Regional Councilor and Council President Rene Utianski
Contact Rene at NSSLHA.Region9@gmail.com.
Major: Speech and hearing sciences
Expected date of graduation: May 2014
University: Arizona State University
Area of professional interest: Speech perception and motor speech disorders
Connect with other students in Region 9: Region 9 Facebook page
I joined NSSLHA because: While I knew I wanted to be a speech-language pathologist from a young age, I was unsure of the necessary steps to make this career possible. Through my speech and hearing classes, I came across GW's chapter of NSSLHA and immediately joined. I was sure this organization would help me discern the path to exploring my passion. Fortunately, it did just that. Through forums on how to apply to graduate school and the various settings available to an SLP, I found the necessary information to make decisions about attending graduate school. In my four years at GW, I was able to see the number of speech and hearing majors and minors increase and the involvement in NSSLHA expand. I felt the department had given me so much, including a vast knowledge on various aspects of speech and hearing science and a passion for the field. I felt the least I could do to give back to the department was be an active part in the organization whose members would soon be a part of the speech and hearing community.
I applied for a position on the NSSLHA Executive Council because: If selected as a Regional Councilor, I hope to spread my passion for speech and hearing, research, helping people, and helping one another in our professional domain. I hope to help create an open and supportive community among NSSLHA students and help them make the transition from an undergraduate career to graduate school to the professional world. I feel that it is extremely important for NSSLHA students to be aware of the resources available during their time in school as well as what ASHA has to offer them as a professional. I was surprised to find how many graduate students did not know about the NSSLHA-to-ASHA Conversion Discount! I feel that as a Regional Councilor, I have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of many speech and hearing majors, and ensure the delivery of information that will help make them active members of NSSLHA. Having served as Regional Councilor (Region IX), and Council Vice-President this past year, I feel I have a strong grasp on what is required of the Regional Councilor position. If selected, I would enter this position knowing what would be expected of me to successfully fulfill my obligation as a member of the Executive Council. My past experience on the Council has been unmatched in my curricular or co-curricular activities. I feel fulfilled knowing that I can help make a more meaningful experience for NSSLHA members.
My two year term on the council will be successful if: During my two-year term on the Executive Council, I would feel successful if I were to have directed local chapters to the multitude of resources available to make their NSSLHA membership worthwhile, increasing the awareness of the benefits of national membership, including research, grants, and scholarships, as well as discounted membership in Special Interest Groups (SIGs). I would feel I have fulfilled my duties as a Regional Councilor if I have supported my local chapters and encouraged membership amongst undergraduate and graduate members, in both the local chapters and national organization. Additionally, national NSSLHA has expanded its domain of contact through various social networking sites. As a Regional Councilor, I will try my best to utilize these sites to contact a wide variety of constituents. For instance, forums such as Facebook and Twitter provide the perfect opportunity for career awareness for high school students. It also allows for easy access to both undergraduates and graduate students to ensure directed promotion of membership benefits. Finally, NSSLHA's strategic plan provides an excellent framework for what the organization would like to accomplish, and as a Regional Councilor I would like to do my part to complete its mission. Serving as a liaison to and advocate for students is a responsibility I would feel honored to have. At ASU, where we have both speech and audiology programs. NSSLHA can reach both disciplines in our field. Additionally, as a PhD student, I hope I can help ameliorate the PhD shortage and target underrepresented members.
My vision for my region is: My vision for my region includes increasing the number of active chapters, as well as involved chapters (as demonstrated by applying for grants, chapter recognition, and donating to NSSLHA Loves). I would like to see an increase in the number of members applying for scholarships, joining SIGs, and utilizing NSSLHA online social networking sites. I also hope to see chapters working together to increase awareness of communication disorders, especially during May is Better Speech and Hearing Month, on their campuses and in their communities. I hope to ensure that members recognize the difference between their local chapters and the national organization, and see that they are part of a larger group of individuals working toward the same goals within the field.
Regional Delegate Dena Berg
Academic status: Second year graduate student in speech-language pathology
Major: Communication Disorders
Expected date of graduation: May 2013
University: Arizona State University
Area of professional interest: Autism and ABA, adolescents with autism, early intervention
I joined NSSLHA because: I had been involved with my local chapter, so when the opportunity came about, I was excited to become a delegate for national NSSLHA's Region 9. Not only have I had the opportunity to meet and speak with other chapters and a large amount of NSSLHA members, but I have learned so much about NSSLHA and ASHA. This opportunity has allowed me to advocate for local chapters, specific individuals and even myself!
My vision for my region is: To create more communication between local chapters and national NSSLHA. To create more communication through social media amongst local chapters. To increase the awareness of benefits for becoming a national NSSLHA member to all local chapters.