If there is a word to describe this academic year, it is “change.” The university has a new president, Dr. Thomas LeBlanc, who has been actively engaging with students, faculty, staff and alumni in order to learn about GW as he guides the university into the future. The department has a new name—the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences—a name better suited to our mission. We have also changed the MA curriculum sequence to ensure that students’ coursework and clinical experiences are coordinated. This change has allowed us to admit more of the outstanding applicants that we have each year while also introducing some degree of flexibility for students.
Along with these changes, we have been given additional space in Government Hall, and also have a number of new faculty and staff this year. Our new personnel have allowed us to manage the increased number of students in the MA program while also broadening the range of expertise within the department. These have all been viewed as positive changes that are making our already strong MA program even stronger.
Speech-language pathology service delivery is changing, with a significant increase in demand for Telepractice, particularly for clients unable to make the trek into a clinic. You can read about this initiative in this issue.
Our undergrad program continues to be appealing to students and to attract some of the best and brightest in the university. A number of our recent graduates are now enrolled in graduate programs, including the MA programs at GW, Columbia and Mass General Hospital and the PhD program at the University of Texas at Austin.
Perhaps the greatest new development in the department has been the creation of an Alumni Council. The council helped us organize a networking event in the spring where grads shared details about their varying work environments—schools, clinics, hospitals and even industry and is planning an alumni event in the fall.
You will also read about a number of other activities and initiatives in this issue, including our work enhancing global engagement, transgender voice and faculty and student accomplishments.
The department continues to change, and create new learning opportunities for our students. I hope that this newsletter provides a taste of these changes, and that you will continue to stay connected to our alumni community.
James Mahshie, Chair