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USFSM student group awarded Gold Chapter Honors

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: May 14, 2019

The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) has awarded the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s NSSLHA chapter with Gold Chapter Honors.

Dr. Jenna Luque

Gold Chapter Honors is the highest recognition a NSSLHA chapter can attain.

“It was so great to see the chapter’s board set a goal and meet it,” instructor and chapter advisor Jenna Luque, PhD, said. “They did an amazing job allowing this chapter and its members to shine. I am proud to be an advisor to one of the top NSSLHA programs in the country.”

The NSSLHA recognizes college chapters for supporting its mission to inspire, empower and support students in communication sciences and disorders (CSD) programs.

USF Sarasota-Manatee’s NSSLHA chapter received Gold Chapter Honors on May 1. The chapter was founded in 2013 to assist CSD students and promote awareness about CSD programs.

USFSM student group awarded Gold Chapter Honors

Amanda Chalaire

“The 2018-2019 USFSM NSSLHA chapter was the first to be recognized nationally at USFSM, and our work has created a solid foundation for future CSD students to build upon,” said USFSM graduate and NSSLHA chapter President Amanda Chalaire.

A former high school English teacher, Chalaire earned a Bachelor of Science degree in CSD this past May. She recently relocated to Mandeville, Louisiana, where she’s working to become a certified speech-language pathologist.

USF Sarasota-Manatee offers degrees in CSD with a concentration in speech-language sciences (SLS). A degree in CSD-SLS prepares students for graduate school or employment as a speech-language pathology assistant or audiology assistant in educational and healthcare settings.

To win the award, USFSM’s chapter helped national NSSLHA to:

Dr. Sarah Hegyi-Szynkiewicz

Dr. Sarah Szynkiewicz

  • Increase awareness of communication sciences and disorders at more than 100 college campuses and communities nationwide
  • Send more than 10,000 letters to state and federal legislators to promote awareness of CSD
  • Raise funds to provide an $18,000 donation to the ASHFoundation’s NSSLHA Scholarship.

“Our current USFSM NSSLHA board has worked with dedication and hard work to reach its goal of Gold Chapter Honors,” said assistant professor and chapter co-advisor Sarah Szynkiewicz, PhD. “This is an exciting time for the USFSM NSSLHA chapter and I am very proud of the board and its members.”

To learn more about USF Sarasota-Manatee’s communication sciences and disorders program, visit

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