Student passes candidacy exam

Congratulations to Christine Holyfield who successfully passed her candidacy exam. She completed a project titled “Augmentative and alternative communication interventions for middle school-, high school-, and adult-aged individuals with ASD: a systematic review”. Her candidacy committee all agree that she did a tremendous job with a challenging topic.

Student receives funding

Congratulations to Michelle Therrien who was been awarded an American Speech Language Hearing Foundation 2015 Student Research Grant in Early Childhood Language Development for her doctoral dissertation project. The project will investigate the effects of intervention to enhance interactions between young children with complex communication needs and their typical peers. These ASH Foundation grants are highly competitive and this award is a real tribute to the significance of Michelle's research and the high quality of her methodology.

Student passes comprehensive exam

Congratulations to Michelle Therrien who passed her comprehensive exam. She conceptualized and implemented an intervention study to enhance peer interactions that involve preschoolers with complex communication needs who require AAC. This research addresses a critical issue in the field—one that has largely been neglected to date. Her study will definitely make an important contribution to advancing our knowledge and improving outcomes for young children with complex communication needs.

Faculty member receives award

Congratulations to Sommar Chilton, who has been selected to receive the 2015 Health and Human Development Alumni Society Excellence in Teaching Award. Ms. Chilton teaches classes in American Sign Language, Deaf Culture, and Aural Rehabilitation and advises the Penn State Sign Language Organization.

Faculty member receives funding

Congratulations to Chaleece Sandberg who has received funding through the American Speech-Language Hearing Association’s (ASHA) Grant Program for Projects on Multicultural Activities 2015. The project, which she will be doing in collaboration with colleagues at Boston University and San Francisco State University is titled “Development of a free online interactive naming therapy for bilingual aphasia.”

Program wins endowment funding

Congratulations to Anne Marie “Kitty” Kubat who has been awarded funding for her work in the Brainbuilders program. The Thomas M. Nardozzo Community Service Endowment chose her application as a program to help faculty with “the development and delivery of community outreach programs which promote human health and well-being.” Television station WTAJ did a feature on Brainbuilders and the video is available on their website:

Student passes comprehensive exam

Congratulations to April Yorke who passed her comprehensive exam. April presented a very interesting study that focused on teaching academic vocabulary to young children with complex communication needs. Her study was well designed and implemented. It will make a significant contribution to the field.

Faculty Member receives award

Congratulations to Chaleece Sandberg, Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders, who has received an Advancing Academic-Research Career (AARC) Award from ASHA. She will use the award to advance her research and teaching skills, with mentorship from Ingrid Blood and Carol Miller, Professors of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and Janet van Hell, Professor of Psychology.

CSD Team earns recognition for poster

Congratulations to doctoral student Jiali Liang, faculty member Krista Wilkinson, and research assistant (and CSD alumna) Christine Regiec, whose poster submission titled “Gaze Toward Social Interactions in Photographs by Individuals With Autism: Implications for AAC Design” was selected as a Meritorious Poster Submission for the 2015 ASHA Convention. Only 54 out of 1573 submissions received this honor.

Creuz recognized by her alma mater

Judith A. Creuz, Instructor of Audiology, received the 2015 Salus University Alumni Association’s Special Recognition Award. The honor, awarded only when merited, highlights Creuz’s contributions to her alma mater and the profession of audiology.

Department News from Penn State News

A doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders has found that social media is just as important as face-to-face communication for those with disabilities.

Nimisha Muttiah, who earned a doctoral degree in communication sciences and disorders at Penn State in May, has made it her mission to aid children with autism spectrum disorders in Sri Lanka.

Middle school students from Washington, D.C. were able to see firsthand how the technology that powers their favorite video games is the same technology that helps golfers improve their swing.

The goal of the off-campus externship for graduate students in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is to immerse students in daily routines that allow them the opportunity to work with highly skilled professionals in the field.

In an effort to create a speech intervention program for patients with dysarthria secondary to ALS and other neurological conditions, communication sciences and disorders assistant professor Jimin Lee is using a rare instrument to analyze patients’ speech disorders.

A facilitator of new support groups for people with dementia and their caregivers is seeking potential participants from State College and surrounding areas as well as a co-facilitator for the caregiver support group.

Ten students will represent the College of Health and Human Development as student marshals during at the May 9, 2015, commencement ceremony at Penn State.

A common frustration among many parents is wondering how to get their kids to ‘disconnect’ from devices—computers, phones, and gaming consoles—in order to maintain healthy lifestyles and develop meaningful relationships. In the case of parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), however, Penn State researchers have found that parents actually embrace their child’s use of video games.

Penn State's College of Health and Human Development Alumni Society recently recognized several faculty members, staff members and students for their accomplishments.

Penn State's College of Health and Human Development Alumni Society presented eight students with the Alumni Recognition for Student Excellence Award during an awards luncheon Friday, April 24.