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NEWSLETTER SPRING 2019

37th Annual

Van Riper Lectures Cognitive Communication Disorders in Aging Populations

October 25, 2019

Featuring keynote speaker

Nidhi Mahendra, Ph.D. Register at mywmu.com/vanriper starting Aug. 1

Strong legacy, bright future

A message from department chair, Laura DeThorne As my first academic year at WMU comes to a close, it seems fitting to share my newcomer’s view of the department and offer a glimpse of where our future might lie. From the moment I stepped on campus, this department’s strong legacy in clinical education has been easy to see. From the stories of our prominent alums to the stabilizing influence of our senior faculty, it is an honor to help lead such a committed and influential department. Also clear to me is this department’s unique position to lead the way in interprofessional education, a new area of emphasis in the 2020 ASHA Standards. This is already Dr. Laura DeThorne, Chairperson present in our clinical education programs, from collaborative provision of aural rehabilitation across speech-language pathology and audiology, to supervising a social work intern in our Charles Van Riper Language, Speech and Hearing Clinic. Together with WMU’s College of Education, we will lead eight undergraduate students in a study abroad opportunity in Senegal. We also look forward to showcasing WMU’s interdisciplinary leadership at the 2019 Van Riper Lecture, which includes an interdisciplinary panel discussing clinical care related to cognitive communication disorders. We have also been grappling with meaningful and complicated issues germane to the future of our field -- issues such as health disparities, histories of trauma, and the limited racial-ethnic diversity of professionals within our field. This year our department revised our graduate admissions process to better align with best practices in gender and racial equity, co-hosted a talk by Dr. Paul Archibald about racism and trauma in the context of clinical service provision, and helped plan the 2019 CHHS Diversity and Inclusion Conference.

IN THIS ISSUE: General Updates

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Faculty News

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Alumni News

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Student News

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Join us and your classmates on Facebook. Connect and share news, learn about departmental news, events, activities and career opportunities.

WMU Audiology and Speech Pathology Alumni

Our strong clinical legacy, paired with our commitment to learn and grow, offers us a unique opportunity to shape our field in meaningful ways for generations to come. Thank you for being a part of that process.

Hyter nominated for ASHA VP role Yvette Hyter, Ph.D. has been nominated for ASHA Vice President for Planning. In that role, she would focus on strategic planning for ASHA and would be the liaison between its board of directors and its multicultural and international Issues Board. Yvette has years of experience in strategic planning at ASHA, WMU, and the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics. She also offers a strong record of work related to multicultural and international issues. More info at asha.org/about/governance/election. Vote before May 29!

wmich.edu/speech-audiology


FACULTY NEWS Jing Shen receives NIH award Jing Shen, Ph.D., was awarded an Early Research Career Award from National Institute of Health to study why some older listeners benefit from pitch cues in speech more than others, and why some understand speech better than others in background noise. In this three-year project, Dr. Shen will work to identify perceptual factors that contribute to this variability. Ultimately, the research may lead to the development of pitch enhancement strategies customized for older individuals based on their perceptual ability. More information at wmich.edu/auditorylab.

Robin Criter leads her students in research Last summer, Robin Criter, Ph.D., received the WMU Faculty Research and Creative Activities Award for the project, The effect of hearing loss and its treatment on fall risk indicators. Second year Au.D. students, Moriah Steele, Nicole Satkowiak and Brittany Biondo are gaining valuable research experience working with her on the project. This work will continue through November 2019. Dr. Criter also presented work she authored with fourth year Au.D. student, Megan Gustavson, at the American Auditory Society meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona in March. That presentation is titled, Subjective hearing difficulty and risk of falls in audiology patients.

Danielle Northrup

Finally, third year Au.D. students, Melanie Sheperd, Katelyn Grizzle and Danielle Northrup, are working with Dr. Criter on a survey of interprofessional education at CHHS.

Dr. Robin Criter

Faculty present at leadership summit Robin Pollens and Sandra Glista were invited presenters at the 2019 Aphasia Access Leadership Summit in Baltimore, Maryland. Their panel presented academic modules and other resources for educating students and professionals about the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (LPAA). These modules explain the research evidence, foundations, assessment practices, and treatment methods when following the LPAA and are freely available at aphasiaaccess.org.

Yvette Hyter finishes active year with award, nomination In April, Dr. Yvette Hyter was recognized by the College of Health and Human Services with the 2019 Scholarship Excellence Award. Dr. Hyter has spent the last two decades studying cultural differences in how people communicate. During her time at WMU, Yvette has published 35 peer-reviewed journal articles, chaired key national committees, and served as a key personnel or consultant on grants totaling approximately $5 million. Our past ASHA president described her as “highly regarded within our field” and a “clear leader in the association’s focus on international practice and research.” In line with this recognition, Dr. Yvette Hyter’s poster with Drs. Kenyatta Rivers and Glenda DeJarnette at the ASHA 2018 Convention received a meritorious award for “extraordinary, exceptional, and innovative work.” The poster was titled Social Communication, Pragmatics, and Literacy in African American Children and Adolescents.

Laura DeThorne, Yvette Hyter and CHHS Dean Ron Cisler at the CHHS Faculty and Staff Awards presentation


Alyssa Eminhizer joins department

Hope Gerlach joining us this fall

In January we welcomed Dr. Alyssa Eminhizer as a tenure-track faculty specialist I. Alyssa has a strong WMU legacy, having received her doctorate of audiology at Western in 2015 and joining faculty in a term position in July 2016. Alyssa’s service provision and clinical supervision includes audiological assessment, hearing aid fittings, and aural rehabilitation.

We are excited to announce that Hope Gerlach will be joining us this fall as our newest tenure-track assistant professor. Hope is a certified SLP and is currently finishing her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. Hope brings academic and clinical expertise in fluency and stuttering and is very interested in contributing to WMU’s strong history in translational research and stuttering support.

She has been a dedicated faculty advisor to our Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) and is passionate about bringing new students into the field. She will be teaching our Intro to Audiology course in the fall.

In her free time, Hope loves to embark on adventure- and food-related travel with friends and family. She also enjoys yoga, coffee, volleyball and spending time with her adorable and quirky dog - Rogue.

Cary Cekola receives tenure Having joined the department as a clinical faculty member in 2011, Cary Cekola was approved last summer for tenure by the WMU Board of Trustees. Cary developed our online introductory course to Communication Disorder and Sciences and provides clinical education in the Charles Van Riper Language, Speech and Hearing Clinic. She is a founding member of the Western Evaluation Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (WECAN) and a coordinator of the Preschool Language Program (PLIP), which offers therapy for children in small groups using speech-language pathology and music therapy. Cary has also been a faithful advisor to NSSLHA and has served on the ASHA Advisory Council. Away from WMU, Cary loves spending time with her husband and son, getting dirt under her nails in the garden, learning about historical architecture, going to concerts, traveling and antiquing.

Growing ASL program welcomes new instructors Please join us in welcoming two new instructors to our growing American Sign Language Studies program. Rachel Swearington received a Bachelor of Applied Science in Sign Language Interpreting and has served as an ASL instructor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College for more than 10 years. This spring she began teaching our ASL I course. Rachel knows three languages and loves to travel. Willis Dickmann is a native signer with a Master of Science in Sport Administration. He has worked with children and youth in a variety of educational settings. This spring, he helped facilitate classroom activities and provided tutoring for students in our ASL courses.

Fall 2018 faculty retreat Faculty kicked off the school year with an August retreat at the Heronwood Field Station, part of the Kalamazoo Nature Center. In addition to updating directory information, revisiting the strategic plan, and discussing the need for more faculty, we enjoyed a visit from WMU’s new VP of Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Candy McCorkle. Dr. McCorkle led us in an exercise to explore forms of demographic privilege (e.g., race, gender, sexual orientation), which helped frame our discussion of the limited racial and gender diversity within our study body and professions.


Sandy Glista retires after 37 years at WMU Joining WMU in 1982, Sandra Glista taught our graduate courses in neurologic communication disorders. She received training grants from the U.S. Health Resources and Service Administration to prepare health professionals for work with older adults in interdisciplinary teams. Along with Robin Pollens, she initiated, built and coordinated the Aphasia Communication Enhancement (ACE) program in our clinic. Sandra is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and received the Outstanding Clinical Achievement Award (Michigan) from the ASHA Foundation. She served as president of the Michigan Speech-Language Hearing Association and received its Distinguished Service Award and Honors. In retirement, Sandra, who is a master gardener, novice weaver, and avid mystery reader, plans to grow trees.

Ron Kelley announces retirement Ron Kelley, adjunct assistant professor, has announced his retirement after working as a clinical supervisor in our clinics for the past 13 years. Ron has worked in the field of rehabilitation for the past 50 years, 37 of those in speech-language pathology. His inspiration to work with people who stutter came as a graduate student at WMU, being mentored by Dr. Charles Van Riper. Ron has been a member of the staff at Camp Shout Out (a camp for youth who stutter) since it began in Michigan in 2011. Ron and his wife Char plan to move to Indianapolis to be closer to their two children and three grandchildren. Ron will continue to raise and show guppies!

Retired faculty contributes chapter Jim Hillenbrand, who retired at the end of 2018, has written a chapter for the Routledge Handbook of Phonetics. The chapter is titled “The Acoustics and Perception of North American English Vowels” and appears in a larger section called “Theories and models of speech perception and production.” Jim’s article summarizes what is known about the basic mechanisms that allow speakers to shape vowels with specific acoustic properties. It goes on to discuss theories that explain how listeners recognize vowels, particularly when utterances are produced by speakers with widely varying laryngeal and vocal-tract characteristics.

Beloved professor and department chair passes With great sadness, we report that Dr. John M. “Mick” Hanley passed away on February 11, 2019. Dr. Hanley was well known for his expertise and research in the area fluency disorders. He came to Kalamazoo after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa and taught hundreds of students from 1977 until his retirement in 2007. He served as chair of the department for 17 years. He is remembered by former students and colleagues across the country for his intelligence, teaching excellence and humor. For those so inclined, Mick’s family requests that memorial donations be made to the WMU Foundation for the John M. Hanley Endowed Scholarship or to the American Cancer Society. Read the M-Live obituary here: http://bit.ly/2N6Oi4K


ALUMNI NEWS Outstanding alum recognized at WMU’s Night of Excellence Allen Montgomery, Ph.D., research professor in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at the University of South Carolina was selected as one of two 2018 inductees into the Outstanding Alumni Academy of Western Michigan University’s College of Health & Human Services. Dr. Montgomery grew up with a severe stutter and was treated with Van Riper methods of speech therapy, which virtually eliminated his stutter. That led Allen to WMU, where he studied under Charles Van Riper and graduated with an M.A. in Speech Pathology in 1961. When being told of the award, Dr. Montgomery stated, “I am truly honored to be an inductee into the Outstanding Alumni Academy. My year at Western really launched my career. I still use skills and a philosophy of life that I acquired there! My time there was a true growth experience. I took what I learned from Van Riper and have applied it throughout my life.”

Alumni updates Joseph Pillion, B.A. (‘72) Joseph Pillion served as the director of audiology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, Maryland and retired in 2018 after 34 years in the profession. His M.A. and Ph.D. were earned at the Ohio State University. Elizabeth Beeman Holzhausen VanSlyke, M.A., (‘89) Elizabeth is a five-time ASHA ACE award recipient and is currently employed with the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she says, “organization is key to working in a school setting!” Mary Ann Records, M.A. Mary Ann retired after 43 years in the profession most recently at the Southern Nevada Healthcare System in Las Vegas, Nevada. She advises students, “be happy and hopeful, as you do make a difference in not only the lives of your patients, but their families as well.” Jean Deiss, B.S., M.A. (‘97, ‘99) Jean Deiss is employed with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in within the Northern California Health Care System where she is the progressive tinnitus management program director.

Update your information If you are an alumnus and would like to update your email or mailing address or let us know about a new job or any other changes in your professional life, there is a form available on our website. Simply visit wmich.edu/speech-audiology/alumni to let us know.

Gary Lawson, Mike Clark, James Hillenbrand, Sandy Glista, Mick Hanley and Kathryn Hillenbrand


STUDENT NEWS Students present at MSHA Annual Conference Students from the Department of Speech. Language and Hearing Sciences presented posters at the Michigan Speech Language Hearing Association Annual Conference in March 2019. Undergraduate students who volunteer at the Neurogenic Communication Intervention Lab, directed by Dr. Suma Devanga, presented posters. Anika Johns and Addisun Victory presented a poster titled Generalization of Language to Everyday Conversations: An Aphasia Treatment Study. Rachel Wilgenhof, Katelyn Roberts and Jansen Rodgers presented a poster titled Collaborative Referencing in Wernicke’s Aphasia: A Case Study. Mentored by Robin Pollens, graduate students Ashley Jacqmain, Tara Kozlowski, Stacy Lecznar, Cassidy Taljonick and Bradley Tanguay presented a poster, Facilitating ‘Living with Aphasia’ Treatment Groups in a University Clinic.

National Student Speech Language & Hearing Association Update WMU’s NSSLHA chapter has been busy fundraising and volunteering across campus and in the community. Students hosted fundraising events to support the NSSLHA ASHA Student Scholarship, Voices of Hope for Aphasia, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Constance Brown Hearing Centers and more. They also focused on recruitment and support, working with underclassmen and firstyear speech pathology and audiology students as they transition into the undergraduate programs. They continued their mentoring program, and executive board members led weekly study sessions. For updates and reminders, find them on Instagram or Twitter at @nsslhaatwmu, or on Facebook by searching for NSSLHA Western Michigan University.

The Student Academy of Audiology Update In January, SAA members attended Career Cruising, a Martin Luther King Day event to introduce middle school students to the discipline and career possibilities in Audiology. Our members demonstrated cochlear implants, allowed students to experience hearing aids, and talked to them about hearing conservation. In March, members of SAA attended the first annual Portage Elementary STEAM Event at Air Zoo. There they asked the students to put eight sounds in order from loudest to softest. The students were able to see what their own ear drum looked like using a video otoscope. The most popular demonstration was a visual representation of how sound travels using a tuning fork, a bowl with plastic wrap, and salt.

SAA golf fundraiser WMU’s SAA chapter is planning its third annual golf outing fundraiser for August 17. Please save the date for this fun event. Watch wmich.edu/speech-audiology for details.


Psi Iota Xi Scholarship award Hannah Bleech received this year’s Louella Bradley Endowed Scholarship. The $1000 scholarship is designated by Eta Omicron, the local chapter of Psi Iota Xi. Psi Iota Xi Sorority is a philanthropic organization dedicated to supporting community needs, including the field of speech and hearing. Eta Omicron has a long-standing relationship with WMU’s Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences through financial support of the Van Riper Lecture Series. Pictured (L to R): Dr. Jaumeiko Coleman, Maureen (Mo) Dix, Sue Arlington, Courtney Bergstrom, Lou Bradley, Hannah Bleech, Connie McDaniel and Dr. Teresa Ukrainetz.

Two seniors receive Undergraduate Award for Research and Creative Scholarship Two seniors in the department, working under the guidance of Dr. Suma Duvanga, received Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Excellence Award from the WMU Office of the Vice President of Research. Anika Johns is studying the effects of aphasia intervention by analyzing conversations between participants with aphasia and their clinicians and caregivers. Johns is conducting research for her Lee Honors College Thesis and is hoping that her research will indicate whether participants can generalize and transfer what they have learned in treatment to their daily conversations with caregivers at home. Rachel Wilgenhof is interested in studying collaborative learning patterns in individuals with Anika Johns and Rachel Wilgenhof Wernicke’s aphasia. Rachel is heavily active in the Neurogenic Communication Intervention Lab, where she studies the effects of conversation-based treatment on adults with aphasia and other acquired neurogenic communication disorders.

Student Scholarships for 2018-19 2018 Lee Honors College Best Thesis Award Madeline Smith

Psi Iota Xi Louella Bradley Scholarship Hannah Bleech

2018 WMU Presidential Medallion Scholarship Sabrina Welch

Randall M. and Barbara L. Webber Scholarship Courtney Bergstrom

2019 WMU Presidential Scholar Jessica Segraves

Raymond and Beverly Shevchik Award Hadassah Hanson, Jenna Mattison, Ajenae McGill, Gabrielle Mueller, Shannon Robinson, Ryan Shubert, D’acia Simuel, Demi Stavropoulos, Marissa Sterken, Markie Venturini

Dale K. Kenneth Wilson Scholarship Katelyn Grizzle Dean Emerita Marie L. Stevens Scholarship Melanie Dietrich Gary Lawson Audiology Scholarship Nicole Satkowiak John “Mick” Hanley Scholarship Stacy Lecznar

Robert and Candis Warner Scholarship Meghan Boven Robert L. Erickson Award for Excellence in the Study of Voice and Speech Sciences Callan Chamberlin, Ashley Jacqmain, Stacy Lecznar, Katy Munn and Tara Wieringa

Max & Lisa M. Herrera Memorial Scholarship Elizabeth Decot

Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Excellence Award Anika Johns and Rachel Wilgenjof

Michigan Speech-Language Hearing Foundation Scholarship Carolyn Mooi

WMU Make a Difference Award Katelyn Grizzle


College of Health and Human Services 1903 W. Michigan Ave Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5355

Examples of what your gift can provide $25 Latex-free gloves to practice oral examinations $50 Hearing aid batteries to be distributed at Kalamazoo County Project Connect $100 Ten oral motor examination/diagnostic kits

State appropriation funds new technology for clinic In October 2018 the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services allocated funding to WMU’s Unified Clinics. Some of that funding was used to purchase the Video Audio Learning Tool (VALT) system to upgrade digital recording capabilities in the clinics. This system allows digital recording of evaluation and treatment sessions. Clinical educators use the recordings to review and discuss evaluation and treatment techniques and reflect on the student’s overall development as a clinician. Recordings can also be used in the classroom with the client’s consent. If you would like to make a gift to improve the quality of clinical education and services we provide at the Charles Van Riper Language, Speech and Hearing Clinic, visit wmich.edu/speech-audiology/giving to set up your donation today. For more information, contact the WMU Development Office at (269) 387-8881.

$200 One year of online treatment materials for client with aphasia $350 iPad for general clinic use $500 Materials to support KCReady 4 speech, language and hearing screenings $1000 Student travel award to support costs associated with attending ASHA/AAA $15,000 Endowed scholarship for graduate study $155,000 Basic Balance and Vestibular Assessment Unit for audiology clinic $385,000 The above with all the “bells and whistles”

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2019 Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences Newsletter  

Annual newsletter for WMU's Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. It includes updates about the department, as well as inform...

2019 Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences Newsletter  

Annual newsletter for WMU's Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. It includes updates about the department, as well as inform...

Profile for wmuchhs
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