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COMMUNICATION disorders Inside

UVa NSSLHA Chapter Excels, p. 2 Undergrad Program Changes, p. 2 Talking EBP, p. 3 SPLISH and SPLASH, p. 3 Improving Higher Ed, p. 3 Faculty Notes, p. 3 Class Notes, p. 4

Curry in the Rankings In 2011, the Curry School of Education was ranked 22nd among graduate schools of education by U.S. News & World Report. Four program areas were ranked in the top 15: • Special Education • Secondary Education • Educational Policy • Elementary Education • Administration & Supervision • Curriculum & Instruction

/// In Rome: Emily Rippon, Katherine Wolfe, Amy Barnes, El’licia Price, Elizabeth Sutphin, and Jeniffer Corena.

Summer in Europe

Six Comm Dis Undergrads Conduct Research Overseas BY F IL IP LON C K E

The Curry Alumni Portal Get more news about fellow alumni and upcoming events:

Editor: Randall R. Robey, Director Communication Disorders Program Communication Disorders is published by the Curry School of Education and is sponsored by the Curry School of Education Foundation, P.O. Box 400276, Charlottesville, VA 22904 .


his summer, for the second year, a group of six undergraduate students from our program travelled to Belgium to conduct research with Dr. Paul Corthals of the University College Gent. UCG is one of the overseas sites with whom we have set up a formal collaboration since 2008. With the present program, we aim at two goals: undergraduate research and providing a cultural challenge. The research project consists of analyzing the acoustic characteristics of child-directed speech compared to adult-directed speech. During the spring semester, the students prepared for their trip by intensive study of the literature, by preparing the proposal for the Internal Review Board, and by collecting speech recordings in families. During their stay, the students worked on the acoustic analysis, the statistics, and the preparation of a manuscript. They presented their preliminary findings at a conference in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. The students made the most of their overseas stay, combining research with visiting clinical programs, attending (and presenting!) at a conference, and visiting Bruges, Brussels, London, Amsterdam, Rome, and Paris. El’licia Price summarized it all as follows: “Some of the most exciting aspects of my experience abroad were being hands-on with a research project, interacting with speech-language pathologists from diverse workplaces and strengthening my relationships with faculty—all while soaking up the beauty and culture of Europe!” /// Filp Loncke C O M M U N I C AT I O N D I S O R D E R S • S U M M E R 2 0 1 1


U.Va. NSSLHA Chapter Excels

The Distinguished National Record of Our Chapter Continues BY RA N DA L L R. R OB EY


n 2007, the U.Va. Curry School chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) began a rise to national prominence. That year, our U.Va. chapter won the Communication Sciences & Disorders Convention Scholarship sponsored by Delmar Learning. The prize in that competition was a set of 20 student registration fees for the ASHA Conference in Boston. In 2009, the leaders and members of our NSSHLA chapter earned, in a national competition, the NSSHLA Gold Chapter Award. Only three chapters nationwide achieved that honor. To achieve Gold status, a chapter must accomplish a rigorous set of service, philanthropic, and community outreach criteria (take a look at chapters/resources/recognition for a sense of the necessary commitment and effort). This past year has been huge! It began with U.Va. students maintaining NSSHLA Gold Chapter status and continued with earning the 2010 NSSLHA Chapter Honors. But our Wahoos were not done. They capped the year by being named the NSSHLA Chapter of the Year! For a sense of our student’s professional focus, their good works, and their commitment to excellence, take a look at their 2010 presentation to

national leaders found at chapters/honors/UVA-NSSLHA-Activities-Presentation.pdf. You will see, for example, that they made financial contributions to “4PAWS for Ability,” the Virginia Speech Language Hearing Association, The Stuttering Foundation, and the U.Va. Speech Language Hearing Center to establish summer scholarships for children presenting with autism spectrum disorders. In addition, our chapter members provided numerous services to the profession (e.g., volunteering at the SHAV conference) and the community (e.g., screening hearing in Wise County and providing holiday meals to families). Currently, NSSHLA leaders are working with the U.Va. Learning Needs and Evaluation Center to provide interpersonal and social support to U.Va. undergrads with Autism Spectrum Disorders as “social guides.” To say that our faculty members are proud to stand alongside of our students is an understatement. We respect and we admire them. Simply put, they are the very best—in Charlottesville and on the national stage.

Undergrad Program Changes Comm Dis Faculty Plan Program Enhancements and Expansion BY RA N DA L L R. R OB EY


ollowing the leadership of new U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan,* the faculty members of the Communication Disorders Program are working to enhance our undergraduate curriculum and learning experiences and to increase the number of students entering into our undergrad program. An invaluable partner in this endeavor has been our current and former undergrads. They have “taken the faculty to school” in explaining the realities of modern undergraduate life, as well as student’s expectations and aspirations. Our goals in terms of enhancing the undergrad curriculum include two new courses. The first is a survey of communication disorders. We plan to base this course in popular culture media (movies, plays, and television shows) that address each of several communication disorders. Lectures will begin in popular-culture and lay perceptions about individuals with a certain communication disorder and move to a professional discussion based in our ASHA Scopes of Practice. We are also planning a new structured clinical-observation course. In addition to new courses, we will open some existing grad-level pre-professional courses to undergraduate enrollments. These courses include Evidence-Based Practice, Linguistic and Cognitive Development, and Autism. As capstone experiences, we are actively looking at the possibility of an honors program and a senior thesis. 2

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In addition to the courses that we offer in the program, faculty members are looking for U.Va. courses in decision making, critical thinking, and behavior management. Ultimately, our aim is to markedly strengthen the undergraduate curriculum to prepare our students for graduate studies in Speech-Language Pathology and in Audiology. In terms of expansion, we are working to increase the number of undergrad students coming into our program. Our goal for this coming class was to double our class size. It turns out that we nearly tripled our number. Beginning this fall, and together with our students, we will begin an active recruitment campaign. We have discovered that it isn’t a tough sell. As one of our new undergrads told us, “The communication disorders program is the best kept secret at UVA.” We are looking forward to a much higher profile in the university undergrad community and are excited about what can come next. If you have ideas for us in terms of enhancing our undergraduate learning experiences, or if you just want to touch base, contact Dr. Robey by email at robey@virginia. edu. *For an introduction to President Sullivan, see

///Randall R. Robey

Talking EBP

Read more Curry School news at


/// Screenshot from the Talking EBP website:


new clinical-practice resource for speech-language pathologists has been created by LaVae Hoffman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, assistant professor in Curry’s Communication Disorders Program. “Talking EBP” is a semi-annual digital newsletter that briefly summarizes research findings related to evidence-based practice (EBP) services for students between the ages of 2 to 21 years with communication disorders in public school settings. The Talking EBP project addresses training and resource needs revealed by Dr. Hoffman’s 2010 research with school-based SLPs across

the Commonwealth. Both projects were funded in part by grants from the Virginia Department of Education. More than 400 SLPs in the Commonwealth were already subscribed to Talking EBP when its inaugural issue was distributed during May in celebration of 2011’s Better Speech and Hearing Month. Dr. Hoffman’s webpage provides links to archived issues of Talking EBP and subscription information. SLPs across the nation are invited to read and subscribe to this free resource at TalkingEBP.

Improving Higher Ed Effectiveness

Faculty Notes LaVae Hoffman’s research article entitled “Concurrent and Construct Validity Evidence for Oral Language Measures with School Age Children with Specific Language Impairment” has been accepted for publication in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Speech Language Hearing Research, a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Speech Language Hearing Association. Filip Loncke is chairing the 2011-2012 Research Committee of the International Society of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) and is a member of the program committee of ISAAC’s summer 2012 biennial conference in Pittsburgh. He has recently contributed a chapter to the book Handbook of Special Education (Kauffman & Hallahan, Eds.) Jane Hilton traveled to France several times this past year through the Deepening Global Education Grants program. She provided parents and educators of children with autism in Roubaix, France, with effective teaching and intervention tools. She also taught a short course on autism spectrum disorders in Ghent, Belgium, to students studying to become speech-language pathologists.

The Speech-Language-Hearing Center was filled with young visitors again this summer, as the Communication Disorders graduate program hosted two summer camps for children. SPLISH, or Speech-Language Intensive Summer Help, was a sixweek program serving 12 children with autism. Twelve graduate students and four clinical instructors worked with children three hours a day, four days a week, said Jane C. Hilton, director of clinical services in the SLH Center. They pretested children’s abilities at the beginning of the program, provided intensive, individualized speech-language intervention, and post-tested them at the end to gauge their progress. SPLASH, or Speech-Language Summer Help, provided services to 17 children ages 2 to 7 who experience articulation and phonological problems that impact their communication and pre-literacy skills. Twelve graduate students worked with participants for one and a half hours twice a week on letter-sound awareness, as well as book sharing, circle time, craft activities and snack time.

///Jane C. Hilton

A new research center at Curry will position the school at the forefront of the current debate about measuring the effectiveness of postsecondary education. The Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education will be a nexus for researchers across the university and beyond who wish to engage in the evidence-based study of postsecondary teaching and learning. “The center’s research will link the examination of instructional practice to student learning outcomes,” says Karen Kurotsuchi Inkelas, who serves as the new center’s director.

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P.O. Box 400268 417 Emmet Street South Charlottesville, VA 22904-4268

CLASS NOTES Fern Andraos (BS.Ed. ’06, M.Ed. ’08) works as a speech language pathologist in Annandale, Va. Edna Babbitt (M.Ed. ’97) has worked as a research speech-language pathologist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago since 2000. Molly Bumpas (M.Ed. ’02) is a consultant to teams working with children on the autism spectrum. Jenny Burton (M.Ed. ’05) is a speech-language pathologist in the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Pat Dewey (M.Ed. ’68) is enjoying retirement after 39 years with state government. Ryan Eagles (M.Ed. ’07) works for the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board Fredericksburg, Va., as a speech language pathologist in early intervention with children birth to 3 years old. Barbara Evans (B.S. ’72, M.Ed. ’73) has worked for Goochland County Public Schools in Virginia since the 1984-85 school year. Dianne (Randall) Foster (B.S. ’76, M.Ed. ’80) works as special assistant to the city manager in Hampton, Va. Lynn (Oliver) Fox (M.Ed. ’90) is an assistant clinical professor in the School of Dentistry, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Judy Garet (B.S. ’81) works as a speech pathologist for the South Huntington Union Free School District in Huntington Station, New York. Basira Harpster (M.Ed. ’99) is a speech pathologist at the Central Virginia Training Center in Lynchburg. 4

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Submit your class note at Barbara Wendt Harris (M.Ed. ’79) is audiology program director at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences, School of Allied Health Professions Center. Loretta Hicks (B.S. ’75) is retiring after 27 years from IBM Corporation on July 1. Linda Hollingsworth (M.Ed. ’04) works as a speech-language pathologist for Loudon County Public Schools. James Holman (M.Ed. ’10) works as a contracted speech therapist for EBS Healthcare and the Berks County Intermediate Unit in Reading, Pa. Patricia (Walsh) Kay (M.Ed. ’75) has a Manhattan-based pediatric private practice in speech-language pathology. Lindy Kent (M.Ed. ’96) works for Great Rivers Educational Cooperative providing speech pathology services to preschoolers residing in the West Memphis School District. Meagan Kidd (M.Ed. 07) has spent the last two and half years working as a speech-language pathologist at Kid’s Creek Therapy, in Johns Creek, GA. Laura Leviski (M.Ed. ’10) began her clinical fellowship in May at a private practice working with children in Greenwich, Conn. Carrie Lopez (BS.Ed. ’04, M.Ed. 06) was recently recognized as a Certified Brain Injury Specialist through the Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists, an organization affiliated with the Brain Injury Association of America. Becky Lower (BS.Ed. ’91, M.Ed. ’93) works at Clarkdale Elementary School in Littleton, Ga. Katherine Mackintosh (B.S. ’75, M.Ed. ’76)

is founder of Clear Path Health Coaching, LLC, in Raleigh, No. Carolina, and works in Integrative Health Coach Professional Training for Duke University. Garland Paul (B.S. Ed. ‘92) is a patient access rep for Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville. Helena Marshall Pittman (B.S.Ed. ‘08) has accepted a new position with the Reading and Language Learning Center in Vienna, VA. Michelle (Coman) Pruss (M.Ed. ’03) is a speech-language pathologist for Miami Children’s Hospital in Florida. Michael Ridenhour (M.Ed. ’73) earned his doctor of audiology from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Arizona School of Health Sciences. He works in Roanoke, Va. Meghan Roe (BS.Ed. ’08, M.Ed. ’10) is currently employed at Children’s Hospital Colorado and is serving on the Alternative and Augmentative Communication Team, the Child Development Team, and the Autism Team. Cheryl Sinner (M.Ed. ’99) works as an assistive technology specialist for the Rockwall Independent School District. Emily Wolber (M.Ed. ’10) is currently employed as clinical speech-language pathologist by Duke Voice Care Center, Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Raleigh-Durham, No. Carolina. Read more about each of the alums listed here at

Communication Disorders newsletter  

The official alumni newsletter of the Curry School of Education speech pathology and audiology programs.