More ACE Stories

Henrietta Dagher"I work in a public school setting as a speech-language pathologist and find that the most fulfilling aspect of working at the school is seeing the progress students make, which in turn boosts their confidence and enhances communication skills in their education, home, and community environments. The warmth and energy I receive from the children I work with inspires me to learn all that I can to better serve them. In order to do this, I seek to further my education about current research, technology, and therapy techniques or strategies to optimize efficiency and effective results."

"The ACE is a constant reminder of how dedicated I am to expanding my knowledge. For me, the ACE is a symbol of pride. For administrators, colleagues, and parents, it is an indication of my commitment to speech-language pathology and further demonstrates my experience and competency. I believe that it is not an option to continue one's education, but rather a necessity and it enhances the quality of speech-language pathology services that I provide."

Henrietta Dagher, Mississippi

Susan Rockafellow"I have been a practicing full time SLP for the past 39 years. During this time I have worked in all settings including schools, private practice, rehabilitation agency, nursing facilities, home health care and hospitals, foreign accent reduction and corporate speech training. With this varied experience I have had the opportunity to treat patients/clients with many different diagnoses. In every instance, I have felt strongly that continuing education was necessary to provide the most optimum care/therapy to each and every patient.

I have always embraced the opportunity to obtain CEUs. When receiving these ACE awards, I have always shared them with my employers. I have supervised many students and other professionals and have always emphasized the importance of continuing education within our profession. The ACE is an excellent format in which to track my continuing education. I am thankful to ASHA for developing the ACE. "

Susan Rockafellow, Indiana

Marva Mount"First, let me say it has been my honor to be an ASHA ACE Award recipient, ASHA member, and the Continuing Education Administrator (CEA) for SIG 11 and EBS Healthcare for many years. This amazing opportunity has allowed me to work closely with many ASHA employees in order to ensure that only the BEST CE opportunities were experienced by many ASHA members. Many of the most important aspects of my career to date have occurred thanks to my ability to gain up-to-date information through ASHA approved CE courses."

"The ACE award is a high honor that I strive to maintain. To me, it means that I recognize the need for continued learning, and that I acknowledge the immense responsibility I have as a speech-language pathologist to ensure I am well versed in the latest research and evidence-based practices in order to serve my clients/patients/students and their families to the best of my ability. I proudly frame and display the certificates in my office, and I am delighted to discuss them with colleagues, staff, clients and anyone else who wants to know what they mean to me, and why I display them proudly. The fact that I am an ACE recipient also conveys to my colleagues and clients that I am dedicated to my field and dedicated to life-long learning. It shows dedication and passion for my chosen profession."

"My professional mission is to maintain up-to-date clinical skills to ensure that I follow the most current research available concerning the various disorders, demonstrate excellent clinical skills that are evidence-based, and lastly, to ensure that I always function within my scope of practice. To do so, I must actively engage in continuing education. Otherwise, I am not doing my due diligence for my clients/patients/students, nor am I maintaining my ethical responsibilities to my clients and my colleagues. The ACE Award is a wonderful added bonus for doing my job well!"

"The ACE award is both a privilege and an honor. It is just another example of how our professional organization is there to empower us to empower ourselves as professionals. Speech-language pathology and audiology are amazing professions, as they allow us to help the many who cannot communicate freely. Continuing Education allows us to do so effectively and efficiently, every day, so we may enhance the lives of others. In kind, we then enhance our own."

"Thank you ASHA!"

Beth Goldstein"I believe that a big part of our professional understanding comes from maintaining an interest in best practices not only in our own areas of practice, but across the field of speech-language pathology. I think that earning the ACE Award is one way to stay true to this commitment."

"One of the benefits of continuing education is the professional connections I have made with SLPs who live in other areas. It is always a great thing to meet a like-minded professional who shares an interest or has expertise in an area that impacts my own practice. It has been so rewarding to build friendships and to re-connect each year at conferences. Another benefit of earning the ACE is the discount one earns on liability insurance."

Beth Goldstein, Arizona

Carrie Allyson"I am very proud to have received the ACE award. I feel that my therapy has improved significantly because of the continuing education I have participated in. Every child I work with is unique and I want to be the best therapist for each and every one of my clients. For me, this requires participating in continuing education programs to ensure that I am meeting my client's needs and having the most impact in their therapy outcomes. I work in a private practice in Kuwait where speech-language pathology is still in its infancy. While earning the ACE is a proud accomplishment, the most important benefit is the information I have gained through the continuing education I have completed."

Carrie Allyson Schaff, Kuwait

Pooja AggarwalAs a continuing education 'fanatic', I am always looking for intellectually stimulating conferences and research articles. We are so fortunate to work in a field in which we can have a profound impact on our patients' quality of life. As speech-language pathologists, I feel we are charged with the responsibility of making sure we are doing absolutely everything we can for our patients. I am reminded on a daily basis how much hope our patients place in us. I view each course I take as an opportunity that must be seized to provide the highest quality of care. As the field continues to grow and our colleagues continue their research, we learn more each day and are able to provide increasingly sound evidence-based practice. In order to provide the highest quality of care, I am continually searching for ways to better my therapy and improve patient outcomes."

"I recently attended a childhood apraxia of speech training course and was so please with the 'electricity in the air' as instructors and participants shared their knowledge and passion for working with children with apraxia of speech. It was by far the most amazing continuing education opportunity I have participated in! I feel so very fortunate to work in this field and to have the opportunity to continually work on improving the quality of care I provide."

Pooja Aggarwal, Virginia

Miyuki Hasegawa-Alonso"Being a holder of the ACE means a lot to me. It is a 'framed reminder' of my hard work and dedication. It also encourages me to continue to enrich my knowledge and resources by attending continuing education courses on a regular basis. I have my ACE certificate beautifully framed and displayed. Clients and co-workers have asked me about it and I am proud to explain to them how I got it."

"ASHA's recognition of my participation in professional development is one of the greatest benefits for me from earning the ACE. Because of earning the ACE I get a discount on my professional liability insurance. Its also an 'extra special' item on my resume. Earning the ACE a couple of years ago motivated me to become a presenter in conferences offered by ASHA CE Approved Providers at my former place of employment. I love to present and share the new knowledge and skills that I have learned with my professional colleagues."

Yaser N. Al-Sa'bi"First and foremost, I would like to thank the ASHA Registry for their dedication and commitment to help us meet our professional responsibilities through all CE activities offered throughout the year-from live conferences, to live courses and webinars, or through taped courses and seminars. I have been honored with three ACE awards in the past 4 years, and that is not the end, of course. These awards made me different. ACE empowers my clinical experience, as well as my theoretical background and helps me better serve my clients and their families, my students and my supervisees. As a general rule in health care services, the higher you are on the academic and/or the clinical professional rung, the more important continuing education becomes. As a PhD holder, I think earning my PhD in the field adds to my responsibilities rendering CE more of a necessity than mere intellectual luxury."

"It is indeed your professional responsibility to make sure that you are on top of all of the latest advances in your field for the sake of your patients and students. Therefore, I always encourage my colleagues and supervisees to stay tuned in and connected through ASHA CE activities. Thank you ASHA for making knowledge affordable, and accessible for every professional in our field. Finally, I would like to thank Mm. Sultana Alireza, director of Jeddah Institute for Speech and Hearing (JISH) for her continuing support and assistance that enables me to participate in these CE activities, be it local in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, or elsewhere in the world."

Lois Waldo"To me the ACE means that I have taken steps to insure that I am keeping current in my field and helps me better serve students and their families on my school caseload. It means I have attended a variety of learning experiences that have allowed me to network with fellow SLPs! Networking gives me opportunities to collaborate with a broad range of professional colleagues and the discussions and brainstorming that take place during my courses has brought fresh enthusiasm and 'dreams of possibilities' back to my day-to-day clinical practice. It also means that I can return to my school district with a renewed spirit and ideas to share with co-workers."

"If I hadn't taken additional graduate-level courses; if I hadn't kept current with professional literature; if I hadn't collaborated with other SLPs, and if I hadn't invested time and money in conference opportunities, I'm sure I would have 'bottomed out' years ago. I would have been unable to serve my workload/caseload in a manner they deserve. Thank goodness ongoing research and technology is available to allow us to better meet the very real needs of the students we provide services to in the schools. What we do can make such a difference to our students! But we can only make a difference if we hold ourselves to a high standard of preparedness. We don't have room in our professions for wimps or for complacency. If we rest on our laurels, they wilt!"

Jayanti Ray"We all know that 'ACE' refers to 'Award for Continuing Education', but for me, 'ACE' means something very special: 'A' for accountability, 'C' for clinical competency, and 'E' for efficacy. The ACE encompasses more that I can express with my word substitutions. I proudly display my ACE certificate in my workplace to encourage and motivate my students to earn their degrees and then engage in continuing education activities throughout their careers."

"For the past several decades, the amount of research/clinical information in the field of speech-language pathology has been exponentially expanding and leading to difficulty in keeping up with new information. However, with ASHA CE courses, I have been able to obtain current information in a systematic manner using distance learning, interactive web courses, and face-to-face workshops and conventions. As always, I enjoy the feeling of self-accomplishment every time I earn an ACE."

Jayanti Ray, Missouri

Robert Beiter"As a forensic audiologist and an occupational audiologist, the ACE provides clear verification and documentation that I stay current with my profession. My patients and industrial clients as well as my staff recognize my achievement. I am in the process of ordering a large ACE certificate for my office wall that will signify that I have met exceptionally high standards for continuing education, as stated by ASHA!!"

"I believe that continuing education is critical, as well as being enjoyable. It's also relatively easy to participate in continuing education courses. It says a lot about one's dedication to their work and professional competence. As one who has attended conferences and conventions my entire career for the purpose of staying current in my selected areas, all I need to do is sign up for ASHA CEUs and pay a very minor annual fee. Essentially all the conferences I attend offer ASHA CEUs (ASHA ,AAA, AAS, and NHCA)."

Robert Beiter, Illinois

Nicole Hickmon"I love that I have earned 4 ACE awards since graduating in 1998. It makes me feel proud that I have continued to learn and grow as a clinician. It has always been important for me to feel that I am keeping up with the changes in our field and making a difference with my patients."

"I recently listed my ACE awards on my resume; something I had not previously considered. I felt that stating I had earned multiple ACE's spoke about me as a clinician and my dedication to my field."

"Being a SIG affiliate has enhanced my opportunity to earn the ACE because of the various continuing education opportunities offered through my SIG (Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders). In addition, I find that having information provided via the listserv and references to articles helps keep me 'in the loop' on where to find articles relevant to my particular professional needs."

Virginia Berry"I am honored to have been part of the ACE program since its inception and proudly display my most recent certificate routinely in my office. Clients and their families often inquire what that certificate means. I tell them that even though I'm getting older, I don't think my quest of knowledge should end."

"The benefit (of earning an ACE) to me is simply a feeling of satisfaction that I am better prepared to meet the needs of my clients and their families."

"I would tell (new clinicians) to never stop learning or seeking out knowledge. The Scope of Practice in our field is not constant, rather, is always changing. After graduation, young graduates often think their learning curve is complete. I always emphasize to them that continued professional development is the core of what makes an outstanding professional."

Virginia Berry, Mississippi

Denise Dougherty"One of the benefits of earning the ACE is that I know I'm doing all I can to stay current in the field. I get personal satisfaction knowing that I'm doing all I can to stay up to date in order to provide the best service possible to my clients. Since I'm in private practice, it is my own personal accountability that motivates me to continue to learn. If I don't continually update my skills, my clients are the ones who are impacted. Clients are more savvy than ever before, seeking out professionals who have specific skills. For me, education is never ending!!"

Denise Dougherty, Pennsylvania

Janine Baldis"The speech-language pathologists in our district have ‘personal best' contests amongst ourselves for who has more ACE awards. My director asked me the other day in a meeting how many ACEs I had so far. I do have a certificate that I display in my office and people do ask what it is. Also, I give copies of my certificates to my direct supervisor, my principal and the director of the speech department. It is beneficial to have something tangible to show them that I participate in extensive professional development."

"I believe that working in the areas of speech-language pathology and audiology involves a journey of life-long learning and keeping up on new research and trends in the professions is essential in providing the best services possible for our clients."

Janine Baldis, Nevada

Ken Kwasniewski"The ACE reaffirms my commitment to serving others. It is a visible representation of that commitment, as well as the commitment to stay current in order to constantly improve my skills and best serve my clients. The ACE provides a nice "pat on the back" for staying current and up-to-date with my clinical skills and knowledge.

I am grateful that at the age of 21 I recognized that the profession of speech-language pathology would provide me a platform for a lifetime of learning!"

Judith Erwin"I am very proud that I have earned an ACE and I believe it has shown my supervisors how dedicated I am to continue to improve myself personally and for the betterment of the students in my district who receive speech and language services. As a supervisor, I think it is very important that I stay abreast of all current information so that I can share this information with my staff. I often tell my Clinical Fellows that most of what I do as far as therapy techniques, eligibility determination and assessment are things that I have learned since attending continuing education courses after I graduated.

One of the unanticipated benefits of earning the ACE has been that I have met speech-language pathologists from all over the country at the conferences I have attended.

Belonging to a Special Interest Group (SIG) has been very beneficial to my continuing education and earning the ACE as the information I get through the SIG is specific to my job setting, practical and valuable to my work."

Tatyana Elleseff"To me the ACE means that I am keeping up with all the latest developments in the field. I never actively count my CE hours, but rather focus on what courses I need so I can brush up on my knowledge and can maintain a competitive edge. The way I think about it is that I am not necessarily earning the ACE for myself, but I'm doing it for my patients. They are the primary beneficiaries of all my hard work!"

Tatyana Elleseff, New Jersey


Nola Radford"The ACE is a visible 'mile marker' of my commitment to lifelong learning. The ACE demonstrates professional accountability and evidence of credibility. I would tell new clinicians to use continuing education to deepen knowledge in areas which need strengthening. Continuing education records your professional growth and supports quality service to clients, achieving personal satisfaction in the field and also enhances marketability.

My SIG Affiliation has been very important: particularly during periods when travel funds for distance training are shrinking. The Perspectives articles are quite useful and I generally find something in each issue to immediately apply to intervention, teaching or research."

Melissa Denker"To me, the ACE means that I am doing my best to stay on top of current research so that I can provide the best, most efficacious care to my patients. Our field is ever changing and incredibly broad. It is impossible to learn everything you need to know in grad school and continuing education is vital to being an effective clinician. Continuing education helps build confidence and skill.

I belong to two Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and they have been vital in earning the ACE award. I not only complete the quarterly Perspectives newsletter, but the information discussed in these has inspired me to pursue further educational opportunities. I think the SIGs keep me up to date on the most vital areas of my practice."

Patricia Prelock"The ACE provides a recognition of my commitment to ongoing professional development so I can maintain and enhance my competency as a speech-language pathologist. We are lifelong learners and we owe it to our clients, our students in training and ourselves to be up to date clinically and to be guided by the evidence to best serve those with communication disorders.

Being a Special Interest Group affiliate has influenced my ability to earn the ACE through focused training experiences and sponsoring high quality professional development opportunities.

I also appreciate the ease with which I can access CEUs and keep track of my professional development activity through the ASHA CE Registry."

Renee Rosenberg"As a veteran speech-language pathologist, I think it is extremely important to stay "fresh" and up-to-date in our profession. Having the ACE is more of a personal accomplishment, although I share my ACE award with my administrators who recognize my commitment to keeping current so that I can provide the highest quality service to my students in the public school.

With practicum students, I stress the importance of always keeping up on current trends and research. One of my practicum supervisors stressed to me that it takes 10 years to feel experienced as a clinician. Continuing education helps you to gain the confidence in your therapeutic methods, ensuring that your practice is evidence-based.

Our Special Interest Group's Perspectives publication has been beneficial towards earning the ACE as it always addresses current issues and offers the opportunity to earn ASHA CEUs which I can complete on my own schedule over a 3 month period. It's convenient, as well as timely in that the Perspective'stopics support my clinical skills."

Davidson"Earning the ACE is one more way to show how passionate I am about my profession. Continuing education not only benefits me, but my clients too. The ACE feels like a nice 'pat on the back' for staying current in the field, and I didn't anticipate being able to receive a 10% discount on my professional liability insurance through Mercer Consumer as a benefit from earning the ACE.

It feels good to stay at the 'top of my game', and going to workshops, trainings, and conferences is really enjoyable. I also read the articles from the SIG 12 Perspectives and I answer the questions for ASHA continuing education credit. The format is convenient and affordable and the topics are relevant to me."

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