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Illinois State at the 2020 ISHA Convention

Illinois State students at ISHA conference.

Illinois State students Emily Smith, Megan Spitzzeri, Brianna Rivera-Thompson, and Megan Stone.

Speech-language pathologists and audiologists in the state of Illinois are fortunate to have a wonderful professional association known as the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ISHA). Each February, ISHA holds a state convention at the Donald E. Stephens convention center in Rosemont, with national speakers covering a variety of topics related to communication sciences and disorders (CSD). It provides countless continuing education (CE) hours and opportunities to connect with colleagues.

One of the highlights of each convention is the College Bowl. On February 7, 2020, four ISU graduate students in CSD competed against 10 other CSD programs in the state. This year’s team was comprised of Emily Smith, Megan Spitzzeri, Brianna Rivera-Thompson, and Megan Stone. They did an excellent job answering practice questions from the national exam and proudly wearing their ISU gear. While the traveling trophy went to the University of Illinois this year, it was a great experience meeting the other students and departments and getting a taste of what questions to expect on the national exam they will soon be taking.

Members of the CSD department also represented Illinois State University in many different ways. Dr. Heidi Harbers and Dr. Jean Sawyer gave a presentation called “Creating Cultural Competent Professionals: What Can We Do Better.” Dr. Jennine Harvey is chair of the Telepractice Committee and Heidi Verticchio is vice president-elect of the Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee. Julie Burns serves on Representative Council, representing central Illinois. Many of our students also give of their time by volunteering at the convention, including senior undergraduate students Lily Blair and Erin Logsdon. Graduate students Elena Pivek, Allison Szamek, and Kathleen McMillion made their impact on the conference by presenting posters.

ISHA pulled off another successful convention this year thanks to the help of many volunteers, including a number of former and current Illinois State University faculty, staff and students. Go Redbirds!