ComArtSci Researcher Wins Sataloff Award for Young Investigators

Posted on: June 15, 2017

Every year, one voice researcher around the world receives the prestigious Sataloff Award for Young Investigators. This year, the award went to Maryam Naghibolhosseini, a postdoctoral research associate for the Voice and Speech Lab at ComArtSci. She is the first researcher at MSU to be honored with the award, co-sponsored by Elsevier and The Voice Foundation.MAward

“Getting this award and being recognized by the voice community at this early stage in my career means a lot to me,” Naghibolhosseini said.

Researching mechanisms of sound production

Her research focuses on how vocal folds produce sound and how they could possibly lead to voice abnormalities in people with voice disorders. She is working on developing new methodologies for capturing images of the vocal fold function.

“If you put your hand on your throat and say ‘aaaaa’, you can feel the vibrations of your vocal folds while producing sounds,” Naghibolhosseini said.

Using innovative technology to revolutionize clinical voice practice

Naghibolhosseini uses data obtained from a high-speed video camera connected to a flexible fiberoptic endoscope to record the motion of the vocal folds during running speech. The camera takes 4,000-20,000 images per second. Her research is unique because it is the first study that uses recordings of high-speed videoendoscopy during connected speech to study laryngeal mechanisms of sound production.

“My research can revolutionize clinical voice practice,” said Naghibolhosseini. “My ultimate goal is the clinical implementation of high-speech videoendoscopy in connected speech that would be beneficial for people with voice disorders.”

Additionally, Naghibolhosseini believes her research can help speech-language-pathologists and otolaryngologists to develop new therapeutic, medicinal or surgical treatment strategies.

Finding a home at MSU

Naghibolhosseini conducts research under Dimitar Deliyski, MSU Foundation Professor and Chair. She enjoys working under his mentorship and values his global perspective on voice research and emerging research areas.

“He is an effective educator and communicator, always thinking positively towards finding optimal solutions,” Naghibolhosseini said. “Beyond his leadership and mentoring skills, Dimitar has an incredible personality, and I have learned a lot from him in work and life over the past two years.”

Naghibolhosseini began working in the ComArtSci Voice and Speech Lab in 2015.

“My experience at MSU has been extraordinary,” Naghibolhosseini said. “MSU provides unique opportunities for conducting collaborative and synergetic cutting-edge research. I am delighted to be a part of the MSU family.”

In addition to research, Naghibolhosseini co-mentors graduate students and stays up to date on department activities, including faculty search, teaching responsibilities, bylaws and policy making.

Naghibolhosseini hopes to further develop her career in the area of voice research because of its scientific challenges and potentials for developing mathematical models and statistical analysis.

“Beyond its research and academic attractions, working in this area will allow me to better serve people through employing my engineering and scientific skillsets in solving health-related problems, particularly people with voice disorders,” Naghibolhosseini said.

By Rianna Middleton

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New faculty, expanded directions foster innovation in stuttering research at MSU

Posted on: May 1, 2017

For 1 percent of people in the United States, the simple act of saying hello can cause stress. Even more children—about 5 to 8 percent—experience difficulties in daily communication caused by the speech fluency condition known as stuttering.

Michigan State University has been a long-time champion in the study, research and clinical practices in the field of stuttering and other language, speech and voice disorders. Professor Emeritus Paul Cooke pursued extensive research into stuttering, and an ongoing study abroad program continues to immerse students into practices and research on an international scale.

In 2017, the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders within the College of Communication Arts and Sciences began strengthening programs and partnerships that will impact the nature and treatment of stuttering on a regional, national and international scale.

In the spring, J. Scott Yaruss joined the CSD team to focus on helping speech-language pathologists improve their ability to provide meaningful and lasting support for people who stutter. Professor Yaruss brings decades of experience in working with people with fluency disorders through research and clinical practice, including his most recent work with the University of Pittsburgh.

"There's lots of excitement around our department here at MSU," says Yaruss. "We have the opportunity to draw on the expertise of our faculty interested in stuttering, and to look at neurological development using different methods. There's pervasive interest across the department, as well as with other universities and organizations for strong partnerships."

Road to innovation
Yaruss says he noticed first-off the incredible camaraderie and collaboration among members of the CSD faculty. The growing team, he says, will examine the nature and treatment of stuttering, and leverage new and existing technological capabilities in the process.

CSD Faculty

CSD Faculty

Among the team members are Adjunct Assistant Professor Soo-Eun Chang, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan who maintains a research lab at MSU. Chang conducts large-scale longitudinal studies using multimodal neuroimaging methods to examine the neural bases of childhood stuttering, while Assistant Professor Amanda Hampton Wray examines a range of communication disorders, including stuttering, by measuring electrophysiological activities.

Other contributors in stuttering research include Assistant Professor Fan Cao who explores neural bases of phonological deficits in language and reading disorders. Associate Professor Laura Dilley examines how neurocognitive systems for processing of speech may be different for people who stutter compared with those who don’t. In 2018, new faculty Bridget Walsh will come on board to apply near-infrared spectroscopy and other methods to study neural processing of people who stutter. Yaruss himself will focus on the neurology of stuttering using a range of methods, as well as applied research on clinical intervention.

Yaruss adds that the CSD team plans to develop programs that help future and current speech pathologists increase their comfort level working with people who stutter. He also looks to strengthen partnerships across universities, including several in Michigan and throughout the Midwest, to research stuttering and other fluency disorders.

"We have an opportunity to develop an emphasis that encompasses many aspects of stuttering, and to bring it together through basic and applied practices," he says. "Our field has expanded in so many ways. We can make strong cases for helping people who stutter lead a full life."

Amanda Hampton Wray concurs.

unspecified-1Like Yaruss, she understands that stuttering in children can contribute to social isolation and bullying, and negatively affect academic success. In adults, people who stutter frequently are channeled into jobs with fewer opportunities for advancement, or have difficulty doing everyday things like ordering off a menu or engaging in casual conversation.

"Stuttering has a significant impact on the way a person interacts and communicates in our world," Hampton Wray says. "Communication is critical for quality of life and social interaction. If we can find ways to alleviate someone's stress and anxiety, and improve their quality of life, we make a positive impact on society."

Hampton Wray came to MSU three years ago, and along with Chang, was one of just two faculty with a research focus on stuttering at MSU.

"It's really exciting to be in a place where there will be lots of people looking at the same question but from different angles," says Hampton Wray. "We've been very fortunate to attract some of the top researchers here. When we have more people thinking about the same thing, it builds collaboration and encourages brainstorming. That leads to innovation and our ability to impact the field."

By Ann Kammerer

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ComArtSci Remembers Leo V. Deal

Posted on: March 22, 2017

Beloved professor, Leo V. Deal, Ph.D., passed away on March 11, 2017. Leo was a pioneer in the Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD) program at Michigan State University and a Chairman of Audiology and Speech Sciences (ASC) for 12 years. He was a Distinguished Alumni of the department, an ASHA fellow, a Professor Emeritus and a charter member and co-founder of Sparrow Hospital’s Mid-Michigan Oral Cleft and Maxillofacial Consultation Clinic, "Cleft Palate Clinic."

Leo Deal

Leo’s greatest gift to CSD may have been his creation of the study abroad program, Communicative Disorders in the British Isles, which began in 1984 during his last year as Chairman of ASC. It remains the oldest and longest consecutively running overseas study program in Communicative Sciences and Disorders in the United States.

For those who knew him, Leo will be remembered as a steadfast student advocate. He knew every student by name, and never forgot them - even over the past year, he would ask about students that he remembered.

His students and colleagues will always view Leo as a gentleman and a scholar, with unwavering integrity, compassion and a commitment to education as a bridge to human understanding.

Leo leaves behind Nola (nee Arndt), his devoted wife of 64 years; son Eric (Sherrie); daughter Nancy (John Beaver); grandsons Taylor and Mason (Whitney); granddaughter Emma; as well as loving nieces and nephews.

A private burial took place on Wednesday, March 15. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to the Leo V. Deal International Enrichment Fund, Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, at Michigan State University.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at

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Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders thrives after growth of faculty and programs

Posted on: January 27, 2017

CSD Faculty

CSD FacultyCSD FacultyCSD Faculty

In the 80 years since it first began, the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at Michigan State University has transformed into a frontrunner in the study of speech pathology, audiology, communication disorders and more.

In 1937, CSD started as a single interest area in the Department of Speech and Drama at MSU with only one faculty member. Since then, the department has established several successful programs, including a new minor for undergraduate students, a popular master’s program and a resurgent Ph.D. program.

In recent years, CSD has carefully selected respected scholars to join its faculty to lead these growing programs. Among the recruits are award-winning researchers on topics like stuttering, distinguished American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) Fellows and academics with profound enthusiasm for advancement in the field.

New faculty, new students

Jeff Searl joined the CSD faculty in the spring of 2017. Searl came with 16 years of experience as an educator and a dedication to research on speech and voice disorders – both of which recently helped him achieve the title of an ASHA Fellow. The recognition from ASHA is one of the highest honors in the field, and has been awarded to more than 30 MSU CSD faculty and alumni.

Searl said that simply talking about his new role at MSU excites him.

“There’s a real buzz around the department at this point within our profession. In the last four or five years, folks have really taken notice of (it) more and more,” said Searl. “It’s really an attractive department for me to come into because there are other folks ... with interests related to mine, so we can work together collaboratively in the classroom and in the research that we do.”

Professor Eric Hunter, associate chair of the department, said that when he first started four years ago, the department had just started seeing the results of recent measures taken to enhance and increase valuable opportunities for both students and faculty. Today, the department is closer than ever to where they want to be, he said.

“Next year is a completely different game. Strong faculty members doing important research and strong students coming in,” said Hunter. “When I came in, there was a lot of potential. Now, we’re seeing the results and stability that allows for an even greater growth.”

Much of the department’s development can be attributed to the expansion of its academic programs, like the Ph.D. program.

Several years ago, the program was put on hold to reevaluate the curriculum. In August 2016, one Ph.D. student graduated, marking the first to complete the program since its rebirth. Currently, there are six students enrolled in the program, and at least three more coming next fall. Each hoping to follow in the footsteps of the recent grad by receiving their doctoral degree from MSU’s Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders.

“While it is absolutely important to train future clinicians, which our master’s program does well, Ph.D. students are the next generation of academics who will train the next generation of clinicians. Thus, it’s really an indication of where a program is at when you’re preparing a strong cohort of future faculty members to continue to train the students,” said Hunter.

An opportunity for undergraduate excellence


With the Ph.D. program back on its feet and a growing master’s program of 64 students and counting, the department is becoming a popular place for professionals and graduate students to further their learning. Two years ago, the addition of a minor brought additional opportunity for undergraduates to gain knowledge in the field. While all undergraduates can enroll, students who typically choose to take on the CSD minor come from a variety of degree programs such as education, psychology, neuroscience and more.

The MSU chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA)a longstanding national student organization – has been growing in size since the establishment of the minor, according to Kelly Jones, the organization’s president and neuroscience senior pursuing the CSD minor. As a group with more than 50 members, NSSLHA aims to bring attention to the research conducted by people who study communication disorders, as well as volunteer and work in the field at nursing homes and local schools.

Jones said that while she loves her major as a part of the Lyman Briggs College, the people at CSD have blown her away with their knowledge and kindness.

“This department has been overwhelmingly welcoming. All of the faculty members, all of the professors, office staff at Oyer – they’re all extremely friendly, very helpful,” said Jones. “We actually do a lot of our (NSSLHA) events with the faculty members and the professors where we can get to know them better.”

CSD students are also given several international opportunities. The department offers the nation’s longest-running study abroad program for communication disorders to all of its students. They study in London, England; Dublin, Ireland; and Edinburgh, Scotland, and learn about the differences in clinical practices and national health care systems between the countries they visit and the United States.

Learning by doing

csd-research-20131010-B_RakerdAmanda Hampton Wray, assistant professor, admires the way the department organizes its clinical training for students. She believes the training is one of the major things that sets the MSU Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders apart from other schools.

“Most departments have an in-house clinic, so they have their own clinic as a part of the department, and students will work with clients in a controlled clinic with supervisors. Michigan State has chosen instead to send our students all out into the community during the school year,” said Hampton Wray. “This means our students get to see a realistic picture of the caseload and what it’s really like to do that job in that setting very early in their training.”

During these internships, students work with different types of people – children and adults – as well as with various health issues – like swallowing disorders and brain injuries – preparing them to address similar cases in their careers.

The future

Dimitar Deliyski, the chair of the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, said with the new additions and enthusiasm that has joined the department, it will undoubtedly continue to do great things through training and educating students, and conducting research in order to help people all over the world.

“Right now, we have a department which is growing very fast in terms of the research that’s going on and in terms of academics. Then, the next stage will be to sustain that,” said Deliyski.

As for the future of the department, Deliyski noted the importance of growing the program. Not only in size, but also cultivating academic connections, initiatives and big projects.

By Savannah Swix

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New CSD M.A. Program Director brings inspiration to continue department success

Posted on: December 9, 2016

There are certain moments in life that lead professionals to where they are today in the workforce. Sometimes, these moments can even have such an impact that may personally affect people on a deep and emotional level. With hard work, dedication, and a competitive drive - Spartans WILL find a way to enrich the lives of others by using their knowledge and capabilities they have developed from their own expescreen-shot-2016-12-09-at-1-16-56-pmriences.

While he completed his undergrad at the University of Michigan, new Professor of Practice and Director of the Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD) Master of Arts Program Matt Phillips has done just that.

“I am a person who stutters,” said Phillips. “While I now experience a great deal of
fluency, I have spent a vast majority of my life managing – or hiding – my disfluent speech minute-by-minute, every day. I have a personal understanding of the impact of a communication disorder, but I also have an appreciation for what the field of speech-language pathology can do to change someone’s life. Having received such a gift is what inspired me to pursue this career.”

Where it all began

Phillips attended the University of Michigan from 1987-1991 where he received his bachelor’s degree in psychology. Through his studies, he developed an understanding of not only neurobiology, but also of human behavior – two things that the practice the study of communicative sciences and disorders requires expertise in.

“We (as speech-language pathologists) facilitate the development or rehabilitation of neurological function for communication, cognition, and swallowing,” Phillips said. “To be effective in this endeavor, a clinician needs to relate to the client (and family) on a personal level. I will also add that my experience at University of Michigan expanded my understanding of the world and my own place in it.”

Phillips continued. “Our field emphasizes evidence-based practice, which merges evidence from current research with the client’s strengths and needs, as well as the clinician’s expertise and context. As a Professor of Practice I am asked to bring the experiences of my own clinical work in evidence-based practice to classroom instruction.”

Discovering his inspiration 

CSD students are typically attracted to the field through a compassionate desire to help others. Since this path is intense and competitive, it is crucial for students to have the academic ability as well as the appropriate personal traits such as critical thinking, perseverance, teamwork, service, and communication strategies that will help them succeed. Phillips’ favorite part of the job is the opportunity to work with students in CSD and help them reach that level.

“CSD students are both intelligent and well-rounded individuals. It is an absolute pleasure to work with students of this quality on a daily basis,” he said.

Future objectives and goals 

Faculty from the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders are internationally-recognized as scholars and researchers of the highest caliber. Additionally, the students’ success showcases the program’s value and their ability to use what they’ve learned to make a positive impact. Phillips claims that he wants to sustain the strong momentum and build upon that reputation.

“Our graduates continue to make a difference in the lives of those they serve and I hope to further develop the curriculum, develop evidence-based models of clinical supervision, and expand the diversity of our students and the cultural responsiveness of our training program.” said Phillips.

If you’re interested in the CSD graduate program, or want further information about the study, click here.

By Emmy Virkus





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CSD faculty members publish research in top journal for acoustic studies

Posted on: June 30, 2016

Rahal ShrivastavIn May, Eric Hunter, Pasquale Bottalico and Simone Graetzer from the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders had their research published in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, a leading journal for acoustic studies.

The trio’s work analyzed “how vocal effort is affected by speaking style, room acoustics, and short-term vocal fatigue,” according to the article’s abstract. They explored how people’s speech and effort to speak changes when they enter various environments, such as an auditorium, or more specifically, a classroom. The broader focus of the study was on students and teachers in the classroom.

Hunter said that he has been specializing in the study of teachers for about 15 years. A few years ago, Hunter was invited by colleagues of Bottalico to Italy to speak about his research. At the time, Bottalico was still completing his Ph.D. After discussing their research and following Hunter’s return to the U.S., he invited Bottalico to come to Michigan State University and collaborate on the idea together.

The first experiment was conducted in October of 2014 and published in December of 2015. While they waited for the research to be published, a second experiment took place in February of 2015, which was just published last month.

“We conducted our experiments in some unique research environments of Professor Rakerd in the (Communication Arts and Sciences) building. These include an anechoic chamber and reverberant room with a large work space located between the two, which is a semireverberant environment,” said Graetzer.

Speech recordings were gathered from 20 students in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. These students were asked to read a specific text in these rooms while the researchers manipulated the environment in each room using different sounds and variables. Then the students were asked about how it felt and if they noticed a difference.

The results indicated that an individual’s vocal effort decreased when special reflective panels were placed in the space.

“We found that when early reflections were increased in each of the three environments, the talkers reduced the volume of their speech and reported that one, they perceived their own voice to be clearer, and two, under most conditions, they perceived their vocal effort to be reduced,” Graetzer explained.

Moving forward, Bottalico said that their research will continue to be motivated by finding a long-term solution to reduce vocal effort and fatigue.

“We need to work more on understanding which kind of surface we can use and where, at what distance, to place the surface in order to optimize this effect. At this moment, we only have preliminary results, so we were only able to demonstrate that there is an effect. This means that it is possible to decrease the speakers’ vocal effort by placing a reflective surface or surfaces correctly.”

Since publishing the research, titled “Effects of speech style, room acoustics, and vocal fatigue on vocal effort,” Hunter, Bottalico and Graetzer have attended multiple conferences to present various aspects to different professional societies. They attended meetings of the Acoustical Society of America in Salt Lake City as well as the Voice Symposium in Philadelphia and another in Boston.

“It is great that we have demonstrated that there is an effect,” said Bottalico. “Now, we have to optimize the solution for the classroom.”

The article can be found on the Acoustical Society of America’s website, here.

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CSD Chair Reflects on First Year

Posted on: May 9, 2016

dimitar_featureWithin his first year as Chair of the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD), Dimitar Deliyski has implemented a set of measures to maintain and further enhance an otherwise excellent academic unit. The department also has created funding opportunities for master’s thesis completion scholarships and enlarged the doctoral program to create more opportunities for Ph.D. students.

Deliyski is enthusiastic and confident about the future of the department, which soon will expand with new faculty. CSD also expects to further increase its extramural research funding and to double the size of the doctoral program within the next two to three years.

Deliyski said his role as chair offers new dimensions of accomplishment on a daily basis. Recently, several CSD faculty were recognized at the national and international level. Associate Professor Eric Hunter will be inducted as a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in May, Assistant Professor Laura Dilley accepted a term as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Phonetics, while Deliyski presented the keynote Pentax Medical Lecture in Upper Airway Science at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

“Our faculty continuously demonstrate outstanding, yet further improving scholarly productivity,” Deliyski said.

But the biggest accomplishment, says Deliyski, is when the department as a whole is effective at solving ongoing challenges and strives to continue to better itself, like it did in earning the Seven Seals Award of the National Guard and Reserve for its support of CSD graduate student Blake Donovan’s service in the National Guard.

“CSD is providing an outstanding environment for students to receive their training and for faculty to develop successful scholarships,” Deliyski said.

A pioneer and international leader in the field of voice and speech disorders, Deliyski took the reigns as the new CSD chair in August 2015. At the same time, he was named an MSU Foundation Professor, the first for the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

The MSU Foundation Professor program is a designation that is comparable to an endowed chair. As an MSU Foundation Professor, Deliyski will receive five years of supplemental research support and will hold the designation permanently.

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CSD Associate Chair Receives Acoustical Society of America Honor

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erichunterEric Hunter, Associate Professor of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, has been named a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), one of the highest honors bestowed by this international scientific society.

Nominated by colleagues in the field, Hunter was awarded Fellow status by the ASA Executive Council at its Fall 2015 meeting. His official induction will occur this May at the Spring 2016 meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“I am grateful to receive this recognition from individuals I have admired and tried to emulate,” said Hunter, who also serves as the Associate Chair of the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders. “ASA Fellows are some of the most highly accomplished scholars in the field, so it’s an honor to have been invited to join their ranks.”

Hunter is being recognized for his research contributions in the laryngeal function for voice production.

“To describe my research, I use my background in physics, acoustics and biomechanics to examine all aspects of voice mechanism and production,” Hunter said.

Approximately 7,500 people work in acoustics around the world, examining a wide range of topics related to sound. The ASA is one of the largest associations in the field with thousands of members, but only a small percentage distinguish themselves to warrant Fellow status.

“The honors of the ASA is a very big deal,” said Dimitar Deliyski, Chair of the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders. “This is one of the highest tokens of appreciation from a worldwide organization, which has been highly respected for nearly 100 years.”

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CSD Honored with Seven Seals Award

Posted on: January 14, 2016


The Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD) is being honored with the Seven Seals Award, the broadest and most inclusive award given by the Employer Support of the National Guard and Reserve (ESGR).

Blake Donovan, Company Commander with the Michigan Army National Guard and a Communicative Sciences and Disorders graduate student, nominated CSD faculty, staff and students for the award for their support of his service in the National Guard and for setting an example for other academic programs to follow in advancing the mission of the ESGR.

“During my two years of study, the faculty, staff and my peers in the CSD program have worked hand in hand with me to accommodate my service in the Army National Guard while simultaneously maintaining the high standards of the program,” Donovan said in his nomination letter.

Donovan has been enrolled in the Communicative Sciences and Disorders graduate degree program since August 2014 and will graduate in May 2016. While meeting the demands of his studies, Donovan became a Company Commander with the Michigan Army National Guard in June 2015. As a new Company Commander, additional training requirements, outside of the usual drill weekend, were placed on him, which took him away from class lectures and interrupted his clinical internships.

“Throughout the academic and military service overlaps, my professors, program directors and peers have been understanding and supportive of me in every facet,” Donovan said. “Although I have had to miss classes, I have never felt disadvantaged due to strong support from faculty and staff. Nobody in the CSD program ever made me feel guilty for missing school, nor have they placed any extra pressure on me to make up for missed class time.”

Donovan’s professors have recorded lectures and posted them online for him to access at a later time. One professor also gave him a compact disc with additional course content that he would not otherwise had access to because of missing a class lecture due to National Guard training.

“It is part of our culture in Communicative Sciences and Disorders to be adaptive and supportive to the individual needs of our students. Our focus as educators always has been to identify early on the interests of our students and to support their education towards achieving their professional goals,” said Dimitar Deliyski, Chair of the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders. “Among students, we foster a culture of peer support rather than peer competition.”

That type of peer support was another reason Donovan nominated CSD for the Seven Seals Award.

“Classmates have gone out of their way on numerous occasions to take notes for me – going above and beyond expectations, using all available resources, to deliver the notes to me in a timely manner,” he said. “In graduate school, time is a valuable commodity; the time invested by my peers taking additional notes and sending them on to me has been of the highest value.

“The understanding demonstrated by peers during the completion of group projects also has been exceptional. My classmates have always held me to the same standards of performance as other classmates during projects while allowing flexibility to work around my training schedule.”

Blake Donovan at Pathway SchoolAs part of the CSD program, Donovan has completed three clinical internships and is currently in his fourth and final placement at St. Joseph Hospital in Ann Arbor. He also has had internships with Eaton RESA (Regional Education Service Agency) at an elementary school in Nashville, Mich., at Hope Network in East Lansing, Mich., and with Livingston ESA (Educational Service Agency) at Pathway School in Howell, Mich.

“The clinical internship supervisors associated with the CSD program at MSU have allowed me to miss time in the clinical setting and have treated me more than fair in my evaluations,” Donovan said. “I have never been docked points for missing a day in a clinical placement, or made to feel that missing a day would reflect poorly in my performance evaluation. The faculty at MSU also have worked with me to begin clinical internships earlier in a semester, or later so as to avoid conflicts between my academic and National Guard schedules.

“There has never been a moment when I felt that the CSD Department did not, or would not support me in my military service. Their academic, professional and ethical standards in all matters have allowed me to perform at my highest ability as a student and as a soldier. There is no doubt that their support will remain steadfast and provide the greatest opportunities for future military service members to pursue rigorous academics while serving their nation, thereby increasing the readiness of the Reserve Components.”

The Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders was presented with the Seven Seals Award at a special ceremony on Jan. 12.

“The Seven Seals Award is the highest token of recognition we could get for our efforts as a department,” Deliyski said. “It means a lot to us because it shows that our students appreciate these efforts and find them necessary for their professional growth in the environment of their choice.”

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New Minor Strengthens Study of Communicative Sciences and Disorders

Posted on: September 3, 2015

Senior University Photographer








A new minor in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences will ready undergraduates for advanced studies in the assessment and care of children and adults with speech, language and hearing problems.

Launching this fall, the Communicative Sciences and Disorders Minor provides a concentrated track that helps students successfully prepare for graduate school in speech-language pathology, audiology, and speech and hearing sciences. According to college leaders, the program positions MSU as an innovator in the field of communicative sciences and disorders by creating a diverse undergraduate experience that combines classroom and clinical observation time.

"We think it's the way to go for students interested in this growing field," said Eric Hunter, Associate Chairperson of Communicative Sciences and Disorders and Director of the Undergraduate Program. “We have offered individual undergraduate courses before. This new minor, however, creates a way for students to explore the field, getting the coursework and experience they need for their future studies. We also give these students the opportunity to experience the excitement of research in any of our diverse faculty labs."

Students interested in careers in speech-language pathology must complete a master's program and be certified before they can work in settings that include schools, hospitals and clinics. An AuD is required to work as an audiologist.

MSU's new CSD minor equips undergraduates with courses that meet educational requirements of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and sets the stage for successful application to MSU or other graduate schools. Students will complete 21 credits and 25 field observation hours, and may take three additional recommended CSD courses. An optional summer abroad program also is offered that examines international aspects of communicative disorders.

Alyssa Rollins is one of the students enrolled in the CSD minor this fall. As a senior in MSU's James Madison College with a minor in Spanish, Rollins wanted to expand her options for graduate studies and careers. The CSD minor, she said, was the perfect fit.

"I've always been a good communicator and known that I wanted to work with people and impact their lives," Rollins said. "The minor is great since I can be involved with my major program while pursuing speech pathology and the CSD program."

Hunter says Rollins represents the broad range of undergraduate students who study communicative sciences and disorders. The eclectic mix of students from areas like political science, linguistics, psychology, education and communications, fostering the exchange of diverse ideas and creating a rich educational environment.

"It's a great experience to have students bringing up questions from different fields and points-of-view," Hunter said. "This minor is exactly what we needed to complement our world-renowned research and unique graduate program."

The minor will accommodate 60 students a year who can then go on to apply to MSU or other institutions offering graduate programs in speech-language pathology and audiology. The college's CSD graduate program currently is at capacity with 32 students. More than 300 students apply to the program each year.

"It's a very hot field right now with lots of opportunities," Hunter said. "Our new minor provides undergraduates with a competitive edge and professional connections for applying to graduate school and exploring future careers."


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