Speech language hearing chapter at CBU recognized by national association
Riverside, Calif. (June 1, 2021) – When Emily Smith (’21) became president of the CBU chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) last year, she had high aspirations.
Her goal was to have the chapter receive gold honors from the national organization based on its engagement and contribution to the community. The chapter at California Baptist University had earned bronze honors in 2019 and silver in 2020.
Requirements included participating in community outreach and legislative advocacy activities and having 30 percent of the chapter members be members of the national organization. This past year the chapter helped clean up a community garden in Ontario, California; began a mentorship program; and advocated for early hearing screenings.
The chapter learned earlier this month that it reached their goal.
“It is cool that we got the gold award, for being such a small school and especially with COVID,” Smith said. “That was real exciting for us.”
“Achieving gold status, to me, means that we have a community of people who not only
care about their studies but care for growth and establishment of the NSSLHA CBU chapter,”
said Brittney Colvin (’21).
Members of the CBU chapter of the National Student Speech
Language Hearing Association help at an event for autistic
children in 2019.
Dr. Namhee Kim, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders and the chapter’s advisor, said she was also excited about the recognition.
“Normally it is difficult to earn the NSSLHA honor. It was especially difficult to hold various activities during the pandemic, but the students did their best to work together and encourage each other and continue to have social events, professional seminars and fundraising,” Kim said. “I am so proud of our student club and honored to serve as the advisor.”
Smith was a freshman when she joined the NSSLHA CBU chapter, the student organization for pre-professionals studying communication sciences and disorders.
“Our professors said if ‘you are serious about this field, you need to go to the club and you’ll learn so much more about our profession,’” Smith said. “I was really passionate and still am about my future profession, so I knew that was something I wanted to be a part of.”
Along with learning more about the field, the chapter provides an opportunity for students to develop relationships with the professors and their peers, Smith said.
“I’ve gotten so much out of it. I think the guest speakers have been the biggest impact on me. We heard the coolest lectures we would not have the opportunity to hear in just our schooling alone,” Smith said.
A panel of students in graduate school helped her make a decision about her future, Smith said. She graduated in May with her Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders and will pursue her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at CBU this fall.
The club helps students grow in their knowledge and skills and be prepared as future professionals, Kim said.
“Our student club's mission is to support and provide opportunities for our communication sciences and disorders students to be involved in the field through volunteering and professional education,” Kim said.
Colvin also will be pursuing her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at CBU this fall.
“Students should join NSSLHA, because it is not just a club that you join for a college experience. It also provides many opportunities and connections for yourself out in the work field,” Colvin said.