This year, the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) celebrates its 40th year serving future audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech and hearing scientists. So it seems appropriate to look back at the organization's past local and national leaders and see where they are today.
Where has the leadership and pre-professional preparation they learned as students taken them as professionals? Take a look.
Jenny M. Burton, MEd, CCC-SLP
University of Virginia, Class of 2005
SLP, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; secretary, Executive Council, Southwest Ohio Speech-Language-Hearing Association
- 2002–2003 president of Western Kentucky University chapter
- President of the University of Virginia (UVA) chapter while pursuing a master's degree
- Received NSSLHA Member Honors from the UVA Chapter in 2005
I completed my clinical fellowship in speech-language pathology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in conjunction with the Leadership in Education and Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Since graduating, I work with people affected by autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center's Kelly O'Leary Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders. I participate in diagnostic evaluations, supervise graduate students in speech-language pathology, and serve on the autism specialty team in the division of speech pathology. I am also a full-time doctoral student pursuing a PhD in communication sciences and disorders at the University of Cincinnati. My research focus is language and social development in children with ASDs.
Elisa Valdes Jankly, MS, CCC-SLP
Texas State University (Class of 2007)
- President of Texas State University chapter, 2007
- NSSLHA Executive Council member, 2005–2007
- Region 9 Councilor
At the Texas State University chapter, we were active in fundraising, went to our state convention, and got students excited about graduate school and exploring different fields of speech-language pathology. As Region 9 councilor, I sat on the ASHA Multicultural Issue Board and gave my input on issues that affected the speech-language and audiology community. I learned how to advocate for speech-language pathology and audiology issues by talking and writing to my local congressional members. After graduating with my master's degree, I worked in the skilled nursing field helping stroke patients with aphasia and dysphagia and also worked with junior high students. I am taking a small break from work because I had my daughter, Bethany, in June 2011. My NSSLHA experiences made me a strong, proud speech-language pathologist.
Kelly F. Schussler, MS (PhD candidate), CCC-SLP
Penn State University (Class of 2005)
Doctoral candidate in speech-language pathology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- Region 1 councilor, 2003–2005 (Region 1)
- President of the University of Pittsburgh chapter, 2002–2003
Serving as a NSSLHA regional councilor, I gained leadership skills, awareness of the profession and ASHA, an interest in policy and administration, and overall confidence. After receiving my master's degree, I worked as a school-based SLP in Pennsylvania for four years. In 2008, I was nominated for and participated in the ASHA Leadership Development Program, and it was through this program that I decided to pursue my PhD in speech-language pathology. In 2009, I moved to Nebraska and began my doctoral work with Tiffany Hogan and John Bernthal at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I am working on my dissertation in the area of phonology and literacy, and am teaching undergraduate and graduate students. I continue to serve on several ASHA committees, including Special Interest Group 16 (School-Based Issues), Convention Planning Committee for Speech-Sound Disorders, and the Nominating Committee of the Council for Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. I keep in close touch with many of my regional-coordinator buddies and am thankful for the network of friends and colleagues I have because of NSSLHA.