for discussions and decision making. I believe strongly in the importance of advocacy as an individual and at the State and Federal levels and I'd be happy to support ASHA's advocacy efforts as a member of the Advisory Council.

I have served on the New Jersey Speech and Hearing Association's Board of Directors for 9 years and I have worked a number of NJSHA committees and served as a committee chair for 4 years. While serving on the NJSHA Board of Directors I held the position of Treasurer for 2 years, I was Vice President for 1 year, President Elect for 1 year, I served as President for 2 years and I'm currently serving in the role of the Immediate Past President and I'm actively engaged in monitoring legislation, leading discussions, developing task forces as needed to study legislative issues and develop position statements and testimony regarding pending legislation.

New Mexico

Adrienne McElroy Bratcher

New Mexico is a larger state, yet has the majority of its population represented in two central areas of the state, central and southern. I personally live in the eastern portion of New Mexico which goes unrepresented upon many occasions. It would be great to have a representative for New Mexico who represents the rural portion of New Mexico as well as rural parts of the United States. Having an understanding of what SLPs go through and how SLPs must operate in rural America is often overlooked. I believe that this would be advantageous to the council as well as to ASHA in general. Plus, I am connected and involved as both a practicing SLP and a university educating SLP. In addition, I enjoy seeing the New Mexico Speech-Language and Hearing Association succeed and have been working with NMSHA in order to bring in initiatives toward that purpose. Thus, if elected I would provide a valuable perspective and voice to the Advisory Council.

As a rural SLP, I have a broad base of experience and qualifications. I have worked as an SLP in public education, private education, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, private practice as well as the university. While at the university I have also served as clinic director, program director, clinical supervisor and assistant professor. While in private practice, I served a wide variety of clients including those from a military base who represent all areas of our United States. My knowledge base is broad as is my ability to represent a wide variety of SLPs. While in the various setting, I have also held a variety of positions including administration, marketing and business. I believe that my perspective is unique and I bring an ability to see from a lenses that can only provide clarity and diversification.

Deborah Rhein

I have spent my entire professional career involved in trying to improve identification and service delivery to culturally and linguistically diverse clients. Living the last 11 years in New Mexico has made me even more aware of how much more work we need to do in this area. New Mexico is a state that has one of the highest percentages of children and adults who speak a language other than English at home. This includes not only the native Spanish-speaking population, but also the large Native American population. In addition, there are even greater numbers of children and adults who speak a dialect of English that is influenced by Native American languages.

I want to work to help the speech-language pathologists and audiologists who work with CLD clients develop best practices in assessment and intervention. I know that it is vital to develop realistic approaches that are both accurate and acceptable to third party payers and school districts. It is my hope that serving on this advisory board will provide me with a venue where I can work on this goal.

As a bilingual speech language pathologist with 25 years' experience, I have spent my entire career trying to improve identification and treatment of culturally and linguistically diverse clients, especially bilingual clients. This was true during the years of my clinical practice and has been the focus of the 12 years I have spent as a faculty member. I have developed a bilingual and ESL extension to our regular graduate program and have collaborated with University of New Mexico to develop a joint extension program between NMSU and UNM.

As a result of that program, bilingual SLPs in NM were revitalized to create a bilingual endorsement to our state licensure. The law was based on the program that I developed at NMSU and extended to UNM as a collaboration. Both programs are unique in that they require Spanish-speaking participants complete a course in Spanish linguistics. The purpose is to prepare native speakers of Spanish to code Spanish language samples. This bilingual endorsement to the SLP licensure has been signed into law by the governor. New Mexico licensure board members are currently working to create a process to begin to certifying of applicants for the licensure.

This year I was honored to receive the Certificate of Recognition for Special Contributions in Multicultural Affairs from ASHA.

New York

Jeri Weinstein Blum

It would be an honor and a privilege to become a member of the Advisory Council.

I have always been passionate about the issues and concerns facing speech-language pathologists and I believe the diversity of my background in medical, rehabilitation, academic, clinic based and school based services has provided me with special insight into a very wide range of issues that face ASHA constituents. In each of my positions, I have strived to be both an active and thoughtful listener and leader. I personally enjoy identifying problems and working with teams to formulate solutions, designing action-based plans for the provision of services and clinical education, and putting those ideas into writing and implementing them.

I feel that our field is moving in a very new and progressive direction, particularly in the area of inter-professional education and practice. My involvement in clinical education and continued direct practice with clients in a multidisciplinary setting has strengthened my desire to provide input in this area. Also in line with ASHA's strategic pathways, I have a strong background in the impact of multicultural issues on speech-language pathology. I have gained knowledge and skills in this area through my 12 years of experience at Long Island University (Brooklyn), which was one of the first graduate programs in the country to focus its mission, clinic and curriculum in this area.

My experience during 30 years in the field of speech-language pathology has been uniquely diverse.

I began in rehabilitation and acute care as Director of the Speech-Language & Hearing Center at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, during which one of my endeavors was working on a team that started an ALS Center. Then I moved to academia as a professor and as Clinic Director of the Downtown Brooklyn Speech/Language & Hearing Center at Long Island University. There, I also served as Chair of the clinical practicum committee and member of the curriculum committee, where we listened carefully to and voted on controversial issues such as program course selection and student academic standing. I am currently a Director at EBS Healthcare, managing a successful multidisciplinary clinic and overseeing administration of School-Based Services across the NY metro area.

These leadership positions have allowed me to hone and develop my abilities to participate in team-based decision making and to think both strategically and creatively to develop new programs. I have also supervised a staff of over ten clinicians at a time while continuing to provide direct service to clients. In addition, I have been actively involved with issues in the field as Vice President for both the Council of Hospital Directors in New York City and the New York Metropolitan Council of Academic Clinic Directors. I served two terms as a Delegate for the New York State Speech-Language & Hearing Association and was on the program committee for two conferences.

Leslie Grubler

I am entering my 18th year of practice as a speech-language pathologist and have been blessed with a career that has yielded self-fulfillment, life-long learning, and the capacity to make a difference in a variety of ways - inclusive of treatment, consultation, advocacy, academics, and administration. Throughout these years, I have recognized that it is critical to not only give in my work but give back to our national organization, ASHA, in service to my colleagues in NYS.

Over the last two years, in fulfillment of my duties as Advisory Councilmember, I have engaged with the ASHA Staff and Board Members, my fellow Advisory Councilmembers, as well as colleagues across the state of New York. I have listened to challenges in treating individuals across the lifespan and in educating CSD students, and have had the opportunity to share these challenges with ASHA's Board in numerous forums. Through my position as Advisory Councilmember, I have had the opportunity to contribute to the development of ASHA's Public Policy Agenda, advocated directly with our Federal legislators in Washington, DC, and I have enlightened, engaged, and motivated many ASHA members through presenting ASHA and YOU to a variety of academic programs and NSSLHA groups across the state.

My experiences as an Advisory Councilmember have motivated me to do even more as a Step Mentee, ASHA Foundation Contributor whose students have been scholarship winners, and NSSLHA Chapter Adviser for my academic program.

I have more to give to ASHA and you and would like to.

When elected several years ago to the position of SLP Advisory Councilmember for NYS, I embraced the opportunity. At that time, I had been President of my own private corporation in speech-language pathology, Founding Director of an Advocacy Organization composed of nearly 3000 volunteers, and a full-time Adjunct Lecturer for two universities - all of this simultaneously.

Through the years, I have been fortunate to have been engaged in so many different aspects of our profession which has enabled my understanding of the hands-on SLP (home-based, program-based, school-based), the Academic SLP, the Administrator SLP, the Advocate SLP, and presently the Director of Clinical Education SLP.

I recognize that to be successful in treatment, in advocacy, and in teaching requires not only a strong work ethic but effective and efficient communication skills - both verbal and written - fearlessness, the capacity and inner strength to stand up for what is right even when standing alone, and understanding - understanding the many different manifestations of our roles.

As Advisory Council Member of NYS I have welcomed the challenge of engaging with and educating our Federal Legislators both locally and in Washington DC, engaging with representatives in the Department of Education, educating fellow members on the importance of voting in ASHA elections, contributing to the ASHA Foundation, participating in the STEP Mentoring Program, and presenting and actively participating in ASHA Conventions.

Mostly, I have enjoyed learning from and listening to you and sharing your challenges and accomplishments with ASHA as NYS' Advisory Councilmember.

North Carolina

Lisa McDonald

Volunteer leadership is the key to success in any organization. Much of the work in our professional organizations is accomplished by volunteers and it is the responsibility of practicing professionals to continue this work. Volunteering for me is a professional and personal responsibility so that I can give back to the profession that has empowered me to become the leader that I am today. I would be honored to be part of the Advisory Council elections.

If elected to the Advisory Council, I will have the opportunity to serve the profession through ASHA and to engage in meaningful volunteer activities allowing for advocacy and education for the membership. The opportunity to work closely with other leaders across the nation and to become more involved in the governance of ASHA is very exciting to me.

I am honored that I am being considered as a nominee for the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council. In addition to being a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), I am also a member of several professional organizations including the North Carolina Association of Supervisors in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (NCASSPA), the North Carolina Speech, Hearing and Language Association (NCSHLA), and the Council of Allied Health in North Carolina (CAHNC).

On a state-wide level, I have served on the NCSHLA Board of Directors for three years and was NCSHLA President in 2007-2008. During my presidency I worked closely with the Executive Director, Board of Directors and the committees of NCSHLA. I have also served on the NCSHLA Membership & Recognition Committee and the Spring Convention Committee. I also served as chair of the CAHNC for two years and vice chair for three years. I am currently a Board Member at Large on the NCASSPA Executive Board.

Nationally, I have served the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation as a university ambassador and have assisted in reviewing applications and nominations for 2014 research grant, scholarship and clinical achievement programs. I have also served and currently serving as a Student to Empowered Professional (STEP) mentor. I also participated in the 2008 ASHA Leadership Development Program.

All of these experiences have enhanced both my professional and personal life and I look forward to continuing to serve ASHA by being nominated for the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council.

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