Speech-Language-Pathology Advisory Council Candidate Statements

Why are you seeking Advisory Council election? What related experience and/or qualifications do you have relative to the Advisory council position? 


Erin Crawford

I enjoy being involved in association governance and it helps to keep be informed of new initiatives.  I hope to be a voice from the international (Canadian) perspective, to learn and to share differing visions of therapy.

I was on the advisory council for Speech language Pathology as the International delegate from 2006-2011 so I already have direct experience for this position.  I have also served on my provincial association for many years, until 2013.  After taking some time off to rejuvenate and volunteer in other passions, I'm ready to work again for my profession.

Bea Staley

I am seeking election to continue my active participation with ASHA, despite currently living in Australia. I enjoyed my past roles on ASHA's International Issues Board, and my ongoing involvement with SIG 17 (Global Issues in Communication Sciences and Related Disorders). I frequently attend ASHA's conference as a way to keep linked in with the research and activities of peers and colleagues in the United States. My years in Kenya without a professional association and our attempts to get the Association of Speech Language Therapy Kenya up and running brought me a whole new appreciation of the work of both ASHA and Speech Pathology Australia in terms of advocacy, accountability, resource development and setting professional standards.   I am applying for the Advisory Council as an advocate for the voice and interests of International SLPs, and to help bring those perspectives to the ASHA community. I also have a particular interest in the roles, behaviours and practices of ASHA members when working overseas (particularly in majority world contexts).

As the 'International' nominee I bring many experiences to the table. Firstly, I am an active SIG 17 ASHA member, as well as an active Speech Pathology Australia member (I have held positions on the state council, attend the annual conference where I chair sessions as well as present). I am also involved with the development of the profession in East Africa and have close connections with African based SLPs across the continent.   In 2010 I started a non-for profit organization which I ran for five years to provide free speech language pathology services in rural Kenya. Yellow House Children's Services now has a new CEO and continues its mandate of providing culturally appropriate practices embedded in existing community services. I actively participate in forums around global SLP practices, I write about the issues and I advocate for culturally nuanced practices. I recently co-edited an edition of the Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech Language Pathology entitled 'Creating Sustainable Services: Minority World SLPS in Majority World Contexts [Special issue].'  Given my involvement in Indigenous teacher education programs here at Charles Darwin University, my varied role on non-for-profit boards and other professional associations, I have proved to be an adept listener, and I am able to accomodate wide and varied perspectives on the ways things could be managed and implemented. I meet deadlines, I am exceptionally organized, I am enthusiastic and I play well with others - skills that are likely to make me a worthwhile addition to the Advisory Council.

North Dakota

Nan S. Kennelly

I am excited and honored to be nominated for the Advisory Council election.  I have been a speech-language pathologist for almost 23 years and have worked almost entirely in the rehabilitation arena of our scope of practice.  I am thankful to say I still love what I do.  Currently I am owner and therapist of a small private practice for outpatient rehabilitative speech-language services.  Ours was the first of its kind (focus on adult rehab) in ND to my knowledge.  I have enjoyed both the challenges and rewards of growing this practice over the last 11 years, which has been interesting with frequent reimbursement and insurance change.  I would consider it both personal and professional growth to take my interests and abilities to a new level, and the Advisory Council feels like a great fit.  I am interested in the growth and health of my profession and like to be a part of solutions.  I consider myself an excellent listener and lifelong learner.  I am curious and creative by nature and look at issues from different perspectives to solve a problem.  I enjoy the experience of working in a group for a common goal and am very interested in what issues our profession faces as we move into new times.  I have great respect for my profession and colleagues and would consider it an honor to be a part of the Advisory Council.  I would welcome the challenge and responsibilities that accompany the position and am appreciative to be considered.

I have worked in the profession for nearly 23 years and have been owner of a small private practice for the last 11 years.  It was the first outpatient speech therapy practice for rehabilitation services in the state.  I have enjoyed the challenges in growing the practice and am proud of the service we provide in the community and state.  I served on the North Dakota State Board of Examiners for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (licensure board) for 6 years, chairing the committee the last three years. I am on the Board of the ND Head Injury Association.  I am a member of the ND Brain Injury Provider Coalition and was elected to the ND Brain Injury Advisory Committee in its inception/first term this year. I am active in forming new legislation to introduce this session to improve the support for individuals living with brain injury in ND.  I have been on the planning committee for the ND Brain Injury Conference for the last 5 years.  I created and also facilitate a survivors panel which is part of this conference each year.  I lead a support group each month for brain injury survivors and family members.  I am passionate about advocating for those we serve and have great respect for my profession and colleagues.  I consider myself a lifelong learner and believe in giving the best effort in any endeavor.  I am interested in helping and in learning a broader understanding of the contributions and challenges that our field encounters.


Adriane Baylis

I would like to serve on the Advisory Council to provide input into the strategic direction of ASHA initiatives that affect SLPs around the state of the Ohio and nationally. I enjoy participating in leadership activities and taking on new responsibilities. Through my past experiences on a variety of committees and boards within ASHA and other organizations, I have learned the importance of having representation of individuals of diverse backgrounds, ideas, experiences, and areas of practice. Through my “hybrid” experiences as a hospital-based, pediatric SLP, as well as clinical supervisor, university instructor, and researcher, I feel I can bring a unique blend of experience to this role.   Participation on the Advisory Council would be a way for me to bring new ideas to the table, yet also serve as a sounding board for SLP ideas and concerns to ensure their voice is represented in important policy and program decisions for ASHA.  I feel I am well prepared and offer strong communication skills to participate in this role. When an issue faces the Advisory Council, I would plan to gather all relevant information and perspectives and consider the impact on all SLP members.

I am a pediatric speech-language pathologist with 14 years of experience in clinical practice, primarily focused on the area of cleft palate and craniofacial anomalies. I completed my Bachelor’s at Marquette University, then went on to complete my MA and PhD in at the University of Minnesota. After working in a clinical-research role at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, I moved to Columbus, OH, to direct the Velopharyngeal Dysfunction Program and the speech-language services of the Cleft Lip and Palate Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. I also serve as a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Department of Plastic Surgery at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, with additional faculty appointments in Pediatrics and Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences. My current roles include supervising a CFY, providing clinical programs oversight and patient care, and conducting clinical research. I also enjoying teaching and lecturing at the university level. Through these experiences, I have developed skills across a range of areas relevant to SLP practice, administration, teaching, and research. I routinely present at the Ohio Speech Language Hearing Association convention, as well as ASHA and the American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association annual meetings. I have also served on the Coordinating Committee for ASHA SIG 5, Program Committee for ASHA conventions, and on multiple committees for the American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association.

Janice M. Wright

If you are not part of solution, you are the problem.  It is very important that the members of ASHA take an active role in providing advice and council to the ASHA Board of Directors.  ASHA is not an entity in and of itself, ASHA is it's members and it is important that ,as a member, I take responsibility for engaging in active deliberation in order to assist the Board of Directors in advancing ASHA's Strategic Pathway.  I feel  that my past three years as a member of the Advisory Council have provided me with an insight into the organization and this in turn has provided me with an opportunity to share this knowledge to others in my state.

I have served for the past three years as the Ohio representative and wish to continue in that role.  I have also served as the Director of Legislative Advocacy for my state association and as a member of the Governmental Advisory Committee for the Ohio Speech Language and Hearing Association.  In addition I served as a member of the Ohio Americans with Disabilities Advisory board for three years.


Karen Prescott Copeland

It is an honor to be nominated for service on the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council.  To date, I have enjoyed over 30 years of employment in a field which offers what feels like a perfect blend of science and art.  No two days are ever exactly alike.  Service on the Advisory Council would offer the opportunity and challenge to give back to the profession by being an advocate for my colleagues, and for the people with communication and swallowing disorders we care for.    I am fortunate to have a variety of clinical experience as an SLP, including acute care hospital, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation and home health settings, and school-based practice.  I also currently work as Education Coordinator for the Rehab Services Department at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, OK.  I believe my wide range of clinical and professional administrative experiences has given me the skills, knowledge and insight needed to be an effective member of the SLPAC, especially with regard to issues faced by SLPs in healthcare settings.  While I love my “day job”, my career has expanded to include adjunct teaching responsibilities.  The courses I teach deal with professional issues and ethics, and brain-based communication disorders.   These experiences provide me with an understanding of the dreams and concerns of soon-to-be SLPs, and if elected to the SLPAC, I would also strive to be a voice for them to ensure that their careers are as rewarding as mine has been.

Past-President, Oklahoma Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2000) Former Chair, Oklahoma Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology Board Certified, Academy of Neurogenic Communication Disorders & Sciences (ANCDS) ASHA Leadership Development in Healthcare Program 2014 cohort Standards & Ethics Committee Chair, Oklahoma Speech-Language-Hearing Association 2014 to present Publications Committee Chair and Webmaster, Oklahoma Speech-Language Hearing Association 2003-2009 ASHA SIG2 Professional Development Committee 2014-present ANCDS Communications Committee member National Aphasia Association State Resource Representative  In the various positions and roles listed above, I've had the opportunity to practice a range of management and team-building skills.  I've developed the skills needed to organize and conduct face-to-face and web-based meetings, conduct surveys and on-line registration activities, and maintain association databases. (And avoided harming my computer in the process! :))  I've also been responsible for developing cardinal documents of the state professional association and communicating their contents to members and the public at large, including one significant set of revisions to the practice act within our state.  I should note that it would not have been possible to do all of this alone, and much credit goes to colleagues and members who were willing to collaborate and contribute time and talent.

Tracy Grammer

I believe that no one solution to any situation is perfect. If a solution does not work to solve a problem, another one exists with equal or more possibility. As a clinician, I consistently strive to find the cause of a problem situation and treat from that aspect.  As a professional, I hold the same philosophy.  As a state leader and an advocate of our professions, I consistently strive to find the cause of a problem situation, lead, and manage from that aspect. As a member of the Advisory Council, I have had and will have the opportunity to assist in identifying the cause of problem situations, form strategies to improve these situations and to represent the voices of ASHA members in Oklahoma to ASHA.   Honestly, being the eldest daughter of five children I was raised to be a leader. My parents often joke that I was born with my hands on my hips, leading my siblings and organizing family events. Leadership is not a position, but an attitude. Leadership is not assumed, awarded or earned…it is lived.  I lead by example and by respecting the opinions and practices of others. Being open-minded to differences and valuing those differences are crucial to being a successful leader.  Through my work, others have seen my commitment to excellence and to making a difference. This attitude is contagious. My continued role as Advisory Councilor will be another method of leading others into affirmative action to meet the ever changing needs of our professions.

My clinical and leadership experiences have afforded me a vast exposure to the needs and concerns of the profession as well as the needs of those being served by speech-language pathology and audiology. I have a keen understanding of the importance of not only the clinical aspect of our professions, but also the business and legislative components. I have vast knowledge of the importance of ASHA relations and interactions to the state association as well as to the individual members.  As a speech-language pathologist of twenty-five years, my understanding of issues facing clinicians such as reimbursement, work-place requirements, and clinical skill enhancement will afford insight to addressing member concerns. As a member of the ASHA Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council since 2014, my knowledge and understanding of the importance and function of this council continue to grow. This experience and knowledge will enable me to better contribute to ASHA in forming strategies to improve problematic situations, enhancing the Associations' benefits to members, and to represent the voices of ASHA members in Oklahoma to ASHA.   My leadership experience includes serving as the 2009-2015 Chair of the Oklahoma Board of Examiners for Speech Language Pathology and Audiology,  the 2012 - 2013 and the 1999 - 2000 president for the Oklahoma Speech-Language Hearing Association, the 2004 - 2007 president of the Brain Injury Association of Oklahoma, the 2005 – 2008 Oklahoma Legislative Councilor to the American Speech- Language Hearing Association, and the 1999 - 2000 president of the Oklahoma Academy of Medical Speech-Language Pathologists.


Jessica Ashford

Since participating in the ASHA Leadership Development Program and LEND, I have looked for ways take an active roll in the ASHA governance. I believe that I would bring an valuable skill set to the Advisory Council given my leadership background, technical acuity, and project management abilities.  I am fortunate that my profession has a national organization that I strongly align with the mission, vision and values and look forward to the opportunity to serve my profession and colleagues through this Advisory Council position.

Throughout my career, I have continually sought positions to advance my leaderships skills and participate in the governance of my organizations.  As a graduate student, I was the graduate liaison on the board of my state organization (Oregon Speech Hearing Association).  During my CFY, I participated as a LEND fellow (leadership education in neurodevelopmental disabilities) in addition to my full time fellowship at Children's Hospital Los Angels.  In 2014, I was selected to take part in the ASHA Leadership Development Program.  Since that time, I have sat on various committees and clinical consensus groups throughout my hospital and university setting.

Lucas Carl Steuber

I've served on advisory councils to national organizations in the past, and I found that my voice could effect positive change. As I am passionate about the future of speech pathology locally, nationally, and internationally, a position on the advisory board would be both a great honor and a great platform via which to impact my peers and their clients.  Ultimately, though, this isn't about me. This is about my wanting to change as many lives as I can for the better as possible - the largest professional "footprint," if you will.  I was in an IEP meeting a year ago and the student's mother - in tears - said "I feel like you people should be helping guide him toward some light but all you do is teach him how to cope with the dark."  That haunts me. It's the kids stuck in the dark. It's the parents who don't know what to do when the school bus stops coming. It may sound dramatic, but as a parent, a clinician, and ultimately a human being, my life's work is to burn so bright for these kids and families that maybe - just maybe - we can get a little light into that dark - but I can't do it alone, and neither, I'm afraid, can we. If you trust me to act as advocate and liaison, there won't be a single moment where I don't communicate, act, and care.

I have had the honor of serving as the sole SLP liaison to the Strategic Planning and External Initiatives working groups for the Autism Society of America, in which my responsibilities were not only to advocate for our profession and priorities but also to help dictate policy for the organization as a whole. In my sub-specialty in augmentative and alternative communication, I have filled similar roles internationally, with my work as a representative taking me to Russia, Estonia, India, China, several countries in southeast Africa, virtually all of Western Europe, and soon Pakistan.  I am accustomed to being an ambassador, and I have passionate feelings about how we can enhance, reinforce, and overall improve our field in terms of scope, communication, diversity, and general awareness not only as a vocational option but also as a resource to the families we serve. As a private practice specialist, I also have very broad knowledge of Oregon and its needs, as my work with low-incidence disorders often takes me to far Eastern and Southern Oregon where very few related health professionals are available. Further, my dual licensure in Washington gives me insight to the difference in practice directly across the border and how we can complement and enhance our offerings.  This feels tailor made for my passions - thanks for your consideration! 


Joseph Donaher

I have a great deal of experience working on various ASHA boards and committees. However, I have spent limited time working at the state level on advocacy issues. I feel that now is the perfect time to get involved on my state's Advisory Council because with the support of ASHA, many important issues need to be addressed. These include telepractice regulations, licensure rules, and reimbursement practices. I feel that my experiences will allow me to represent our profession well and fight for speech-language pathologists and audiologists in Pennsylvania.

As the Academic and Research Program Director of the Center for Childhood Communication at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, I am well versed in the various clinical issues impacting speech-language pathologists and audiologists in the state of Pennsylvania. Furthermore, as a faculty member  at The University of Pennsylvania and adjunct instructor at Temple University for 10 years, I can also appreciate how these issues impact our educational system and research efforts at our universities.   Over the years, I have chaired ASHA's Specialty Board on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, served as associate editor and editor for Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, chaired the Research and Publications Committee of the International Fluency Association and completed ASHA's Leadership Development Program.

Felicidad Garcia

I’m seeking Advisory Council election because I want to become educated in and contribute to the diversity of influence on national policies affecting our field, in order to also be a more effective local advocate. As a member of SIG 14 (Cultural & Linguistic Diversity), I considered participating in a related board, until a colleague suggested the Advisory Council.  I was first introduced to ASHA governance as a 2011 Minority Student Leadership Program participant, which piqued my interest in becoming involved. Last fall – after a few years of clinical practice and doctoral study – I joined the faculty at Temple University, where I’ve had the pleasure of working on university committees, and was reminded of my desire to be more engaged at the national level within our profession. After some research, I could see Advisory Council was the ideal start. Although it might seem counterintuitive to be involved in a larger ASHA council before gaining experience in a more dedicated one, I feel there are two good reasons for following this path: Firstly, since my primary professional interest is in the equitable and effective assessment and treatment of CLD groups, then this is a value system that should be better represented in the wider platforms, in order to move our profession beyond special interest models of education and service delivery. Secondly, I think members who’ve contributed to larger committees first, may later be more valuable to the topic-specific committees seeking to make an impact on the whole organization.

As a faculty member at Temple University, I am involved in several committees, the largest one being the college’s Diversity Committee, which advises on how to increase inclusion and achieve equity in the university experience for all students, faculty and staff. I am also on the Advisory Board for the Saffran Conference led by Dr. Nadine Martin, and I co-direct a lab called the Multilingual Research Group dedicated to the research of language variation.      As a clinician, I consider myself a generalist, working across age groups and disorders, with a particular knowledge of multilingualism and some expertise working specifically with African-American English and Spanish-Influenced English speakers. Prior to graduate school, I was an AmeriCorps volunteer for a year in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and then later a Peace Corps volunteer for 2 years in rural Cambodia. I actually consider this the most relevant of my experiences, because they taught me to seek out and sit with multiple perspectives. Together, all of these roles are meant to convey that my experience as it relates to leadership and hopefully, the Advisory Council, reflects my values that speech-language pathologists are social justice advocates in the lives of their clients, students and colleagues. It is my passion in this field to create bridges of communication, across all manner of barriers and that takes more than cultural competency - it takes humility. This is the perspective I hope will qualify me to join the voices in the Advisory Council.

Rhode Island

Sheryl C. Amaral

It has been an honor and a privilege serving my first term as SLP Advisory Councilor for the State of Rhode Island.  Over the past 20 years I have been committed to "service to others" as a practicing clinician in the schools and in healthcare settings.  My Leadership positions on a State level and on ASHA committees and Boards have reinforced my mission and purpose to serve as an advocate for our professions and the patients and students that we serve.    Participating in active deliberation in providing advice and council to the ASHA Board of Directors has been an invigorating experience.  It has afforded me the opportunity to serve as "your" voice on the Council and to legislators and their staffs to educate and advocate for the passage of specific Legislation.  There is still so much work to be accomplished.    I am ready, willing and able to continue to serve as "your" voice  in this critical  role as an advocate and policy  adviser. 

Throughout my 20 year career as a speech-language pathologist, I have been fortunate to serve in various State Association positions including Past President.  My work on the Stat level encompassed working with ASHA as a Focused Initiative State for Salary Supplement.   These experiences led to continued service to our professions on a National Level.  Highlights of ASHA service include: SLP Advisory Councilor (RI), ASHA Board of Ethics, ASHA Continuing Education Board, Editorial Board for SIG 13 Swallowing & Swallowing Disorders, ASHA Convention Topic Chair for Swallowing  & Swallowing Disorders.  Additional ASHA contributions  include ASHA convention presentations in the areas of ethics, dysphagia, and performance reviews for School based speech-language pathologists.  In addition, I have participated as a co-author for various ASHA documents in the areas of pediatric dysphagia and performance evaluation for speech -language pathologists in schools and co-authored "Addressing  feeding disorders in children on the autism spectrum in school-based settings: Physiological and behavioral issues"; Language Speech & Hearing in the Schools;(April, 2008).   Serving as an Advisory Councilor for Rhode Island, is an honor and privilege that I take seriously.  I look forward to continued service on the Advisory Council.

South Carolina

Regina Lemmon Bush

ASHA represents the pinnacle of professionalism and advocacy for the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology.  I want to contribute to SLP Advisory Council to strengthen our profession and give back to the discipline that has given me SO much!  As a servant leader, I am willing to listen, actively engage with legislators and contribute to discussions/ focus groups in order to address issues of concerns for ASHA members.  I want to be actively engaged in the process to continue to move ASHA forward into the next decade and beyond!

I have had numerous opportunities to serve as a "voice" for both speech-language pathologist and audiologist throughout my career.  Some of these opportunities include: SLP Program Director at Columbia College (2015-Present) ASHA Advisory Council member (2012-2014) SCSHA President Elect-Elect/ President Elect/ President/ Past President of SCSHA (2009-2013) VP of Education & Information of SCSHA (2007-2009) Technology Committee/ Newsletter Editor, Council on State Association Presidents (2011-2014) SC State Department of Education SLP: Recruitment & Retention Taskforce 2008-2012 SC State Department of Education SLP: Recruitment & Retention Advisory Council 2009-2012 Columbia College Board of Visitors member (2014-2015) Community Advisory Board member for MUSC’s Project “Wide Spectrum Investigation of Stroke Outcome Disparities on Multiple Levels (WISSDOM) (2015-Present) Member, Lowcountry Community Actions Agency Health Advisory Council (2008-2013) Project Director, American Speech-Language Hearing Association Student Advocacy Grant for the South Carolina Speech-Language Hearing Association (2011) While participating in these organizations and boards, I have had the opportunity to hone my collaborative, advocacy and inter-professional skills.  It has been an absolute pleasure to serve this discipline!  I look forward to the opportunity to share issues and concerns as well as potential solutions on behalf of South Carolina SLPs/ SLP-As.

Martha Van Dam

I have great interest in serving ASHA and my fellow colleagues.  I am very passionate about the field of Speech Language Pathology and have enjoyed my career thus far.  I feel so lucky to be a Speech Language Pathologist and a part of ASHA.   I feel as if this position would not only be an opportunity for me to give back to ASHA, but it would also be a great learning opportunity for me.  I am not one who meets a goal and revels in that accomplishment without challenging myself with my next learning opportunity.  I find a great deal of passion being involved in groups or committees that have an impact on the larger good of a group of people.  This is likely why I am a Speech Pathologist and why this opportunity excites me.

I have participated in two Leadership Development Programs, one through my hospital system and the other being ASHA's Leadership Development Program.  I feel very fortunate to have had these opportunities where I not only learned a great deal from my cohorts in these programs, but I learned a great deal about myself and my strengths and weaknesses.  I currently serve on the Brain Injury Leadership Council of South Carolina in a similar role as that of the ASHA advisory council and feel as if my experiences on the BILSC have provided me with a great deal of growth.  I offer sound analytical skills, listening skills, and strategic thinking.  My role as a leader with the Greenville Health System has also given me the opportunity to develop in the area of business intelligence.  I have become more comfortable with administrative processes and strategic thinking from a business standpoint.  In my current role, I have learned the importance of an organization's vision, mission, and values in regards to educating stakeholders, managing people, building relationships and decision making.  I am excited about the opportunity to be considered for this position and if chosen, I would embrace the role with enthusiasm, commitment, and gratitude.


Paulette W. Gentry

As a leader at both the state and national level I have worked effectively with others and would like to continue working with my fellow Speech-Language Pathologists across the state of Tennessee but in a new capacity.  I feel it is very important to be an active listener and to take into consideration everyone’s   perspective.  I have been able to communicate our state’s educational issues with my fellow Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists, the state department of education, legislative personnel and ASHA directors. As the Tennessee Speech-Language Advisory Council member I would continue to be informed of ASHA’s programs /strategic plan. I would seek out and become aware of current issues presented by our members.  I want to be able to share Tennessee’s concerns with the board of directors.  I look forward to keeping our state members current on all national and state issues. I have used technology in my role as state and national leader; web based discussion forums, conference calls and group email lists.  I will be available to attend all meetings.  I will be an active participant at these meetings.   I feel it is important to stay connected, participate in discussions and works to share and advise the board of directors on any and all issues.  I would be much honored to represent Tennessee as the Speech-Language Pathologist Advisory council.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS TAASLP:  Public Schools Committee:   Chair Convention:   Program committee, silent auction chair Executive Board: Member-At-Large  President Elect President (3 terms) Past President  Council of State Association Presidents: Time and Place Committee Commissioner On issues and Planning Commissioner on Communication and Technology  President Elect President  Past President ASHA:  State Educational Advocate Joint Committee, State Association & ASHA: chair Autism Tennessee: Board member.


Kia Noelle Johnson

As speech-language pathologists and ASHA members in Texas, we benefit from being surrounded by several ASHA members from many backgrounds and clinical settings. However, this can make it more challenging for some to be heard.  I want to ensure that the voice represented to the Board of Directors is a collective representation of all Texas-based clinicians with a sincere respect and appreciation for the rich cultural and linguistic diversity represented within our state. I take pride in my own diverse background as a young African-American professional woman who has served as both a clinician and an academician. I have what is takes to represent the needs of those who may be less represented within our association, listen intently to all perspectives and make decisions that are best for ASHA members within our state.   Prior to making Houston my home, I had the unique opportunity to interact with ASHA members as a school-based SLP and as a clinician in a university-based medical center; I have worked together with ASHA members as a professor, researcher and collaborator at a rural-based university and now at the University of Houston; I have served alongside our members in service and leadership capacities within ASHA and other professionally-related associations.  Lastly, I have been afforded the invaluable prospective of observing ASHA’s leadership through participation in the Minority Student Leadership Program.    Serving on this council allows me to utilize my experience in teambuilding, communication and leadership coupled with my cultural competence and professionalism to work for Texas!

Aside from my own culturally diverse background, my professional experience makes me well-versed in recognizing issues that may impact those of us serving in variety of capacities including school-based settings, university settings, and university-based medical center settings. As a clinician with expertise in fluency and fluency disorders, I am also equipped to recognize and understand concerns that may come from clinicians practicing in less common speciality areas.  From my increasing research interests in bilingualism and stuttering, I have gained - and continue to gain - immeasurable experience working with individuals from cultural and linguistic backgrounds different than my own.    Outside of ASHA, I have invaluable experience from my leadership roles in other professional and civic organizations.  Specifically, I am beginning my second term as an elected Board of Director to the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing.  Through this capacity, I have played an active role in closing generational gaps within the membership and also served as parliamentarian. As a Board of Director, I have also collaborated with ASHA to advocate and lobby on Capitol Hill to represent the interests of our ASHA members and those we service.  I have also served as a two-term president of a local chapter to an international civic organization charged with the responsibility of unifying and motivating professional women to serve their surrounding community.    These experiences, and countless others, will ensure that I am prepared and equipped to represent ASHA members from all corners of the great state of Texas.

Michelle Mendietta

I am seeking a position on the Advisory Council to stay involved in speech pathology organizations that help toward our professional advancement.  As a member of the Advisory Council, I would be able to work with others in discussing issues of importance to our profession.  It would be an honor to represent speech pathologists in the state of Texas.

I feel that my past experiences as a school based SLP, adult rehab SLP, Therapy Director for a pediatric clinic/home health and my current role as a Team Manager in a Home Health setting have provided me with a good understanding of and appreciation for current issues in our field. I have learned the value of problem-solving, advocacy and relationship-building.    For the past 11 years I have volunteered for leadership positions in the Texas Speech Language Hearing Association, from task force chair positions under Educational and Scientific Affairs to my past role as Vice President of Public Information and Marketing.  I have also served on the TSHA Political Action Committee as a member and as Chair.    I welcome new learning opportunities and would look forward to a position on the Advisory Council.


Michael Blomgren

I have lived in Utah for 17 years and am proud to call the state home. I feel strongly that Utah deserves a robust voice within the ASHA Advisory Council. With three strong programs, Utah is a leader in speech-language pathology academic preparation. Utah’s medically based SLPs work in some of the most innovative healthcare settings in the country. Utah’s school based SLPs do amazing work, in spite of low salaries and inordinately large caseloads. We have plentiful amounts of innovation to share, but also have specific challenges of which ASHA should be aware. I feel my role as chair of the CSD Department at the University of Utah gives me a unique perspective on where the challenges to our profession exist and how to address them. It would be an honor to represent Utah on the ASHA Advisory Council.

I have been a SLP for 25 years. I’ve had the good fortune to work in a number of diverse settings. These include the public schools in both Hawaii and Canada, early intervention in British Columbia, as an SLP with New England Rehabilitation Hospital (Portland, Maine), in acute care at Hartford Hospital (Connecticut), and private practice. For the past 17 years I’ve been a faculty member at the University of Utah. I’ve also served on the board of the International Fluency Association and am currently chairing the fluency committee of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (essentially the international version of ASHA). I understand the role, and the opportunities, of serving as an advisor. I’ve served as an advisor to a number of academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and publishing companies. For the past eight years I’ve been the chair of the department at the U of U. In my role as chair, I’ve worked closely with ASHA regulations. Most regulations are logical and necessary, but others are unfortunately punitive and out of date. It is important for our Utah members to have an advisor at the table that understands the breadth and complexity of issues facing the field.


Hope Morris

I wish to serve on the Advisory Council to be a representative for our state speech-language pathologists (SLPs), providing a voice for our concerns, interests and in decisions made at the national organization level. In my previous experience serving on the Advisory Council, I learned the importance of connecting with our state SLPs  and our to advocate for our interests and how ASHA can best serve those interests.  Connecting with other SLPs around the country provided me a way to view our common interests and those that may be more specific to our small, rural state.  I feel that I bring the ability to reflect thoughtfully on questions posed by the Board and am able to be mindful of the interests of our SLPs. In addition, I wish to provide not only support to our state, but to utilize this opportunity to further the development of my leadership skills, as I know that this is a lifelong pursuit.  I look forward to this opportunity to give back to my profession.

Due to an unexpected position vacancy, I served on the Advisory Council for part of 2013 through 2014.  At the same time, I served on the Vermont Speech-Language-Hearing Association (VSHA) Board and was able to truly connect with many of the speech-language pathologists in our state.  I provided communication to the VSHA membership, keeping them informed of the current legislative focus of ASHA and was able to advocate for our collective interests with Vermont state legislators on Capitol Hill.  This experience demonstrated the importance of advocating for our interests with our legislators and to see first hand the level of responsiveness of each legislative office.    In addition to this experience, I have spent the last 2 years in the Programs Chair position for the VSHA Board and have continued to connect with our state membership to ensure their interests in continuing education are met.  Prior to this, I spent 4 years on the VSHA Board in the position of Academic Liaison, connecting the University of Vermont with the Board and the membership. I feel that my training and experience in different leadership positions in my 17 year career also have prepared me for this opportunity.


Donna Bryant

I am seeking Advisory Council election to grow professionally, serve my colleagues in Virginia, and contribute to ASHA.    Over the years I have valued my membership in ASHA, not only for access to journals and publications, but also for the opportunities to interact with others in my field.  Serving on the Advisory Council would expand my professional perspective by providing the chance to explore and discuss relevant topics in our field with colleagues from across the nation.  By doing so, I would be representing the speech-language pathologists from my state, adding our voice to the others.   In 2012, I completed the ASHA School Leadership Development Program.  Since that time, I have been using the skills that I developed to serve other speech language pathologists in my county and state.  I believe that election to the Advisory Council would allow me to put those skills to use for ASHA.

I have worked as a speech-language pathologist in Virginia since 1989, with time spent in localities from the Shenandoah Valley to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Because of this, I have met many professionals in varied settings and different fields. In addition to my day-to-day work, I have had multiple opportunities to meet and serve others. I have supervised and mentored graduate students who have grown to become colleagues.  I have served on the conference committee for the Speech and Hearing Association of Virginia.  I have been the Lead Speech-Language Pathologist in three counties.  I completed the ASHA School Leadership Development Program.    Since 2011, I have served on the SLP Leadership Consortium, which is coordinated by the Virginia Department of Education.  The consortium coordinates and provides professional development opportunities for school-based speech-language pathologists in Virginia.  This has included presentations to large and small groups and development of webinars.  As a team, we have coordinated an annual three-day conference for school-based speech-language pathologists and developed the Virginia Speech-Language Pathology Services in the Schools:  Guidelines for Best Practice.  These experiences are all relative to a position on the Advisory Council of ASHA.  They have allowed me to meet and know many colleagues within my state.  They have taught me to use my professional voice and share experiences and knowledge.  They have helped me to learn how to work with a group to accomplish a task.  All of these skills will be put to use if I were elected to the Advisory Council.

Seijra Toogood

I have had the opportunity to work in the schools as Speech-Language Pathologist for 16 years.  In this time I have observed many challenges that we face from many aspects (i.e.- therapy demands, school obstacles).  During these years of working in the schools I began to serve on many state and ASHA related boards which helped me to understand how I could advocate and discuss the concerns of my county and state SLP’s. As a previous President of SHAV, I continue to remain actively involved in issues that involve the state and the DC region as a whole.  I feel that I could be a vital member of the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council in Virginia.  I am able to listen and consider viewpoints of other members while discussing my opinion in an effective manner.  I can provide the prospective of Speech-Language Pathologists that work in the school system and ASHA members as a whole.

I have held elected offices for both state and ASHA boards.  I am the Past President of SHAV (Speech-Language Hearing Association of Virginia).  I am also the Past CSAP Secretary.  I have also participated and graduated from the ASHA LDP program and have served as an LDP reviewer in recent years.  I continue to be an active member in ASHA, participating in and seeking board nominations for my state when applicable.


Joan M. Jaeger

I am seeking election to the Advisory Council at this time because I have a history of volunteer professional service at the state & national level and would like to continue serving the profession of speech language pathology by working with others in ASHA to help to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve. I have long history of managing a medial speech pathology department working in in concert with various disciplines to improve the quality of care delivery to our clients.  I have always enjoyed taking a creative, proactive stance on problem solving and have demonstrated effectiveness in working with others to produce lasting results. I believe I can make a contribution for the betterment of the profession through this position.

1. ANCDS, Board Certified in Adult Neurogenics (1995-present), Certification Board 2004-2007 2. ASHA • Legislative Councilor 1993-2004 • Speech Language Assembly Associate Coordinator 1999 • Resolutions Committee 1999 • Governance Restructuring Design Team 1997  • Legislative Council Coordinating Committee 1996-1998 • Nominations Committee 1995 • Emerging Leaders Institute, Denver Co, 1991 3. Council of State Association Presidents, (CSAP) Executive Board 1991 4. Puget Sound Speech Pathology Directors Group –Coordinator 1986 5. Washington Speech, Language, Hearing Association (WSLHA) • State Medicare Advisory Committee 2005-2015 • Convention Committee; Volunteer Chair 2005 • Nominations Chair 2003-2015 • Senior ASHA LC Rep 1995, 1998, 2003-2004 •Ethics Committee Chair 1997-1998 • Long Range Strategic Planning Committee 1998 o Task Force on Medicare Reimbursement 1995-1996 • Past President, 1992; President 1991; President Elect 1990 • WSHA Coalition for Speech and Hearing Licensure, Co-Chair, 1986-1988 • Convention Program Committee, 1987, 2002, 2005 • Membership Chair, 1985-1987 • Membership Committee 1984 • DiCarlo Award Selection Committee 1983 • WSHA Rep to WA State Prof. Standards Review Org (PSRO) Committee, 1981.


Mary Bahr Schwenke

Over time, I have grown to appreciate the importance of advocacy, volunteerism and the strength of national and state organizations, not just for the clients we serve, but for the professionals who serve them. Advocacy is a powerful and important catalyst for change. Being an advocate gives us an opportunity to be some of the most persuasive and compelling messengers. In addition, much of the work in our professional organizations is accomplished by volunteers and I would like to give back to the profession that has empowered me to become the speech-language pathologist, advocate, and volunteer that I am today.  I am interested in serving on the ASHA Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council so that I can be a voice and advocate for our speech-language pathology professionals across the state of Wisconsin on issues that are important and relevant to the profession.  By serving on the Advisory Council, I will have the opportunity to advocate for and ensure that the voices of the speech-language pathology professionals in all work settings in Wisconsin are heard, to improve laws, policies and systems that affect our consumers and profession.  Information can then be shared and recommendations can be made to the ASHA Board of Directors regarding future programs to be supported by ASHA’s resources. I would be honored to support ASHA's strategic and forward planning efforts as a member of the ASHA Advisory Council.

As an ASHA Leadership Development Program graduate and a certified, Wisconsin and Illinois licensed speech-language pathologist with over 25 years of clinical and supervisory experience, my career has provided me with life-long learning and the capacity to make a difference.   Over the years, I have been fortunate to work in school-based, rehabilitation, teletherapy and home-based settings. I believe that the diversity of my background has given me unique insight into a wide range of issues that face ASHA constituents.   I have held the office the President of the Wisconsin Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Association (WSHA) for two terms and am currently the WSHA Past President.  Prior to the Presidency, I served on the WSHA Board as the WSHA Vice President of Government Affairs for two consecutive terms.  During my tenure on the WSHA Board, I was responsible for authoring five ASHA Pathways to Excellence Reimbursement, Personnel and State Association Grants.  The grants were used to advocate for and support streamlining the Medicaid Prior Authorization process as well as focus on workforce related issues. Workforce related advocacy is ongoing and WSHA continues to focus on promoting the value of our licensure, reducing licensing barriers as well as highlighting the contributions of school-based speech-language pathologists through the I Contribute Campaign.   These experiences have strengthened my ability to be an active listener, consider multiple view points, to think strategically, make informed decisions and communicate effectively with both individuals and teams.

Sarah Labaz

I am seeking Advisory Council election to ensure my work as a speech-language pathologist is not confined to the walls of the clinic, but instead reaches into the greater community.  Throughout my career I have sought out advanced leadership opportunities focusing, in part, within the areas of advocacy and education.  I believe that leaders in our field are those who ask questions, who work together to enact change where it is needed.  I am grateful to my fellow ASHA members and ASHA leadership for their immense dedication to make our organization strong and influential.  It would be an honor to serve on the speech-language pathology Advisory Council for Wisconsin to further my role in giving back to ASHA, advancing our field, and working to ensure the voices of all members are heard when making decisions to advance our organization.

I have gained robust experience within the area of governance and advocacy through my participation in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program at both the University of Iowa and University of Wisconsin-Madison.  LEND is an advanced interdisciplinary training program funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau focused on leadership, interdisciplinary best practices, advocacy and research.  Through my training in LEND I participated in advocacy visits with both local and national legislators.  I prepared and distributed educational materials on topics specific to speech-language pathology (e.g., funding for speech-generating devices) as well as wide-spread disability policy (e.g., medicaid reimbursement).  I have maintained my involvement in LEND through a faculty position where I am currently mentoring SLP graduate students who are researching trends in medicaid reimbursement for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) services in the state of Wisconsin.    Furthermore, my current involvement in the ASHA Leadership Development Program (LDP) has provided me with additional leadership training.  Through my participation in this program I have advanced my knowledge within the area of governance and influence on teams.  Importantly, the LDP has provided me with robust opportunities to participate in small and large group webinars and conference calls.  I feel comfortable and confident in my ability to participate in meetings of this format which will support my ability to contribute maximally during Advisory Council meetings.


Lynda D. Coyle

I am seeking the Advisory Council position in Speech-Language Pathology for my home state of Wyoming to further serve and represent the ASHA-certified community in Wyoming.  As the current clinic director at the University of Wyoming's Division of Communication Disorders program, I am well versed in the preparation of graduate students to enter the profession and to learn how to serve the broader professional community to which they belong.  I have served at the state level as an association president and wish to offer my expertise while equally expand my own leadership skills with an opportunity to serve at the national level. I am willing to embrace new learning and share my knowledge and skills with all the stakeholders in Wyoming and beyond.

As the Director of clinical education and clinical supervisor for speech-language pathology at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, WY I wear many "hats". In this role, I have had to be a good listener, think strategically and creatively especially in tough economic times and consider multiple viewpoints about difficult issues, especially when students are involved.   I have over 30 years of clinical education experience which includes clinical and academic teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels, administrative duties related to all clinical operations, and coordinator for all graduate student clinical placements and training. Beyond my role in the Division, my service to the University includes: serving on oral comprehensive committees,  chairing faculty and staff searches, and chairing or membership on various UW committees and participation in University events. My professional development includes presentations at state and national conferences and service on professional state and national association boards and committees.  I am familiar with the technology demands to support this new role and I am very willing to learn how to develop other skills to enhance my role as Advisory Council.

U.S. Territories

Nicolas Linares-Orama

The socio-cultural reality of the USA territories requires that Advisory Council members become aware of the opportunities and challenges that professors, clinicians, investigators and clients confront in these locales.  The fiscal situation of the territories call for evidenced-based alternatives in the provision of communication disorders services that are pertinent to our environment.  As an ASHA life member I have the knowledge, skills, attitudes and academic/clinical experience to provide input in these areas, especially those that deal with clients with severe disorders whose families do not have the financial resources for their appropriate management. Finally, we need to work on incentives for minority clinicians and professors in engaging in sponsored research about the specific clinical issues of our communities.

My experience includes:  Director of the Speech-Language Pathology Program, Department of Graduate Programs, School of Health Professions, Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico, July-August 2016 to the present.  Director of the FILIUS Institute on Individuals with Disabilities, School of Health Professions, Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico, December 9, 2015 to the present.   Member of the College of Health Professions UPR Advisory Board on Health Services for the Elders, October 2015 to the present.   Representative of the Medical Sciences Campus-UPR in the UPR Entrepreneurship Consortium, September 2015 to the present.  Coordinator for the UPR Medical Sciences Campus Committee towards a Culture of Compliance and Security, May to October 2015.  Coordinator for FILIUS with the COPAFI consortium with “El Pastillo” Conservation Trust for agro-therapy autism interventions, April to June 2015.  Director of the Puerto Rico Medical Center Office for Research and Development on (Re)habilitation and Health, March 2015 to the present.  Advisor on Special Education to Representative Brenda Lopez de Arraras, Puerto Rico House of Representatives, January to March 2015.  Coordinator for University of Minnesota students in a Puerto Rico experience about cultural and social issues of Latinos, December 2014-January 2015.   Advisor on research and development to the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Medical Center, San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 2014 to March 2015.  Advisor to the UPR Medical Sciences Campus Chancellor on Academic Excellence and Competitiveness, August 2014 to the present.  Law mandated member of the Puerto Rico BIDA Law for persons with autism, 2012 to 2015.

Marybeth Torres

I am honored to currently be serving as the US Territories Representative on the ASHA SLP Advisory Council and have served in the past as the International Representative. These opportunities have allowed me the opportunity to experience the importance and impact of the work done by the Council on behalf of our members. I have the experience, knowledge and desire to continue to represent ASHA members living and working in the US Territories. Residing in the US Territory of Guam for the past 28 years and working in both the Island Public and Private School Systems and the Island's only public hospital has given me a solid grasp of the issues, rewards and challenges ASHA members living in the Territories face. It would be an honor to be elected to this position.

I am a certified, licensed, experienced Speech Pathologist, active in the field for the past 36 years. I have worked in the mainland United States as well as the U.S. Territory of Guam in educational, clinical, hospital and home health settings. I am an ASHA  member in good standing. I have served on the ASHA Legislative Council (2007) and the ASHA SLP Advisory Council International Representative (2008-2009). I have served on ASHA Vice President's Government Relations and Public Policy Coordinating Committee-U.S. Territories, working successfully with other committee members towards highlighting contributions and identifying issues and challenges faced by ASHA members working in U.S. Territories. I have a firm grasp on the current status and evolving issues and needs of these members. I would be an informed, dedicated and contributing Council member if elected to serve in this position.

ASHA Corporate Partners