Regional Councilor Reyhaneh Rajabzadeh
Contact Reyhaneh at NSSLHA.Region10@gmail.com.
Major: Speech-language pathology
Expected date of graduation: June 2014
University: University of Washington
Area of professional interest: Voice, phonology, autism, TBI
Connect with other students in Region 10: Region 10 Facebook page
I joined NSSLHA because: My professors introduced me to NSSLHA, describing it as a student-driven branch of ASHA. I felt that the idea of students from all over the nation, coming together to serve and learn our profession was noble and driven with a higher purpose. I joined my university's NSSLHA chapter, wanting to give back to my local community in ways that relate to our field. I was an active member of our NSSLHA chapter for one year, and was then promoted to the post of secretary the following year. The experience allowed me to serve the diverse San Francisco Bay Area community by organizing educational workshops that were open to the public, and organizing a spring conference on traumatic brain injury that attracted over 100 community members. NSSLHA advocates for students, providing resources for their enrichment and shaping them to become leaders in the fields of speech and hearing science, and I find this to be very admirable. On a personal level, my involvement in various activities with NSSLHA and interactions with my team has helped me gain clarity in my role as a student learner and a future leader in our profession.
I applied for a position on the NSSLHA Executive Council because: This year I had the opportunity to attend the ASHA Convention with ASHA's Minority Student Leadership Program (MSLP). During this experience, I participated in a variety of leadership simulations and seminars, including a joint seminar with the NSSLHA team. During this leadership seminar, I met members of the 2011–2012 Executive Council and was thoroughly impressed with each members' compassion, dedication, and openness. Establishing effective dialogue between the MSLP and NSSLHA students was a moving experience that revealed the importance of organization and leadership to a greater degree. I was also honored to take part in the NSSLHA Day activities and the NSSLHA luncheon, both of which illuminated the organization's inspirational solidarity and unity, while simultaneously catering to the curiosity and passion of a large student population. I believe that joining the NSSLHA Executive Council is the next step to fulfilling my goal of becoming a leader in our field, and would like to give back to the large-scale community that has shaped me. I would like to contribute the experience and knowledge I have gained working in multicultural, clinical, and research settings to the NSSLHA team and community. I want to share with fellow NSSLHA members and students, the challenges we face as professionals and how to overcome them. Regardless of our affiliations to the various avenues of the field, I believe that collaboration and leadership are the key ingredients to overcoming obstacles and nurturing growth.
My two year term on the council will be successful if: During my two-year term on the council, I will be successful if I establish a sense of awareness and social consciousness among various local NSSLHA chapters in the region. Diversity plays a very significant role in our world today, and I would like to raise awareness about diversity and multiculturalism as they present themselves in our field. Some communicative disorder programs still do not include classes on diversity in their curriculum, and I would like to compensate for this through dialogue, workshops, and activities. I plan to create a database or booklet of community service ideas that cater to underprivileged populations of different regions for local NSSLHA chapters to use. Communication disorders exist in every region of the world, among every people group, but only some have access to services. If each local chapter served their own local community, just imagine how many lesser-privileged individuals would be served. Also, after returning from the Minority Student Leadership Program, I shared the plethora of knowledge I had gained about how ASHA and NSSLHA work and the services each offers, and the students and faculty at my school were amazed. I realized that so many individuals are unaware of the resources that NSSLHA offers and the many opportunities. I will also be successful if I create a brochure that explicitly states the various opportunities and resources and distribute these to universities throughout the region. Lastly, as a member of the Executive Council I would make an effort to visit universities in the region and meet their NSSLHA chapters to facilitate direct one-on-one communication and participation.
My vision for my region is: Currently, I do not hear of local NSSLHA chapters getting involved at the national level or with other university chapters very often. There are so many ideas floating around the various local organizations, and if we can find a way for these groups to communicate and share ideas, I am sure we will see so much change in the organization as a whole. My vision for the region is to facilitate communication between various chapters and between the national to local level, similar to how the MSLP and NSSLHA joined at ASHA. Through these endeavors, I am certain that we can create an active region of students who are well-equipped to be leaders and helpers in the greater society. I intend to build a team of students who reach out to diverse populations, to establish direct one-on-one dialogue between local chapters, and to see more local participation in the national activities. I firmly believe in the saying that "there is power in numbers" and therefore to make our organization even more influential than it already is, I will strive to embed collective leadership and collaboration throughout the region.
Regional Delegate Amelia Cheikh
Academic status: Second year masters student
Major: Speech-Language Pathology
Expected date of graduation: May 2013
University: San Diego State University
Area of professional interest: Aphasia, traumatic brain injury, dysphagia
I joined NSSLHA because: I wanted to be a part of a student organization in our field on a national level to complement my involvement at the local level. I joined my local chapter as a post baccalaureate student at CSUF in the fall of 2009, and became an officer with that chapter in January of the following year. I enjoyed having an opportunity to serve in an organization that works for other students that share my passion. As the public relations officer, I quickly realized that social media was the best way to motivate and reach my fellow members.
I joined the national NSSLHA in 2010, and have benefitted from the communications with ASHA and the student resources available to members. After joining, I attended the ASHA Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was able to participate in the Knowledge Bowl and NSSLHA Luncheon. It was an excellent opportunity to meet with other students pursuing the same career, and I enjoyed the sense of community among the students present at the conference. With so many education options available, it was helpful to connect with other students to navigate through this experience collectively. Since I have joined the national organization, I have found that my membership at the national level has complemented my local involvement and learning. I have realized over the course of my membership with NSSLHA that I wanted my involvement to extend past the ASHA Conventions, and I wanted my share my experience from working with my local chapters with others on the national level.
My vision for my region is: Region 10 is a diverse region, covering the western United States all the way north to Alaska and west to Hawaii. My ultimate goal is to build strong and lasting connections between chapters and individual students. Each program and individual carries unique knowledge and experiences that can benefit other students, and the diversity of Region 10 makes for a very rich community of experiences. By using social media and other networking methods, I will work with Reyhaneh to build the relationships needed to continue the success of NSSLHA and Region 10.