Regional Councilor and Council President Kristopher Cleary
Contact Kristopher at NSSLHA.Region5@gmail.com.
Major: Communication Disorders
Estimated Date of Graduation: December 2014
University: The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Area of professional interest: Acquisition of childhood literacy
Connect with other students in Region 5: Region 5 Facebook page, ASHA Community Region 5
I joined NSSLHA because: I have a passion for the field of communication disorders and sciences and knew that being part of NSSLHA meant being part of a community of people that truly can make a difference in this field. The benefits of being a NSSLHA member are limitless. Along with receiving most of the benefits that a traditional ASHA membership receives, you are connected to other students who are in the same journey of their life as you are. The feeling of unity that NSSLHA offers all of its members is a priceless gift. I became a NSSLHA member before becoming president of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey chapter. After assuming the role of president, I turned to the NSSLHA website for encouragement and ideas on how to properly run our local chapter. NSSLHA offered advice on planning community events and inspired me to start a college wide walk-a-thon after hearing a lecture on thyroid cancer and its effects on communication skills. My goal of becoming a member of NSSLHA and chapter president was to simply make a difference in our community and heighten awareness of the areas of concern for our field.
I applied for a position on the Executive Council because: Of the feeling of fulfillment that being the chapter president has instilled in me. I feel as though I have done everything I can to lay a solid foundation for the next president of our local chapter. I now have a sense of urgency to be a part of this field at the national level and be the voice of students like me. My passion and dedication to this field is what drives me to make it better every day and being on the Executive Council will help me achieve this. I feel as though my personality is one that works well with others and would be a great addition to the existing Executive Council.
During my two-year term on the council, I will be successful if I accomplish: The major area I would like shed light upon is the importance of our students' involvement in political advocacy. Students do not realize how big of a role they can play in our government and the choices that are made. As future speech-pathologists and audiologists, it is our job to advocate for our patients and their rights. I would help spread the word of the of NSSLHA's resources and advice on how to become involved at this level. I was told by a fellow student during my undergraduate degree that they "were simply one person" and that they "couldn't make a difference alone." That feeling of apathy is what I hope to erase as a Council Executive member.
My vision for my region is: My vision for my region would be to increase the amount communication between each chapter. In helping plan many events and fundraisers within my local chapter, I came to realize how much more of an impact we would have had if other chapters would have been involved also. Working in our field of study, collaboration and team work are essential to being successful. Our NSSLHA chapters should feel the same sense of togetherness and I plan on being the avenue of communication to make that happen. Our current Regional Counciler, Courtney Durham, said it best when she said, "It takes just one person to start making a difference...imagine what would happen if we had increased awareness with members at each local chapter in our region, each wanting to make a greater difference in their future and the future of their clients." These are words that I would live by as an Executive Council member and I wouldn't rest until I saw movement in the right direction.
Regional Delegate Michelle Raymond
Michelle Raymond is a second year graduate student at Hampton University. She has worked as an SLPA in an elementary school for five years. Before starting graduate school, Michelle traveled down the east coast to the Bahamas aboard a sailboat for eight months. Contact Michelle Raymond at email@example.com.