NSSLHA Receives the SFSU Dean of Students’ Award for Oustanding Student Organization 2013

Congratulations to NSSLHA for being recognized as an Outstanding Student Organization at SF State! NSSLHA received the Dean of Students award for their accomplishments between March 1, 2012 and February 28, 2013, reflecting the excellent service of two cohorts of NSSLHA officers and members.

The nomination letter below describes their achievements:

Please describe the student organization’s specific and unique contribution(s) to the SF Sate, Bay Area and/or larger communities from March 1, 2012, and February 28, 2013.

The mission of the SFSU chapter of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is to improve the quality of life for individuals with speech, language, hearing, literacy, and swallowing difficulties. Over the last year, they have made unique contributions to the community at three levels. 1) The most expansive of their service outreach was to individuals with communication disabilities, their families, and the professionals that serve them throughout the Bay Area. 2) NSSLHA has also been an indispensable partner to the Special Education department and the Communicative Disorders (CD) program. 3) Lastly, the SFSU NSSLHA is a partner with the California Speech Language Hearing Association’s (CSHA) in its effort to connect with students in Communicative Disorders programs across the state. In the last year, NSSLHA provided services individuals, families and professionals in the Bay area by a) hosting educational events for families and professionals, b) volunteering, and c) donations. Over the past year, their accomplishments have  included:

  • March 3, 2012: Organized childcare services at the Support for Families 9th Annual Conference. Support for Families is a non-profit organization serving several hundred families of children with disabilities in the Bay Area. NSSLHA provided a group of volunteers and also organized childcare shifts across the entire 8 hour day. The availability of childcare allowed the parents to attend workshops and support groups.
  • Organized the 5th Annual SFSU NSSLHA Spring Conference, on the topic of “Traumatic Brain Injury: A Spectrum of Conditions,” held on February 4. 2012 at Jack Adams hall. This event was an overwhelming success. It was attended by students, family members, and practicing professionals.
  • October 13, Co-hosting a Continuing Education workshop with the California Speech-Language Hearing Association.
  • Fundraising and donation to the Autism, Asperger Syndrome Coalition Education Network and Devleopment, a non-profit group in San Francisco.
  • The provision of 5 Brown Bag lunches for CD students (March 26: Information session on how to support adults on the autism spectrum to enter the workplace; March 27: Dr. Pui Fong Kan provided an information session on her research in SF Chinatown for which she was recruiting student research assistants; September 19: Applying to graduate school.)
  • Helping students celebrate the achievement of program milestones. These include hosting a luncheon for graduate students who passed the Master’s Comprehensive Exam (April 6), and a CD graduation ceremony in McKenna Hall (May 20).
  • Providing scholarships to help students attend the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association conference in Atlanta.
  • Helping the CD program with the organization and staffing of program-wide events. For example, they helped to set up tables and organize prizes at the CD Job Fair & Open House (May 13).
  • Hosting the CD Graduation Ceremony at McKenna Hall (May 20).
  • Providing refreshments and an information session at the CD Orientation Meeting.
  • Finally, NSSLHA is a partner to the California Speech-Language Hearing Association (CSHA), a professional non-profit supporting speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and families who are living with communicative disorders. They co-hosted a Continuing Education workshop with CSHA on the use of the iPad as a communication tool for children with disabilities. They also helped CSHA launch a mentorship program that matched practicing speech-language pathologists with students.

Please explain how the work of this student organization sets it apart from other student organizations within the SF State community.

The scope of NSSLHA’s work makes their organization stand out from others on campus. They focus not only on serving students in the Communicative Disorders program, but have also made positive relationships with students in other related programs on campus by organizing educational events that have interdisciplinary appeal. In addition to serving students, they also serve individuals with communicative disabilities, their families, and the professionals that work with them. NSSLHA does this by volunteer work, donations, and the provision of educational events. Lastly, NSSLHA lends a great deal of support to the CD program and the Special Education department. Many of the socials, brown bag workshops, and community service activities in the program and department have been hosted by NSSLHA. These supports have motivated students to perform at a high standard while also building a sense of community.

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