The annual event is the largest gathering each year for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and students from across the state.
DENTON (UNT), Texas – Faculty and students from the University of North Texas College of Health and Public Service Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology headed to Austin Feb. 23-25 to attend the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association (TSHA) annual convention – an event that drew more than 3,000.
Lauren Mathews, clinical associate professor in the ASLP department, received the Burtis/Vogel and Elkins Community Service Award from the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation (TSHF) for her UNT EPIC (Empowering Personal Interactions in the Community) project, which provides organized social, philanthropic, and learning opportunities for neurotypical and neurodivergent adults ages 18+. The award honors “speech-language pathologists who exceed expectations in providing services that benefit the community at large or who advance the field of speech-language pathology.”
“UNT EPIC is able to provide safe and nonjudgmental social opportunities free of charge where all young adults feel welcome,” Mathews said. “I am glad that UNT EPIC can reduce barriers and provide a space where they feel comfortable being their authentic selves.”
Graduate student Lindsey Moeller received the Sara Haynes Endowed Scholarship from the foundation. The scholarship is awarded to one exemplary student each year who “demonstrates dedication to clinical interventions for adults with neurogenic communication disorders.”
“Lindsey is a stellar student who has the passion and skills to better the lives of those adults she works with in the future,” said Dr. Theresa Kouri, clinical associate professor and clinical director for speech-language pathology. Dr. Kouri is one of the faculty who nominated Moeller for the scholarship, and attended the convention and award event to support students.
Students Hannah Nguyen, Brynn Weber, Hannah Allison, and Kassie Silva represented UNT at the Praxis Bowl, a competition between more than a dozen speech-language pathology (SLP) programs in Texas. Mathews served as the faculty representative for the event. The students answered almost all of the questions correctly and had a great time showing off their Mean Green spirit. In addition, dozens of students helped Mathews and Dr. Kat Aoyama, associate professor of speech-language pathology and TSHF Scholarship Committee chair, host a table at the Meet-and-Greet event during the convention.
“We have a wonderful student turnout and they were very helpful throughout the convention,” Dr. Aoyama said. “UNT definitely had a great showing at the TSHA convention this year.”