Speech@NYU’s First Campus Immersion Weekend

Group photos of online students holding NYU banner.This fall, 37 students in NYU Steinhardt’s new online MS in Communicative Sciences and Disorders program Speech@NYU spent their first weekend on campus to experience the sights and sounds of New York city. The students had the chance to immerse themselves in local clinical settings, mock diagnostic evaluations, and clinical workshops within the department. Practicum I and Practicum II students in this program of study will spend two long weekends on campus cultivating their skill set to meet clinical competencies during their time in the online MS program.

The three-day event began with an orientation breakfast and getting-to-know-you gathering led by Erin Embry, Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of Online Education, and Christina Reuterskiold, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders. Ted Magder, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs at NYU Steinhardt, also spoke to the students about the important role online learning has in the school’s goals of innovation, impact, and inclusion. This is the first time the online cohort of students were able to meet each other in person and share their experiences about being part of this groundbreaking new program at NYU. That same evening, students, faculty, and staff of the CSD department enjoyed an “Escape the Room” adventure and shared in some food and drink at a local restaurant.

The main reason for the students to be present on campus was to participate in clinical experiences in schools and sites that often work with the CSD department’s on-campus MS program. Immersion sites included: Dream Charter School, Democracy Prep Charter School, Children’s Aid Society, and East Calvary. The locations were arranged in partnership with City Sounds, a pediatric based speech-language pathology center serving the New York metropolitan area. NYU CSD faculty and City Sounds supervisors accompanied the online students as they gained valuable hands-on experiences and observation hours at the various locations.

To round out the weekend, students participated in workshops in which they gained hands-on experience with standardized speech and language assessments, as well as learned to use various tools such as portable audiometers, audiology booths and others that they will encounter in their clinical experiences during the program and as professional clinicians. They also participated in mock diagnostics to evaluate what they had learned in the program thus far.

The department was thrilled to welcome the Speech@NYU students to campus, and look forward to hosting future cohorts each semester.

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Alum Spotlight: Dr. Belinda Daughrity

Dr. Belinda DaughrityWe are delighted to congratulate Dr. Belinda Daughrity on her new position as a tenure track assistant professor in the department of Speech-Language Pathology at California State University, Long Beach.

Dr. Daughrity completed her B.A. in English and Spanish at Spelman College, her M.A. in speech-language pathology and audiology in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at NYU Steinhardt, and her Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Human Development and Psychology at UCLA. Her research interests include social skills and parent involvement in children with autism spectrum disorders, as well as barriers to early access to diagnosis and treatment of autism in communities of color.

We spoke with Dr. Daughrity about her background, her time at NYU, and her advice for students looking to break into the field.

Where are you originally from, and what brought you to NYU? 

I’m originally from Los Angeles, CA.  I chose NYU Steinhardt’s CSD department for my master’s study because I was impressed by the program’s rigor and the diversity of opportunities available for research and practicum opportunities.

How has your experience at NYU Steinhardt prepared you for your current role as Assistant Professor?

My experience at NYU Steinhardt was critical in helping me to prepare for my current role as an Assistant Professor. I learned firsthand how to balance teaching responsibilities and student mentoring with ongoing research work. At NYU, I saw prime examples of the type of role I wanted to play as a professor. I wanted to conduct scholarly research while being an excellent professor to help mentor the next generation of speech-language pathologists.

What was the focus of your research here at NYU? Which faculty members did you work with? 

I worked with Dr. Reuterskiold and Dr. Sidtis on a research study on how typically developing children learn idioms via incidental learning. It was my first introduction to research. They saw my potential and gave me more responsibility on the project and later included me as an author on the finished poster session at the annual ASHA convention.

What advice would you give to current students that are preparing to enter this profession? 

I would advise students to take time to build relationships with professors outside of class. Get involved in their research, get to know them, and take advantage of unique opportunities.

Clinic Director Iris Fishman Successfully Completes Dissertation Defense

Photo of Iris FishmanThe department congratulates Iris Fishman, MA, CCC-SLP on successfully defending her dissertation. She will earn a Ph.D. in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences from the Graduate Center, City University of NY in 2018.

Iris directs the clinic at the NYU Steinhardt Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders. She is a speech-language pathologist who has directed a number of speech-language pathology and assistive technology programs in the NY metropolitan area. Iris is also the author of a book and several articles on AAC, has presented at major national conferences, and guest lectured at a number of universities.

Iris’ thesis is titled Lexical Access in Individuals with Cerebral Palsy (CP) and Severe Speech and Physical Impairment (SSPI). The study examined 16 adolescents and adults with CP/SSPI to determine whether lexical access is independent of severe speech impairment. Through eye tracking, spoken word recognition was examined in phonological competitor and semantic relative conditions. Results indicated that lexical access and organization develop independent of production.
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Tara McAllister Develops App for Speech Therapy

Photo of Tara McAllister AppMispronouncing the “r” sound is among the most common speech errors, and is the most challenging to correct in speech therapy. For other sounds – such as “t” or “p” – speech pathologists can give clear verbal, visual, or tactile cues to help children understand how the sound is created, but “r” is difficult to show or explain. In addition, some children may have trouble hearing the difference between correct and incorrect “r” sounds, making it even more difficult for them to improve.

A growing body of evidence suggests that speech therapy incorporating visual cues — or visual biofeedback — can help. Visual biofeedback shows a someone what their speech looks like in real time. For instance, speech might be represented by dynamic waves on a screen.

Research led by Tara McAllister, assistant professor of communicative sciences and disorders at NYU Steinhardt, and published in May in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, suggests that visual biofeedback can be effective in helping some people to correct the “r” sound.

Read more about Dr. McAllister’s work in developing the app in Steinhardt’s At a Glance blog.

Dysphagia Research in the News

Cooking for DysphagiaThis spring, Erin Embry, clinical assistant professor and Sonja Molfenter, assistant professor, were both quoted in articles sharing how to cook for a loved one of any age who has dysphagia, a common swallowing disorder. Ms. Embry teaches a class during the January term with Lisa Sasson of Steinhardt’s Nutrition and Food Studies Department bringing together students from both CSD and nutrition to study dysphagia and compete in an “Iron Chef” type competition. Dr. Molfenter, whose research focuses on disordered swallowing, served as a judge at the competition.

Recipes for People with Dysphagia: Don’t Forget Flavor (Swallowstudy.com)

How to Cook for a Loved One with Dysphagia (caregiver.com)

A New Type of Cookbook Focuses on Celebrating Good Food for All (DIVERSEability Magazine)

How to Cook for A Child with Dysphagia (Philly.com)

Susannah Levi Publishes Study on Bilingualism in Children

Associate Professor Susannah Levi’s recent study on bilingualism in children was published in the journal Bilingualism: Language and CognitionThe study found that bilingual children are better than their monolingual peers at perceiving information about who is talking, including recognizing voices. The findings suggest yet another advantage of speaking multiple languages beyond the well-known cognitive benefits.

Processing who is talking is an important social component of communication and begins to develop even before birth. In her study, Professor Levi examined how children process information about who is talking, and sought to understand whether differences existed between children speaking one language or multiple languages.

Visit NYU Steinhardt’s At a Glance to read the full story.

Steinhardt CSD Department Students and Faculty Win NYS Speech-Language-Hearing Association Awards (NYSSLHA) Awards

We are pleased to announce that a faculty member, doctoral student, and an undergraduate student in the department recently won 2017 NYS Speech-Language-Hearing Association Awards (NYSSLHA) Awards.

The students won based on criteria that include research involvement, academic performance, clinical performance, pre-professional leadership, community involvement, and an essay explaining why they chose a career in speech-language pathology.

The Association’s honors are awarded to members who have distinguished themselves as leaders in the professions of Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology, or the discipline of communication sciences and disorders. Congratulations to Dr. Harriet Klein, Mehak Noorani, and Heather Campbell!

 

Photo of Dr. Harriet KleinDr. Harriet Klein, Professor of Communicative Sciences and Disorders: Winner of the NYSSLHA Honors of the Association Award

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of Mehak Noorani
Mehak Noorani:
Winner of the Undergraduate Student Award for the best poster at the NYSSLHA convention

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of Heather Campbell

Heather Campbell: Winner of the NYSSLHA Doctoral Research Award.

 

Sonja Molfenter and Maria Grigos Win Steinhardt Faculty Challenge Grants

We are proud to announce that two of our faculty members, Dr. Sonja Molfenter and Dr. Maria Grigos, were awarded Steinhardt Faculty Challenge Grants for their respective research projects.

Photo of Sonja MolfenterAssistant Professor Sonja Molfenter received the Steinhardt Cross-Department Collaborative Award grant along with Kenneth Aigen, Associate Professor of Music Therapy. Dr. Molfenter’s current research specializes in understanding the physiological features of both normal swallowing and disordered swallowing (known as dysphagia). Dr. Aigen’s research uses musicological analyses to reveal connections between the elements of music and common cognitive, emotional, and physical goals in music therapy.

Dr. Molfenter and Dr. Aigen will collaborate on their project “High intensity group vocal exercise to improve laryngeal function in patients with Parkinson’s disease” during the 2017-2018 academic year.

 
Photo of Maria GrigosAssociate Professor and director of the M.S. program Maria Grigos along with speech therapist Etoile Leblanc of NYU Langone Medical Center were awarded the 2017-2018 Research Development Award for their project “Speech motor learning following facial reconstruction”. Dr. Grigos’ current research focuses on speech motor control in children and adults, with a specific emphasis on motor and language interactions.

 

 

CSD and Nutrition Students Team Up for Iron Chef Competition

PhotoThe kitchen in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies was buzzing during the quiet January intersession thanks to a unique class taught in collaboration with the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders.

The class, Interdisciplinary Care-Based Management in Dysphagia, brings together students from both speech pathology and nutrition master’s programs. Dysphagia, a swallowing disorder, can affect patients of all ages and across many conditions. The course is taught by Erin Embry, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders and Director of Speech@NYU, and Lisa Sasson, Clinical Assistant Professor of Nutrition. It aims to teach students how to bring pleasure, taste, and satisfaction back to eating for those experiencing dysphagia. “The course was founded in the belief that although individuals may have limitations in their diets, they should not be deprived of the joy and satisfaction of healthy, delicious food,” said Sasson. ”People who eat better have better overall health outcomes.”

The Iron Chef competition, which is the culminating experience of the course, gives student groups a hypothetical patient profile in which to model their plan of action after. Once they have analyzed the needs of their patient (including their medical diagnosis, recommended diet, and cultural and psychosocial considerations), they develop recipes to meet their needs. The recipes were judged by an esteemed panel from NYU Steinhardt, Rusk Rehabilitation, and the food and nutrition communities. Judges included:

Pamela Morris: Vice Dean at NYU Steinhardt and Professor of Applied Psychology.

Dan Amatuzzi: A sommelier, adjunct professor at both NYU Steinhardt and NYU Stern School of Business, and Wine Director for Eataly.

Sonja Molfenter: Assistant Professor in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, whose research specializes in disruptions in swallowing function.

Michael Ferraro: Chef and owner of Delicatessen and Mac Bar, who helped to launch Cooking. Comfort. Care., a program that provides nutritional tips and recipes to caregivers and patients with pancreatic cancer.

Preeti Raghavan, MD: Clinician and researcher at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation focusing on patients recovering from traumatic brain injuries, stroke, and those with neurological conditions.

Rocco DiSpirito: Cookbook author, television personality, James Beard award winner, and a council member for Feeding America and ambassador for Health Corps.

Special thanks also goes to the “Quickfire Challenge” judges Dr. Christina Reuterskiold, PhD, Chair of the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, Allison Schulman, MS, RD, Pegah Jalali, MS, RD, and Kelila Jaffe, Food Program Coordinator, who tested “mocktails” made by each group to their patient’s specifications. The winner of this round did not have to include the surprise ingredient (tofu) in their dish.

The winners of the competition (Team 1) made a delicious meal consisting of spicy risotto, black beans, and a coconut milk-infused shake for a woman with anxiety related to swallowing. The audience favorite winners (Team 5) produced a macaroni and cheese and vanilla milkshake combo for a young non-verbal child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Other dishes included spicy lentil daal, salmon, roasted carrots, and a mango lassi drink.

Speech@NYU, NYU Steinhardt’s online master’s program in Communicative Sciences and Disorders, put together Dining with Dysphagia, A Cookbook. The book is full of delicious and easy recipes, and just like the Iron Chef competition, it is aimed to make eating an enjoyable experience for patients with all levels of dysphagia.

Iron Chef 2017