Regional Councilor Katrina Killian
Contact Katrina at NSSLHA.Region1@gmail.com.
Major: Speech-language pathology
Expected date of graduation: April 2017
University: University of Pittsburgh
Area of professional interest: Neurogenic disorders, bilingualism, cochlear implants
Connect with other students in Region 1: Region 1 Facebook page, ASHA Community Region 1
Interest Statement: Through my involvements in blogging, acting as the Publicity and Fundraising Officer in my university's linguistics club, and serving on the Outreach Committee for our local NSSLHA chapter, I have found that I enjoy holding a position where I can contribute to my community. I would love to continue this by holding a position on the NSSLHA council, so that I can act as a liaison for students in order to share concerns and implement new ideas. This desire is furthered by the fact that I've been passionate about this field ever since I first learned about it, and I desire to instill this passion in others, which is one reason why I created my blog. I wanted to advocate for and teach others about our field as well as assist those who are already in it by providing them with the knowledge that I've gained in the process. I also believe that being a part of the NSSLHA council will help provide me with the skills necessary for becoming a leader
in our field, whether I become a clinical director, or obtain a CsCD or PhD to inform others on research and instill a passion in future clinicians. The skills needed for these ambitions will be molded through a position on this council as I can collaborate with others and learn about the current issues in our field while combating them at a higher level of leadership.
The Future of NSSLHA: I envision that there will be more student engagement in research, as well as more students who are culturally competent. I also see a student organization that has more collaboration within the state, regional, national, and possibly international levels. NSSLHA has made great strides in promoting student interest in research through the CICSD publication, as well as encouraging student posters at the ASHA Convention through providing mentoring and funding. I would love to see student involvement in research gain more momentum. Perhaps through implementing services like mini workshops at the ASHA Convention for undergraduates and graduates to learn about conducting research we can continue to build upon what has been started. I'd also like to see more assistance for those who wish to live, study or work abroad with this degree. Our world is becoming more entangled each day, which is why this is important. We need to promote bilingualism and cultural competence as well as assist those who want to work abroad. To do so, I would like to potentially establish relationships with programs that have volunteer or study abroad trips that could benefit our students. This will allow them to become exposed to other cultures and their healthcare or educational systems while promoting language learning for those who want to serve bilingual clients. Lastly, from seeing such a large amount of collaboration amongst bloggers and clinicians on Facebook, Twitter and other outlets such as ASHA's Special Interest Groups, I would love to see more collaboration amongst student groups within the state, regional, national, and possibly international levels. By creating events that local universities can do together, or simply having each university's NSSLHA president from Region 1 meet once a semester (possibly online) to discuss trials, triumphs, and potential activities to do together, we might be able to promote unity amongst ourselves.
NSSLHA Benefits: I think the greatest benefit is its inherent resourcefulness for students and the community. We are able to interact with other students through forums, club meetings, and NSSLHA Day at the Convention. The ability for students to access SIGs, the ASHA Leader, research journals, the Perspectives and other forums are invaluable as we can network with professionals and learn about new techniques, research, and ideas. Through these platforms students can possibly find their niche in the field and learn more by joining the related SIG and reading research articles about that topic. NSSLHA is also a great resource for us to learn about our career and provides us with guidance so that we can reach our end goal, whether it is being a clinician, researcher, or an academic. Besides acting as a resource for students, it also provides benefits for our communities through programs like NSSLHA Loves, which promote volunteering in areas related to our field. As mentioned in where I see the future of NSSLHA, I believe we could improve upon our efforts to get more students engaged in research. Furthermore, although we include Canadian provinces and international students in our "Regions," I feel as though we lack a connection with our international community, especially with student organizations that are located in other countries. There is already a strong international connection between professionals on Facebook and Twitter, so I believe that we can create the same type of connection for students. A connection like this would be beneficial, as it would provide a larger framework from which we can forge relationships, learn from, and engage in. On a related note is the idea of creating more culturally competent students, which I believe we can accomplish through promoting bilingualism, providing study abroad or volunteer trips, or even holding classes for graduate students on treating bilingual clients as a monolingual clinician. Through the benefits that NSSLHA already provides, as well as building upon these issues, I believe that we can create a stronger organization that students can utilize.
Regional Delegate Melanie Riland
Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Expected date of graduation: May 2015
University: West Chester University
The Future of NSSLHA: The biggest benefit that NSSLHA gives to students is leadership. Leadership is a broad word that encompasses so many skills that are all beneficial, not only in a student, but even more so a prospective speech-language pathologist or audiologist. Even if the student does not have an official title within their NSSLHA, the organization still develops young leaders in a special way, allowing practice towards working with individuals, who may someday be their colleagues or patients, in the field that they are passionate about. This organization has expanded my confidence, passion, and leadership to heights that are indescribable and I am forever grateful to it for that and I know many other students that feel similarly. NSSLHA gives students the leadership skills and confidence necessary to excel as a well-rounded human being, a student, and ultimately a professional within the fields of speech pathology and audiology. I would like to see NSSLHA soar to even greater heights. I would love to see more chapters able to achieve accomplishments like Gold, Silver, and Bronze statuses as well as have the support they need in order to be locally and nationally successful. If elected to a national leadership position, I would be excited to communicate with chapters in order to see what their goals are and how they would like to accomplish them year to year.