American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Region 7

Regional Councilor Jenna Didier

Contact Jenna at

2014_JennaMajor: Speech-language pathology

Expected date of graduation: May 2014

University: Eastern Illinois University

Area of professional interest: Not yet determined

Connect with other students in Region 7: Region 7 Facebook page, ASHA Community Region 7

I joined NSSLHA because: I joined NSSHLA because of the many pre-professional opportunities that this organization can provide me. Having spent a year working as a full time SLP before attending graduate school, I have been able to see firsthand how beneficial NSSLHA services are for students and how they can help working professionals once graduated. NSSLHA has given me access to ASHA's research databases, an ability to connect with and learn from other communication sciences and disorders students in my region and the rest of the country, and professional networking. I joined my local NSSSLHA chapter to develop my leadership skills, to raise community awareness about the impact of speech, language, and hearing impairments on the lives of affected individuals and their families, to participate in fundraising efforts, and, of course, to have fun!

I applied for a position on the NSSLHA Executive Council because: I applied for the NSSHLA Executive Council because I think that this is a great way to give back to NSSHLA, and because I know that I have the leadership ability and responsibility to hold such a position. Having been the Region 7 alternate for the past two years, I truly believe that I will be able to give back to NSSLHA all they have given me the past two years. I know that having the experience as alternate will benefit me in making decisions and doing NSSLHA work. I have recently been accepted to Eastern Illinois University for graduate school and I know that being Regional Counselor while attending graduate school will give me a whole new perspective on how to help students who are going to soon be entering the work force. While at Augustana College, I was the treasurer Augustana College's local NSSLHA my junior year and president my senior year. With financial support from Royal Neighbors (in which I was elected president for our local NSSLHA), our NSSLHA group has been able to complete innovative service projects and fundraisers that have enabled our chapter to raise $900 for the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America, and to complete an exciting outreach program in collaboration with a local health department to engage in primary prevention efforts geared toward expectant mothers at risk for having children with communication impairments. While at Augustana I was also the fundraising chair for a service project called "Aphrodite's Closet" where we collected dresses to give to underprivileged girls in the area who were going to prom. I was able to get many donations and gifts to let the girls try to win through a raffle. I am also very active in the Phi Rho Sorority. I have done a large amount of service (over 100 hours!) with this organization and plan to become part of the executive board next year. I have also been an Augustana cheerleader since my first year at Augustana and I am also involved in Java Club and the Relay for Life Committee. During my senior year at Augustana, I was awarded with the NSSLHA Honors Award for my chapter. I know that if elected as the Regional Counselor for Region VII, I will be able to continue in my leadership abilities and will be able to provide our region with everything it needs. I am organized, responsible, a strong student, and I always respond in a timely manner. I communicate effectively in person and electronically. I enjoy meeting new people and would love the networking and advocacy opportunities the Regional Councilor position would provide me.

My two year term on the council will be successful if: During my two-year term as Regional Counselor, I have a list of things that I would like to accomplish. My primary goal would be to voice the concerns of other chapter leaders in the region to the Executive Board of NSSHLA. I would like to help regional chapter leaders share ideas for fundraising and outreach efforts. I would also like to communicate to regional chapters important matters that are occurring with NSSLHA and ASHA that are of importance to them. I would accomplish this through electronic newsletters and conference call participation. I would like to inform local chapters about progress and decisions of the NSSLHA Executive Board. Since being on the NSSLHA executive board, as well as a president for a local NSSLHA, I sometimes felt "out of the loop" with NSSLHA and I would like to make sure that all local chapters know what is going on in NSSLHA and how they can be involved more. I strongly believe that if chapters feel more involved, NSSLHA would have more students attending the ASHA Convention. Having attended the ASHA Convention twice, I know how beneficial the experience is and how much can be learned, and I would really like to see more students have that experience as well. I would also make it a point to share fundraising ideas between chapters and have a website where all of the Region VII chapter members could discuss problems and successes. I would really like to try to recognize a "chapter of the month" for Region VII to recognize and promote innovative efforts of the chapters in my region. If selected to be Region VII's representative, I would have the opportunity to offer both the undergraduate, graduate perspectives as well as even answer questions about working as an SLP. I believe this would help provide valuable insight to the council and its constituents. I know that this may be a lot and is going to be exceptionally time consuming, but I am extremely organized and I know that I would do a great job at keeping everything straight and in order.

My vision for my region is: Region VII covers many speech-language pathology programs of various sizes and focuses. I would like to be sure that the accomplishments of our regions' programs and NSSLHA chapters are shared with the rest of the regions, as well as letting the entire region know what a strong and successful region they are a part of. I would like to encourage and enable our region's students to participate more actively in NSSLHA. I would like to continue to increase membership at local and national levels by promoting existing NSSLHA programs (e.g., grant and honors programs) and considering new programs as well. I would like to encourage student participation at state, regional, and national professional conferences. I think that by doing this, students in my region will be able to feel very welcomed and a part of ASHA at the national level. I know how stressful it is to think about getting into/going to graduate school and I want to make the students in my region feel as comfortable as they can while applying and going through such a strenuous process. I want Region VII to become one of the best regions in NSSLHA and I am going to make sure that I am all ears when it comes to their concerns, comments and questions. I want to be able to give back to them as much as they have given me.

Regional Delegate Jessica Biestek

Biestek_JessicaI am Jessica Biestek and I am the Region 7 Regional Delegate. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Communication Science and Disorders and Spanish from St. Xavier University this past December, with hopes of attending graduate school in the fall. My areas of interest includes bilingual/multicultural issues in speech pathology. A fun fact about me is that I will be getting married this summer!

I feel very lucky to work with a great Regional Councilor, Jenna, and I feel that the recent accomplishments of all Region 7 chapters becoming NSSLHA certified is something to be proud of. We predict a very exciting year for Region 7 in 2013! Contact Jessica Biestek at

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