May 20, 2020

Association honors SIU communication disorders student program

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s student chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association has achieved national recognition for its community service, philanthropy and advocacy. 

The university’s NSSLHA chapter recently earned Bronze Chapter Honors for the 2019-2020 school year. SIU is one of 22 chapters to receive bronze recognition this year. Another 90 universities and colleges are in the gold and silver categories. 

“Members of NSSLHA consistently serve their community. It is a pleasure to see their community service and professional engagement honored by national recognition,” said Valerie E. Boyer, an associate professor and communication disorders and sciences program director. “The faculty in the communication disorders and sciences program are very proud of our student members of NSSLHA.” 

The registered student organization is for students in the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences, which is in the School of Health Sciences. The group focuses on community service and raising awareness of issues relating to the fields of speech-language pathology and audiology. 

NSSLHA is a pre-professional association for students interested in the field of communication sciences and disorders recognized by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Established in 1972, the NSSLHA more than 12,000 members and 320 chapters at colleges and universities nationwide. SIU Carbondale’s chapter has about 28 members, including undergraduate and graduate students.  

Active throughout the year 

The SIU Carbondale chapter participated in numerous activities during the 2019-2020 school year. Community service and advocacy efforts included: 

  • Collecting and donating books to a local daycare.
  • Providing free hearing screenings to SIU faculty, staff, students and community members.
  • Collecting and donating coats, hats, gloves, scarves and blankets to a local homeless shelter and a women’s shelter.
  • Advocating for issues related to their field by sending letters to state legislators.
  • Making and delivering Valentine’s Day cards to a local nursing home.
  • Collecting and donating personal hygiene items to an area homeless shelter. 

“The members of the SIU Carbondale chapter of NSSLHA have provided SIU and surrounding communities with wonderful support and kindness during the 2019-2020 school year,” said Atheana Meadows, an associate professor of clinical practice and faculty adviser. “They have raised the bar for future SIUC Chapters of NSSLHA and for all SIU RSOs. The CDS faculty and staff are very proud of our undergraduate students in their efforts to serve others.” 

Rich history of national honors 

This is the fourth time since 2011 the NHSLAA has recognized SIU’s NSSLHA registered student organization for its work. The RSO earned Gold Chapter honors in 2011, 2015 and 2018.