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CAA Elections for Five Academic Members

Audiology Slate | Speech-Language Pathology Slate | Election Results


The CAA Nominating Committee announces the slates of candidates to fill five academic vacancies (3 in audiology and 2 in speech-language pathology) on the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) for terms beginning on January 1, 2016.

Each CAA-accredited academic program, whether accredited in audiology or in speech-language pathology, may cast one vote for each academic vacancy on the CAA, regardless of whether the vacancy is in audiology or speech-language pathology. Program directors are encouraged to include all faculty in the relevant profession in the discussion regarding the vote to be cast by the program. (Please note: Programs that hold candidacy status are not eligible to vote in CAA elections.) Notices will be e-mailed to program directors of CAA-accredited programs [PDF] with instructions on how to submit your program's vote online at the end of August 2015.

Slates of Academic Nominees

All applicants for CAA positions were asked to write a brief statement describing the expertise that they would bring to the CAA, if elected. The slates are presented below with the candidates' responses to this request, listed in alphabetical order by candidate.

Academic Audiologists

Academic Speech-Language Pathologists

Radhika Aravamudhan
Salus University

Mary Beth Armstrong
 University of Montevallo

Theodore Johnson
Valdosta State University

Anthony DiLollo
Wichita State University

Steven Madix
Louisiana Technical University

Richard Dressler
Western Kentucky University

Maurice Mendel
University of Memphis

Wren Newman
Nova Southeastern University

Stephen Oshrin
    University of Southern Mississippi     

Christopher Watts
Texas Christian University


Academic Audiologists (3 vacancies)

Radhika Aravamudhan, PhD
Assistant Dean for the Foundations and Assessment of Audiologic Medicine; Associate Professor
Osborne College of Audiology
Salus University
Elkins Park, Pennsylvania

I currently am the Assistant Dean for the foundations and assessment of audiologic medicine. In this role, I am responsible for recruitment, review and retention of faculty. I also coordinates the didactic teaching schedule for the College and receive feedback about faculty and student issues. I am also responsible to evaluate courses, faculty and the curriculum. In the assistant dean role, I assist in writing and compiling accreditation reports for the didactic portion of the curriculum. Along with these, I also lead and participate in inter-professional education (IPE) initiatives within the University investigating new pedagogical approaches to implement IPE facilitating interprofessional practice. I currently volunteer as a peer reviewer for Journal of acoustical society of America, Journal of American Academy of Audiology, Inter-professional education committee at "Collaboration across borders," and several committees within the University.

In areas of professional development, I was nominated to and attended "Women in Education Leadership" at Harvard School of Graduate Education, where I gained insights in the field of education not just in graduate education, but from high school, undergraduate to graduate education. I was also able to learn about the challenges and opportunities that exists in these areas and the leadership needs for these areas.

If selected to serve, I believe I will be able to contribute effectively to maintaining and developing assessment processes and in assessing current and new programs.

Theodore Johnson, AuD
Associate Professor
Valdosta State University
Valdosta, Georgia

The depth and breadth of my background is extensive, spanning 40 years of increasingly complex management, clinical, and academic appointments. From military officer, to corporate leader, researcher, clinician, and teaching professional, I have executed my responsibilities with the utmost respect for the greater good. At this point in my career I am in a unique position to offer to the Association my time and expertise to meet the responsibilities and challenges related to service on the Council of Academic Accreditation. It is one thing to express a desire to "give back" to the Association; it is equally important to be uniquely prepared to give back in terms of the investment of time and the background required to address current challenges. My experiences have prepared me well.

My earliest clinical supervisory experiences began with the Hearing Laboratory at Pearle Vision in 1986, in the position of Vice President, with management and professional development responsibility for over 80 audiologists and staff in 62 audiology offices. Since then, in medical and academic settings, I continue to provide clinical supervision, teaching, research, and service to the Academy. My involvement in distance education is broad and varied, particularly my seven-year role as a facilitator for the University of Florida Distance Learning AuD program.

Though not serving directly as an ASHA site visitor, I've had related experience as liaison for oversight of the Bloomsburg University Au.D. program, reporting directly to the Pennsylvania System of Higher Education, a key role in the initial ASHA accreditation.

Steven Madix, PhD
Associate Professor, Tenured
Louisiana Technical University
Ruston, Louisiana

I have over 15 years of professional clinical experience in Audiology, as well as 10 years of academic experience in University instruction. I have been a CAA site visitor since 2011 and have received very positive and favorable feedback from my site team evaluations. I am passionate about advocating for Audiology and I feel that my experience in both the private and University settings gives me a keen insight as to how the profession is evolving, and the educational standards that are and will be needed to satisfy those demands for professional clinical practice. Program accreditation serves to both ensure that educational and clinical standards are being met, as well as to advocate for the needs of the programs that are being evaluated.

Maurice Mendel, PhD
Dean, Director, and Professor
University of Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee

I have been continually associated with CAA accredited programs in both Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology since 1976, first at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), which was dually accredited, and since 1988, at the University of Memphis (U of M), which is dually accredited. I was involved in the preparation of the CAA accreditation applications at the UCSB, and have developed several cycles of CAA accreditation applications at the U of M, most recently in 2010. I have prepared the annual CAA reports for the U of M since 1988. I served on the Educational Standards Board, the precursor to the CAA, as a Site Visitor from 1977 to 1999. More recently, I served as a CAA Site Visitor from 2011-2015, and have recently been re-appointed to a term from 2015-2019. In addition, I served on the ASHA Ad hoc Committee on Academic Feasibility of Clinical and Professional Doctoral Degrees in Audiology from 1992-93, which included standards development and implementation.

Stephen Oshrin, PhD
Professor of Audiology
University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, Mississippi

The credibility of any profession depends on the strength of its practitioners. The accreditation process established by CAA ensures that our academic programs provide high quality educational opportunities to those entering the field of communication sciences and disorders. Throughout my career I have had a vested interest in our accreditation process. As a university professor and as the chair of a CAA accredited program, I valued the encouragement that accreditation brought to our university's efforts to maintain accreditation. As a site visitor and chair of over 30 site visits, I came to appreciate the role that CAA standards play in fostering the necessary degree of uniformity in curricula while allowing the unique aspects of program offerings to flourish. And as a past CAA board member, I learned about the challenges of evaluating adherence to standards while recognizing the difficulties that university programs face in today's economic environment.

As part of my continued commitment to our accredited universities and to those individuals endeavoring to enter the profession, I am seeking a place on CAA and I'm looking forward to working with the Council members, Council professional staff and with our Association's member institutions. 

Academic Speech-Language Pathologists (2 vacancies)

Mary Beth Armstrong, PhD
Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Professor
University of Montevallo
Montevallo, Alabama

I have more than 30 years of experience in CSD: teaching/supervision; administration as a Clinic Director, Chair/Graduate Program Director; and as a CAA site visitor and site visit Chair. I have 9 years of experience as Dean and 8 months experience as Interim VPAA. To be successful across this wide range of experiences one must be careful, diligent, analytical, attentive to details, collaborative, and committed to lifelong learning. This requires consistent continuing education to be fully informed of current issues. Typically I attend all of the accreditation-related sessions at the annual AAC&U and ASHA meetings. I have extensive experience with program review and accreditation. CAS has 2 accredited programs: BS-SWK and MS-SLP. I work closely with them on this process. Furthermore, UM has a rigorous program review process for non-accredited programs and I have been responsible for the oversight of 8 program reviews in the past 3 years. These reviews are conducted over the course of one academic year. I served on the University's last two SACS reaffirmation steering committees. In 2011 UM had an impressive reaffirmation with no recommendations, and SACS requested to use UM as one of three models for other universities.

I teach one graduate class annually in CSD, typically Professional Issues. This includes careful review of the standards and we work extensively through the ASHA website because of the numerous important resources that students entering the field need knowledge about and skills to access.

Anthony DiLollo, PhD
Associate Professor of Speech Language Pathology and Doctoral Coordinator
Wichita State University
Wichita, Kansas

I have worked in accredited university departments of Communication Sciences and Disorders for 20 years. During that time, I have served on Academic Affairs Committees (also called Curriculum   Committee at WSU in 2003-2004) at Wichita State University on a number of occasions, twice chairing the committee. Work on these committees involved curriculum development, oversight of curriculum changes, and ensuring that the program remains in compliance with CAA Standards. Similarly, my service on the CSD Executive Committee (2009–present) often involved decisions regarding how the Department was meeting CAA Standards. I have experienced the accreditation process at two different universities (University of Mississippi and Wichita State University), during which I learned about the process and the importance of documenting the ways that the program addresses/meets the Standards. Additionally, my recent work on ASHA's Academic Affairs Board (AAB) and the Ad Hoc Committee on Guidelines for the Doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology has provided me with experience in developing guidelines and facilitated a greater focus on the quality of graduate education, particularly in terms of outcomes.

Richard Dressler, PhD
Associate Professor, Director of the Graduate Program in Speech-Language Pathology
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, Kentucky

Have served as the director of the graduate program in SLP for the past 14 years. Have been directly involved with 2 CAA re-accreditation and site visits. Have served on the state licensing board for the past 6 years with involvement in new statutes that involve laws for telehealth services and new requirements for ethics CEUs.

Wren Newman, SLPD
Chair, Programs in Speech-Language Pathology
Nova Southeastern University
North Miami Beach, Florida

I have obtained experience in higher education and in service to ASHA that would assist in my contribution to the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA). In terms of my work experience, I have written significant sections of our program's annual reports for CAA and headed the preparations for two site visits. In these experiences, I gained knowledge of certification standards and accreditation standards. Our university conducts periodic assessment of programs including Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes, completion of an evaluative and prescriptive report by an Internal Review Committee with consultation from an external consultant. I have participated in several of these reviews of our program.

I currently serve as Chair of the Graduate Committee for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Decennial Reaffirmation Task Force at Nova Southeastern University. In that capacity, I review and gather evidence from each graduate program to assure compliance to standards pertaining to graduate education.

Relative to ASHA, I served on the Council for Clinical Certification at the time tracking students' attainment of knowledge and skills and inclusion of formative and summative assessments were established by CFCC. I recently completed service on ASHA's Board of Ethics. My knowledge of the Code and Board procedures particularly relating to supervision of clinical experiences was enhanced. Finally, service on the Committee on Supervision in 2007 and my current participation on the Ad Hoc Committee for Guidelines for the Clinical Doctorate in SLP have increased my knowledge across areas impacting CAA directly or indirectly.

Christopher Watts, PhD
Director and Professor
Texas Christian University
Fort Worth, Texas

With 17 years of experience as a faculty member and now administrator at four different universities with accredited graduate programs in speech-language pathology and audiology, in addition to having served as a CAA site visitor, I am confident that my knowledge and skills specific to graduate education and the accreditation process would translate effectively to service on CAA. As graduate program director I have held responsibility for submitting annual reports to maintain accreditation and recently led my program through the re-accreditation process. I appreciate the role and importance that CAA serves in relation to the maintenance of quality and adherence to standards required of graduate education in the discipline of communication sciences and disorders, and would consider it a privilege to offer my time and effort to the functions of the council. 

Election Results

An announcement about the 2016 CAA roster will be made at the completion of the election cycle in late September 2015. Selection for practitioner and public members of the CAA are handled through separate processes. Recruitment for positions on the CAA for terms beginning 2017 will be announced in early 2016.

If you have questions about the election process for academic members on the CAA, please contact Tess Kirsch in the Accreditation Office at or by phone at 301-296-5784.

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