NSSLHA: Where Are They Now? This series takes a look at past National Student Speech Language Hearing (NSSLHA) leaders and their transitions from student leaders to communication sciences and disorders professionals. Read how these students used their NSSLHA leadership skills to become stronger, more involved advocates and clinicians in their communities. Marie Patton-Hendrickson ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   July 01, 2012
NSSLHA: Where Are They Now?
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Professional Issues & Training / ASHA News & Member Stories / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   July 01, 2012
NSSLHA: Where Are They Now?
The ASHA Leader, July 2012, Vol. 17, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.AN5.17082012.np
The ASHA Leader, July 2012, Vol. 17, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.AN5.17082012.np
This series takes a look at past National Student Speech Language Hearing (NSSLHA) leaders and their transitions from student leaders to communication sciences and disorders professionals. Read how these students used their NSSLHA leadership skills to become stronger, more involved advocates and clinicians in their communities.
Marie Patton-Hendrickson
Marie Patton-Hendrickson, MS, CCC-SLP
Graduated: University of Wisconsin–Madison 2005
Current Position: SLP at Sanford Health, Fargo, North Dakota
NSSLHA Highlights:
President of NSSLHA, 2002–2003Region III Councilor, 2001–2003
Career Path:
As a national NSSLHA president, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be the editor of the first Communication Sciences Student Survival Guide, published by Thomson Delmar Learning. The NSSLHA Executive Council (EC) voted to allow 100% of the royalties from the book to support the NSSLHA Scholarship fund. As an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to speak at three state conventions on behalf of NSSLHA. I learned to feel comfortable speaking at continuing education sessions as a professional.
On a personal level, I have used my learned leadership skills at church; I have organized many retreats, speaker series, and a mothers group. People from church have commented how they like how efficient and organized my planning meetings are; I give full credit to having run multi-day NSSLHA EC meetings. While on the NSSLHA EC and ASHA Legislative Council, I was taught how to advocate for key issues affecting our professions and I went to Capitol Hill to speak with senators and representatives.
This experience demonstrated how easy it is to be an active citizen for issues inside and outside of our professions (e.g., writing letters, sending e-mails, and making phone calls). I am working part-time in the area I enjoy most, alternative and augmentative communication, with the population I love most, people living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. I stay home with my children several days per week, enjoying this precious time when they are little. I love the flexibility of our speech-language pathology profession where part-time employment is relatively common. I am very grateful for my time serving NSSLHA members at the national level.
April Reed Wallace
April Reed Wallace, MA, MBA, CCC-SLPMBA
Graduated: University of Memphis, 2004
Current Position: SLP at Trinity Rehabilitation, Oxford, Mississippi
NSSLHA Highlights:
President of University of Memphis chapter, 2004
Career Path:
Serving as president of the University of Memphis chapter was an amazing learning experience. As president, I helped coordinate the Mid-South Conference for Communicative Disorders through which our chapter was able to make a contribution to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I also learned about leadership and team-building strategies from our advisor, Marilyn Dunham Wark. My experience set the precedent for my career as a speech-language pathologist to always strive for success as a professional.
I completed my clinical fellowship at Jackson–Madison County General Hospital where I fell head-over-heels in love with the geriatric population. Over the past eight years, I have worked in long-term care, assisted living, and hospital environments focusing on managing dementia, dysphagia, and end-of-life issues. I have supervised clinical fellows since then and now supervise student clinicians in the graduate program at the University of Mississippi.
I stepped into management in 2007, and completed a master’s of business administration degree. After my son was born in 2010, I went back to full-time patient care. Since becoming a speech-language pathologist, I have prioritized staying current with new research and trends within our profession.
The experience I gained as NSSHLA president established early in my career that giving my best was considered the minimal standard in providing care for the patients and families I serve.
Taylor Sands
Taylor S. Sands, MS, CCC-SLP
Graduated: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), 2005
Current Position: SLP and Listening and spoken language specialist at Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech, Jacksonville, Florida
Secretary and Scholarship Committee Chair; Alexander Graham Bell (AG Bell) Association, Florida Chapter
NSSLHA Highlights:
2004–2005 President, University of North Carolina chapter2002–2003 Secretary, North Carolina State University chapter (undergraduate)Poster presentation, 2002 ASHA Convention
Career Path:
I began my career as an SLP primarily working with children with hearing loss who use hearing aids and cochlear implants to learn listening and spoken language skills without the use of sign language. In 2007, I moved to Jacksonville, Florida, to work exclusively with this pediatric and adult population. In 2009, I earned my Listening and Spoken Language Specialist© (LSLS Cert. AVEd) credential through the AG Bell Academy.
My roles at Clarke–Jacksonville include evaluating and treating individuals with hearing loss, supervising graduate students and clinical fellows in speech pathology, mentoring other professionals seeking LSLS© certification, and working in partnership with local cochlear implant teams. I also am participating in the Listening and Spoken Language Education Programs research project at Vanderbilt University and the development a “LSLS” learning track at the Florida Association of Speech-Language Pathologist and Audiologists (FLASHA) annual convention.
I credit my experiences with NSSLHA as a springboard for my current leadership roles, both professionally and in other Jacksonville organizations. I learned the valuable skills necessary to design and implement new programs supporting students and professionals in the state of Florida. NSSLHA also sparked a passion for supervising students in the field of speech-language pathology.
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July 2012
Volume 17, Issue 8