Thursday, October 16, 2014

2013 to 2014 NSSLHA BOARD

President: Vivian Tisi
Vice President: Sarah Sung
Treasurer: Shenee Setterbo
Secretary: Stephanie Cash
Newsletter Editor: Theresa Maas

Undergraduate Representatives: Amanda Perrotti and Christopher Paiz
Post-Baccalaureate Representatives: Sarene Kushdilian and Armine Poghosyan

Saturday, October 19, 2013

NSSLHA Meeting Notes October 2013

We had a fantastic turnout at our first meeting of 2013! 

We asked-- the always popular-- Dr. Michael Biel CScD, CCC-SLP to repeat his highly requested 2011 presentation: Intensive Aphasia Treatment: Case of Non-Lexical Recurrent Utterances 

For notes on this presentation please see our May 10, 2011. In case you missed the event and would like a link to the audio recording, please email us at

Here are some highlights from this week's meeting:
Dr. Biel with 2013 NSSLHA Staff.  From left to right: Jon Gregory, Susanna Park, Hayley Mortimer, Dr. Biel, Bozena Barton, Joy Lee, Vivian Tisi

Dr. Biel discusses PROMPT therapy in a case involving nonlexical speech aphasia.
It was a Full House-- big thanks to everyone who came out for the event!

If our meeting is not enough, we have MORE for you! You could be our next NSSLHA president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, or newletter editor for 2013! 
"In case you haven't heard, there is an AMAZING club in our department- NSSLHA! This stands for the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association. We are among over 300 participating chapters worldwide.
We strongly encourage you to join NSSLHA at CSULA, and at the national level.
*To find out more about NSSLHA and joining at the national level, follow this link:
*Here is our CSULA NSSLHA website:

As an undergraduate student or certificate student, two of you get the amazing opportunity of participating on the board!! The deadline for nomination applications is 
Tuesday, Oct 25th, but if you know you really want to do this awesome job, feel free to submit it earlier!Note: If you plan on running for CSULA NSSLHA council, you must be a NSSLHA member both at the university AND national level"

  • Don't miss our November meeting to cast your vote and announce election results
  • NEW NSSLHA T-shirts will be on sale- more details to come!
See you soon~

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

NSSLHA Meeting Notes February 2013

 Thanks to everyone who made it to our February NSSLHA meeting!

Vanessa Espinoza, MA CCC-SLP

Our speaker was Vanessa Espinoza, a 2008 CSULA graduate of the master’s program, who currently works at Rancho Los Amigos, a nationally recognized and highly ranked rehabilitation hospital in Downey, CA.

·        Vanessa originally wanted to be a teacher, but her job as a bilingual aide in a SELPA office (Special Education Local Plan Area) opened her eyes to the more tangible impact she could make on children and families as an SLP
·       Had an amazing mentor at her 11-week hospital internship at Rancho Los Amigos
o   Was in the Peds unit in the hospital, which primarily consisted of teenagers age 13-21

·       After completing her CFY in a school, she went to work at Rancho
·       She also currently works per diem Downey Regional, an acute hospital
o   An acute hospital takes the patients immediately after their accident or crisis
o   Once patients are stabilized and are appropriate candidates for rehab, they get sent to a rehab hospital
o   Has treated stroke patients for the past 3 years
·       Rancho has 19 speech therapists (in- and out-patient staff) compared to 2 speech therapists at Downey Regional
o   There are different units that SLPs specialize in, including brain injury patients, peds patients, and spinal cord injury patients
o   You may also work with the potentially life-threatening dysphagia and tracheostomy tube, mainly at Downey Regional
o   Wonderful to be able to collaborate with many specialists under the same roof
·       Advice for undergrads
o   Get your foot in the door by volunteering at hospitals or outside clinics

·        The most important thing she learned at school and the hospital: the best therapists are the ones that can develop the rapport with your clients, not necessarily the A+ students

·       Perks of working at a hospital:
o   B/C of HIPAA, you can’t take work home.
o   The bulk of the workday is spent treating patients, so 6 full hours
o   1 hour a day is dedicated solely to evaluation for new admissions
o   Average caseload varies with the census; can be anywhere from 1 patient to 10 patients (when things get really hectic)
§  When you have 10, you have to get creative, such as grouping two patients with similar deficits in one session

·       Some short-term goals for patients, from an interdisciplinary team perspective:
o   PT and OT – how patient can move around home safely; what kind of equipment they need for daily living activities, like showering, changing, meal prep, etc.
o   Speech therapy – maximizing their communication given the problem
§  Look at what level they’re at and what do they need. If they have a hard time communicating, what improves their communication

Developing functional expression and training family on what is the best for patient to communicate, such as through yes/no questions or writing or pointing, etc.

We really appreciate Vanessa for taking the time to speak to us. See you next time!

NSSLHA at work

Q&A following the meeting

NSSLHA 2013 with Vanessa Espinoza

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Save the Date

Hi Everybody,

Just wanted to give a heads-up about the upcoming NSSLHA meeting:

When- Wednesday February 27th at 6pm-7pm
Where- TBA

We're not quite ready to announce the speaker so hold on for a few more days and we'll post flyers by the end of the week.

In the meantime, here are some grad students in action.

First year graduate students prepare for Dr. Klein's lecture
Coffee AND Soda, that's the grad way of life!
Hope you're having a fantastic winter quarter!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

NSSLHA Meeting 1/28 Notes

Happy New Year! We just had a successful first NSSLHA meeting of the year this past Monday, featuring our guest speaker, alumna Susan Simon, SLP and recruiter for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). She has been working for LAUSD since 1998, and came to speak with us about the benefits of working for a school district, and for LAUSD. 

Here are some snippets from our meeting:

LAUSD is the second largest school district in the United States, covering about 700 square miles, and employing 450 SLPs and 25 SLPAs.

Benefits of working with LAUSD include:
·      Caseload variety: The 700 square miles cover schools that have inner city urban areas, suburban areas, cutting edge and lab schools, dual language immersion schools and special education schools. Clients range from 3 to 22 years of age. The entire continuum of speech and language services is self-supported within the LAUSD. You would have the opportunity to fill out surveys at the end of each school year to request for a change of setting, thus developing and expanding as you work with new types of caseloads.
·      Opportunities for advancement and leadership opportunities: Besides moving horizontally in the school-based SLP field by requesting a variety of disorder areas to work with, you can also move vertically. LAUSD has a program on site in LAUSD campuses to get your administrative credential through CSULA or CSUN.
·      CFY and RPE supervision: 9 months of clinical supervision, with a supervisor available to answer your questions during your new transition from student to clinician.
·      New therapist orientation and support: There is an intense training to guide you as a new therapist, and help you with scheduling your clients.
·      District Sponsored CEUs: The state of CA has licensed LAUSD to provide CEUs. You would need 12 units per year, or 24 every two years.
·      Web-based IEPs and a provided laptop: All records for clients are now web-based, so all related professionals are going through the same files. This benefits you with a bigger picture of the client. A company provided laptop allows you to document daily from your site.
·      Collaboration with other related professionals: Work with a team consisting of a teacher, a psychologist, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, a school nurse and a behavioral specialist to work together and problem solve for language and literacy prevention and intervention services.
·      The latest therapy materials: assessment and curriculum based therapy materials are provided, so you do not need to buy your own!
·      Competitive salaries: scroll down for detailed salary information
·      Paid holiday and illness leave: Sick leave is rolled over and banked when unused. If you use them up, there are half-days available. Sick leave follows you in the state of CA, so it will transfer with you if you relocate to another district.
·      District paid medical, dental and vision insurance: for the employee, a spouse or domestic partner, and up to 25 dependents.
·      District paid life insurance
·      State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) membership: After 5 years, you are guaranteed by the state of CA, a monthly income upon your retirement until death. That amount is based on how many years you have served, your age at retirement, and your highest salary. 8% of your salary is taken off your gross pay, pre-tax, and placed into an account where the money is invested. This is unlike a 401K, where the money can decrease. The money is invested so you get interest on it. See for more information.
·      Loan Forgiveness Program: There is up to a $17,500 federal loan forgiveness program in effect for those who dedicate 5 years to work in Title 1 schools.
·      Los Angeles Teachers Mortgage Assistance Program and Credit Union

Employment requirements:
·      Masters degree in SLP or COMD
·      Eligibility for CA SLP or SLP credential
·      CBEST
·      Successful interview
·      Health and TB clearance
·      Fingerprint clearance
·      2 sets of transcripts from each school you have attended
·      Employment eligibility documents
·      Selection by the Speech and Language Program for assignment
·      Letters of recommendation

Salary: for 180 work days, 10 weeks off in the summer, a winter and a spring break.
·      Starting: $61,433
·      2nd year: $64,000
·      3rd year: $68,000
·      4th year: $72,000
·      5th year: $76,000

Additional notes and advice from Susan:
·      Always ask about the CF year, and the salary during your CFY to all prospective employers. Not all companies will have a competitive CF salary.
·      Take your CBEST now! She has seen many applicants postpone taking the exam, and end up losing their offered positions. Take the exam as early as possible. It is not a hard exam, and it is good forever.
·      Be aware of the differences between working with a school district vs. an agency. School districts offer union protection to grieve a caseload if it is over 55. Agencies do not provide this protection.

CSU Scholarship opportunity:
Currently, they are offering scholarship stipends for graduate students that are graduating by August 2014 a $5,000 scholarship stipend that is tax-free. Student teaching with LAUSD is available. There is a 2-year employment commitment. Email Susan for more information.

Contact information:
Susan Simon

SLPA jobs:

Early turnout, we ended up with a great crowd of about 80 students!
Some of our favorite 2nd year Graduate SLP students.
NSSLHA meetings make us smile!
Susan Simon talks shop with Mr. Paulson

Thank you Susan Simon for dedicating your time to speaking to us!

Hope to see everyone at the next meeting.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Greetings from CSULA Board 2013!

Hello Everyone
We're so excited to be part of NSSLHA and can't wait to start planning COMD events for the upcoming school year!

Here are a few of our favorite inspiring films to get us back-to-school ready:

Chronicles the journey of the Isaacson family as they travel through Mongolia in search of a mysterious shaman who they believe can heal their autistic son. This film delves into the strange world of autism, horses, shamanism, and Mongolia while telling the story of a family that will go to the end of the earth to find a way into their son's life-   recommended by Bozena Barton, NSSLHA Secretary

A biopic of Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who has become one of the top scientists in the humane livestock handling industry-  recommended by Joy Lee, NSSLHA Vice-President

The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralyzed body; only his left eye isn't paralyzed-  recommended by Katherine Lin, NSSLHA Undergraduate Representative

We look forward to seeing all of you in 2013!