National Student Speech Language Hearing Association holds conference at Sac State

Maikalina Madali

Sacramento State’s National Student Speech Language Hearing Association hosted its 8th annual conference in the Sac State Alumni Center on Feb. 4, earning $14,581.

The event was open to students as well as professionals who are in the speech-language pathology field.

“The purpose of the conference is to promote new ideas and have the pros and students come together,” said Sac State National Student Speech Language Hearing Association Vice President Megan Martinez, senior speech-language pathology major.

The day was split up into a welcome session followed by four breakout sessions. Each breakout session had two speakers for the attendees to choose from.

The Welcome Session advocated the use of Apple’s iPad for children’s language and articulation therapy. The keynote speakers demonstrated the top applications that can be downloaded.

“Kids love technology. That’s what they thrive on,” said keynote speaker Karen Faherty, Sac State alumna. “Utilizing the iPad along with hands on experience for the children is getting the best of both worlds.”

The sessions thereafter explored the professions speech-language pathology majors pursue. A few of the topics covered were collaborating with dieticians, transgender vocal therapy, preschool speech-language services and how to deal with veteran patients and their families.

“We wanted it to be a well-rounded conference,” said Sac State NSSLHA President Jessica Onanian, senior speech-language pathology major. “It’s a collaboration between different areas in the (speech-language pathology) field.”

In each session, the majority of the members in the audience had a pen and paper out to take notes. The speakers made sure to engage with audience participation and end with an open floor for questions.

The attendees were satisfied with how the conference offered a wide range of sessions and speakers.

“It was great. I learned so much,” said Lynda Higson, a speech-language pathology graduate student at San Joaquin Delta College. “The sessions were exactly what I needed to learn about the area I want to enter into.”

Others were happy with the opportunities they were offered by the conference itself.

“I liked how the vendors were all different with their tools and job offers,” said junior speech-language pathology major Joni Bellamy. “I also loved how it wasn’t just for students but for professionals as well.

Approximately 200 people were registered for the conference by the end of the day. All of the proceeds earned from the event and raffle tickets go to the Maryjane Rees Language, Speech and Hearing clinic on-campus. The clinic is a non-profit organization that assists students who have speech and language disorders.

“All of our raffle prizes were generously donated by students, professors, conference speakers, families of students and other local businesses,” said Sac State NSSLHA Secretary Sydney Zoll, senior speech-language pathology major. “The conference was a great success.”

Maikalina Madali can be reached at [email protected].