ASHA Members in the Big Easy: Convention Tops 11,000 ASHA celebrated its return to New Orleans in style—more than 11,000 members eager to embrace the city streamed into the Convention Center to absorb the latest research and clinical best practices in speech-language pathology and audiology. The convention theme of “Two Professions, Powerful Partners” permeated the convention, emerging in sessions ... ASHA Convention Coverage
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ASHA Convention Coverage  |   December 01, 2009
ASHA Members in the Big Easy: Convention Tops 11,000
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ASHA News & Member Stories / ASHA Convention Coverage
ASHA Convention Coverage   |   December 01, 2009
ASHA Members in the Big Easy: Convention Tops 11,000
The ASHA Leader, December 2009, Vol. 14, 18-22. doi:10.1044/leader.ACC1.14162009.18
The ASHA Leader, December 2009, Vol. 14, 18-22. doi:10.1044/leader.ACC1.14162009.18
ASHA celebrated its return to New Orleans in style—more than 11,000 members eager to embrace the city streamed into the Convention Center to absorb the latest research and clinical best practices in speech-language pathology and audiology. The convention theme of “Two Professions, Powerful Partners” permeated the convention, emerging in sessions and informal conversations as well as in ASHA President Sue Hale’s convention address (see p. 17 for more from Hale’s speech). Broadway also graced the ASHA stage—in a keynote address, actor and singer Ben Vereen praised the work of ASHA members after his harrowing car accident and subsequent stroke—and his astonishing recovery. The city of New Orleans benefitted from ASHA’s return to the city for the first time since 2001. Members opened their hearts, spent money in the city, and some volunteered to help rebuild Ninth Ward houses with Habitat for Humanity.
From research to practice, across the professions, the good times rolled in the Big Easy at ASHA 2009.
Highlights of the convention included special milestones—for example, ASHA’s 40 years of multicultural work and the 10 years of achievement by the Minority Student Leadership Program.
Another special moment took place at the opening session, as Kerri Phillips, the 2005 president of the Louisiana Speech-Language-Hearing Association, presented ASHA with commemorative art in appreciation of ASHA’s help following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Phillips announced that a live oak tree would be planted in New Orleans in honor of ASHA. “We believe this tree represents the strengths of this association,” she said.
Other highlights included the all-day Research Symposium on Saturday, a researcher-academic town hall, and high-energy “Listen to Your Buds” concerts at four area schools. Fifty-five “Diversity Champions” were recognized. (Read more about the concert and symposium in the January issue.)
Vice President Joe Biden Receives the “Annie”
Vice President Joseph Biden, who could not attend the Convention in person, received the “Annie” award in a special reception at the vice president’s residence in early November. From left, President-elect Tommie Robinson, Executive Director Arlene Pietranton, Sen. John Glenn, Annie Glenn, and ASHA President Sue Hale, joined the vice president for the celebration. The vice president, who stuttered through young adulthood, met with them for more than an hour and lamented that he did not have the benefit of speech-language pathologists at his small Catholic high school. Like Annie Glenn, he lived for years with his disfluency, practicing in front of a mirror to control his facial contortions. In a letter to ASHA members, Biden said, “Overcoming my childhood stutter taught me this: when you commit yourself to a sustained effort, when you persevere in the face of struggle, and when you find comfort and support from others, you will discover new strengths and skills to overcome the challenge before you.”
ASHFoundation Hosts JazzFest, Founders Breakfast
Hot jazz and good food were on the menu at two American Speech-Language Hearing Foundation convention events—an opening-night fundraiser featuring jazz pianist Chuck Berlin and the ASHFoundation’s annual Founders Breakfast to honor awardees and thank 2009 donors.
JazzFest showcased the inventive musical talent of Berlin (inset at right), an ASHA member audiologist who rippled the keyboard to a rapt audience as his friend Germaine Bazzle (right) added her powerful vocals at the Howlin’ Wolf, a well-known jazz venue. Before dawn the next morning, a crowd of donors and awardees gathered at the Founders Breakfast, where more than $376,000 was awarded to more than 35 researchers, students, and clinicians.
ASHFoundation President Nancy Creaghead noted the record-breaking attencance of more than 300 at the breakfast. “Despite the economic challenges of the past year, donors contributed 20% more than the previous year,” she said.
A full list of award winners will appear in the Jan. 19, 2010, issue of The ASHA Leader.
Couldn’t Make It To New Orleans?
Access Handouts Online
You may have missed the on-site excitement, but don’t miss the opportunity to access the wealth of information offered by presenters. Visit 2009 ASHA Convention handouts to search and download handouts by presenters of hundreds of convention sessions.
ASHA By the Numbers

11,147 attendees

39 nations represented—Canada sent 201 participants, followed by Australia, with 20 people traveling halfway around the world to attend

All 50 states and the District of Columbia were represented—Louisiana led the way with 1,081 attendees, followed by New York with 895

1,868 educational sessions, including 26 short courses, 564 seminars, 1,049 poster sessions, 205 technical sessions, and 24 exhibitor sessions

2010 ASHA Call for Papers

The 2010 convention call for papers will be available at ASHA’s Web site on Jan. 7. Submissions are due March 15. Note this early deadline and mark your calendars now for the 2010 convention in Philadelphia, Nov. 18–20.

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FROM THIS ISSUE
December 2009
Volume 14, Issue 16