Communication Disorders Graduate Student Kyle Donnell Reports on the ASHA Convention

Eric Matthews

February 27, 2012

The following is from Kyle Donnell, a graduate student in the Communication Disorders graduate program. He describes his experience at the Fall 2011 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention, as seen in the February 8, 2012 edition of the Graduate Student Association (GSA) Chronicle:

My first experience at the ASHA Convention in San Diego, CA this November was unforgettable. The ASHA Convention is an annual event for speech- language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists from across the nation. I was given the opportunity to attend numerous lectures and workshops in a vast array of areas within the dimensional field of communication sciences and disorders (CSD).

I was also given the chance to learn about the latest evidence based research within the field of speech language pathology. Workshops and seminars were provided to help professionals in this field expand their knowledge base, improve clinical skills, learn new evidence based treatment techniques, and gain new resources to aid in professional growth.

Attending the ASHA Convention was the highlight of my Fall 2011 semester. The experience was extremely motivating and inspiring. All of the biggest names in our field were present at the Convention. I was able to listen to talks given by experts, including Michelle Garcia Winner, and Jeri Logemann. The first lecture I attended was lead by the creator of the Social Thinking curriculum, Michelle Garcia Winner. During my elementary school practicum last spring, I worked with a large population of children with Autism. Many of the activities and treatment approaches used with my pragmatic groups were based on Michelle Garcia Winner's work. Hearing about her latest research and therapy ideas within the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders was fascinating.

I am extremely appreciative for the Graduate Student Association for offering the Professional Development Grant program to Emerson College graduate students. I would have missed out on this amazing experience without the financial support to attend the ASHA Convention, which allowed me to expand my knowledge, network with other professionals in the field, and advance my clinical skills. After attending this Convention I am now driven to speak at ASHA someday and become a leader in the field of speech language pathology.

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