Each year, NSSLHA chapters participate in the NSSLHA Chapter Honors program to engage members, support their local communities, and advocate for the professions. We’re continuously wowed by the incredible work each chapter puts into reaching their goals … and this year was no exception.
In addition to vying for Gold, Silver, and Bronze Chapter Honors status, one especially hardworking chapter earns the title of NSSLHA Chapter of the Year.
This year, our Chapter of the Year awardee is [drumroll, please] … Nova Southeastern University!
These Florida Sharks packed in a lot of programming from September through May last year; with each activity truly embodying NSSLHA’s core values:
The Nova Southeastern (NSU) chapter actively took steps to prepare members to become future leaders in the professions …
- During Student Advocacy Day and Virtual Advocacy Day, members submitted letters to their legislators through ASHA’s Take Action website; focusing on federal funding for children with disabilities. They shared info on social media to encourage participation from others across the country too.
- To support continuing education, the chapter provided stipends for members to attend a workshop on children’s phonological systems with Dr. Barbara Williams Hodson, the annual ASHA Convention in Boston, and the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) and Florida Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (FCPA) conferences in Orlando.
Providing opportunities for interprofessional collaboration is important to this chapter …
- At the ATIA and FCPA conferences, members had the opportunity to connect with related professionals that they’ll someday collaborate with.
- Chapter members also engaged with future related professionals on campus. At the university’s Kickball for a Cause event, they participated in friendly games against other departments within the College of Healthcare Sciences.
- During an Interprofessional Education event, chapter members educated others in related fields about the audiology and speech-language pathology professions.
Not only is it important to this chapter to spread awareness about the professions to those in related fields, it’s also important to them to educate the public about communication disorders …
- On World Cerebral Palsy Day and World Thrombosis Day, members shared info about communication disorders related to these illnesses through social media.
- On World Hearing Day, members shared info with family and friends about how they can prevent hearing loss; then took selfies together to add to a fun bulletin board showing everyone’s support.
- On World Down Syndrome Day they rocked their craziest socks to attract attention and spark conversation with others on campus.
NSU is ranked 5th in the United States for the number of graduate degrees awarded to individuals of a racial minority each year. It’s also the largest private institution in the U.S. that qualifies as a Hispanic-Serving Institution under the U.S. Department of Education’s criteria.
While many NSU NSSLHA members personally help strengthen NSSLHA as a diverse community, the chapter also collaborates with local organizations devoted to supporting and celebrating minorities.
This year, the chapter celebrated Black History Month at a luncheon and movie night organized by the university’s National Black Association of Speech Language and Hearing (NBASLH) chapter.
While these NSU sharks embody each of NSSLHA’s core values, they truly shine through service to others …
Rock Star Volunteers
- On-campus events—health screenings, bake sales, book raffles, and wearing pink and collecting donations for the university’s breast cancer research
- Volunteering their time—Dance for Down Syndrome, craniofacial event at the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Dreidel Spinning and Chanukah Trivia to benefit Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options, and picnics for children with hearing loss
- Getting physical—Alzheimer’s Association Walk, Kickball for a Cause, and Walk for the Animals
- $1,132 for Autism Speaks
- $1,000 for the Parkinson’s Foundation
- $335 for WalkAbout Brain Injury
- $200 to a local AAC organization
- 3 sets of hearing aids to the on-campus Speech-Language Pathology Clinic
- Toy donations to the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital
- Gift cards for families in need at Thanksgiving
- Donations to Meals on Wheels
When it comes to integrity, this chapter really walks-the-walk. Through all of their service and commitment to supporting National NSSLHA’s goals, the NSU NSSLHA chapter exemplifies what the organization stands for.
They say it best themselves, “This isn’t about the Chapter Honors award, it’s about students committed to the professions and the future of CSD.”
Congrats again to the Nova Southeastern sharks for really blowing it out of the water this year!