The University of Cincinnati—Engaging Members and Supporting Their Local Community

Whether we’re stalking your chapter on Insta or reading your chapter updates on the NSSLHA Community, we’re in awe of everything NSSLHA chapters do to support its members and local communities.

As part of the 2017 Chapter Honors program, the University of Cincinnati NSSLHA Chapter really knocked it out of the park and not only received Gold Chapter Honors, but was also awarded 2017 Chapter of the Year!

Looking for a little inspo for your NSSLHA chapter this year? Check out these tips from Jade Clark, last year’s chapter president at the University of Cincinnati NSSLHA Chapter:

“Our primary goal to increase engagement and interaction among our members while continuing to give back to the community. We did this with our new mentorship program and member recognition system, as well as through various fundraising, community service, social, and professional development opportunities. We held monthly informative meetings for our members, hosted an Emmy Award–winning speaker who informed us about living with muscular dystrophy, funded 16 of our members to attend the ASHA Convention, and donated over $5,000 to local organizations benefiting individuals with communication disorders, including the ASHFoundation.”

The University of Cincinnati NSSLHA Chapter’s must-do strategies included:

  • Engaging chapter members at the outset of the year.
    Jade: “We know that our most attended NSSLHA meeting is our very first one of the year, so this year, we decided to do something different. For the first half of the meeting, we engaged in an icebreaker followed by an informational session on what NSSLHA is and does at the national, state, and local levels, and how and why members should get involved. During the second half of our meeting, we hosted a scavenger hunt around our Allied Health building in order for our new members to get acclimated with the facility while engaging with upperclassmen. It was a fun way to kick off the year, and our members became excited for what was to come next!”
  • Establishing interdisciplinary alliances to add value and networking opportunities to the chapter.
    Jade: “We put together an interdisciplinary team (Health Sciences Club, Allied Health Tribunal, Advanced Imagining Technology Club, and two honor societies) and raised funds so we could bring Shane Burcaw—award-winning author, Emmy-Award-winning producer, inspirational speaker, founder of a nonprofit called Laughing at My Nightmare, and person with muscular dystrophy—to speak to the university’s community. Burcaw came and spoke about muscular dystrophy and how it impacts him medically and in day-to-day living—more than 200 students, professors, and community members attended.”
  • Encouraging members to attend the ASHA Convention.
    Jade: “If your university provides any financial support to student organizations for travel, take advantage of it! We were able to fund 16 undergraduate students—our most ever—to attend the 2016 Convention in Philadelphia. About 15 additional members attended at their own expense. This served as a fantastic professional development opportunity for our members while also increasing our number of National NSSLHA members, since membership provides students with a low, student-only rate.”

Go for the Gold (or Silver or Bronze)!

Participating in Chapter Honors gives your chapter a set of ready-made goals that will impact your community, your future profession, and you! Most important, earning Chapter Honors can be accomplished—even mid-way through the school year! Whether you borrow one or all of these tips, we’re excited to see all that your chapter accomplishes this year!

Chapter Honors applications are due March 30, but you can start your application now. Which means there’s no heavy-lifting at the end!

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