LONG BEACH - A pair of Cal State Long Beach graduate students in the Department of Communicative Disorders - Anamaria Garay and Candice Greenwood - were among a group of 32 individuals chosen to participate in the Minority Student Leadership Program (MSLP), which was part of the American Speech Language Hearing Association's (ASHA) annual conference held in Philadelphia Nov. 18-20.The purpose of the MSLP is to recruit and retain racial/ethnic minorities that have been historically under-represented in the professions. Participants gain focused education programming and activities that build and enhance leadership skills, an understanding of how the association works and an opportunity to interact with leaders in the professions of audiology, speech-language pathology, and speech, language, and hearing sciences. "We're the only school in California that had two students chosen for the program," said Carolyn Conway Madding, professor and chair for communicative disorders. "This is a great honor for the students and a boon to their futures. They received intensive training to encourage them to become leaders in the profession. They will be highly encouraged and mentored to get Ph.D.s." A 27-year-old Los Angeles resident who came to CSULB from Occidental College, Garay is a graduate assistant in the department and will be finishing her graduate studies this semester. Greenwood, a 24-year-old Downey resident, is in her second year of the graduate program and also serves as the department's secretary for the CSULB Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic. Garay and Greenwood, both with 4.0 grade point averages, were grateful for the chance to participate in the MSLP program. "I have been fortunate enough to have done several things like this throughout my academic career, but this one means the most since it is a great and logical next step into my SLP (Speech-Language Pathologist) career," said Garay. "Having this experience under my belt will set me up nicely into a career that I expect to last for a better part of my adult life." "I feel very honored and privileged to be able to take part in the Minority Student Leadership Program," said Greenwood. "I believe that my hard work and dedication to my studies have placed me in a class of recognition to receive such an honor. Having participated in the Minority Student Leadership Program, I will be able to enhance and nurture the leadership skills that I have learned throughout the years." In addition, the twosome said they felt the ASHA convention provided invaluable experience and, hopefully, lifelong contacts. "Interacting with leaders in the field of speech-language pathology afforded me the opportunity to obtain first-hand knowledge regarding the nature of unforeseen challenges," said Greenwood. "I also learned strategies that have proven to be effective for overcoming such obstacles as a leader in our field." "It was exciting and expanded my network of fellow CD (Communicative Disorders) peers," said Garay. "Additionally, meeting professionals that have been in the field for many years was a great opportunity. Participating in the program overall will be very helpful as I seek to establish myself in the field of speech language pathology." The ASHA is the professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 140,000 members and affiliates who are speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists in the United States and internationally. To learn more about the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, visit its website at www.asha.org.
********** Published: December 2, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 33