Friday Sessions

Friday, June 4 – Poster Presentations

Poster Presentations will ONLY be available to view on June 4, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm.

Poster presentations will then be available for on-demand viewing June 7-21, 2021.

Poster 1 - A University of Pittsburgh Podcast for Disseminating Research to Clinicians

Cara Donohue, PhD, CCC-SLP, University of Pittsburgh

Brett Welch, MS, CCC-SLP, University of Pittsburgh

James Coyle, PhD, BCS-S, CCC-SLP, University of Pittsburgh, Faculty Advisor

Leah Helou, PhD, CCC-SLP, University of Pittsburgh, Faculty Advisor


This student-developed a podcast in the Communication Science and Disorders (CSD) Department at University of Pittsburgh that aims to make research articles accessible to students, clinicians and professionals to improve patient care, clinician education and clinical-research gaps while simultaneously providing clinicians an opportunity to earn reduced cost continuing education credits. Podcasts have been used to provide education to students and medical professionals for years. This podcast will highlight research of top CSD researchers by providing background information about the researcher/their lab, breaking down CSD-related research articles, and discussing relevant clinical applications each episode. With the evolution and explosion of social media, time constraints, reduced journal access and limited education/training on critically appraising research articles; students, clinicians and other professionals are turning to sources such as podcasts and blogs to receive up-to-date information for implementing evidence-based practice. Yet, there is limited research investigating the efficacy of podcasts for medical education or evoking changes in clinician behavior and patient outcomes. Top-quality indicators for podcasts in medical education include credibility, content and design. We aim to address these challenges by providing listeners with background knowledge/disclosures from researchers, open-access journal articles, step-by-step article interpretation and clinically relevant research findings in a flexible and efficient forum. The primary concerns this podcast will address arebarriers to interpreting research articles for evidence-based practice and limited research regarding the efficacy of clinical educational podcasts. This podcast integrates quality indicators based on research evidence and will obtain ongoing feedback and data from listeners to improve future episodes.

Instructional Level: Intermediate           Multi-Interest

Learner Outcomes: At the end of this poster, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the benefits and limitations of receiving education from a podcast.
  • Assess their knowledge base of how to critically appraise research articles.
  • Identify ways to integrate information learned from podcasts into their clinical practice.

Poster 2 - Evaluating Critical Reading Skills of First-Year Students in Higher Education

Jennifer Ferry, EdD, Lebanon Valley College


Speech-language pathologists have a role in the development of reading skills with students.  The development of reading extends beyond secondary education into higher education, where critical reading is a foundational reading skill.  The complex process of evaluating, synthesizing, refining and developing new knowledge requires explicit instruction for academic and professional success.  Due to the significant role of critical reading, a summative program evaluation was conducted using Wall’s nine-step process.  The focus of the program evaluation was to evaluate the critical reading skills for three cohorts of first-year experience (FYE) students at a four-year college.  Theories referenced in the program evaluation were the sociocultural theory of learning and the transactional theory of reading.  A mixed-method analysis was used to answer three questions.  First, what impact has the FYE program had with critical reading across the three cohorts?  Second, what patterns of critical reading skills exist for first-year students? Third, what relationship exists between the retention of students identified as weak critical reading skills?  Analysis included consideration of underserved students in each cohort.  The program evaluation findings and recommendations specific to assessment, instruction and student retention will be shared and discussed.


Instructional Level: Intermediate           Pediatric SLP


Learner Outcomes: At the end of this poster, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the role of critical reading for the success and retention of first-year students in higher education.
  • Apply theories of learning and reading to the instruction of critical reading in a First Year Experience program.
  • Interpret data from three cohorts to determine patterns of critical reading skills for first-year students and identify relationships between student retention and weak critical reading skills.
  • Explain the recommendations of the program evaluation.

Poster 3 - A Look Back and Toward the Future: Living With Autism

Alexis Robbins, MA, La Salle University
Juliana Santiago, BS, La Salle University
Evelyn Klein, PhD, BCS-CL, CCC-SLP, La Salle University

As autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to be studied, many researchers explore the effects of various symptoms, behaviors, and needs for both the individual and their caregivers. Studies investigate the effects of communication difficulties on behavior. Other studies opt for a more personal approach, discussing emotional effects on families (McConachie, et al., 2017, doi:10.1007/s10803-017-3282-2). However, resources are perplexing when it comes to the real-world application and its effectiveness; particularly, factors that contribute to successful outcomes. We have been interested in learning from caregivers and those with autism, and therefore conducted a phenomenological, qualitative study to learn more about what was and is needed to help accomplish independence and a better quality of life. Having an adequate understanding of these factors may allow practitioners, including speech-language pathologists, to support individuals with autism and their families. In this presentation, we aim to explore the longitudinal effects of various elements over a period of four years (2016-2020) in three families encompassing the three levels of the ASD spectrum. The information learned through our interviews was compiled into four quadrants: Lived Body, Lived Time, Lived Space and Lived Relations. We investigate and relay the various goals, intervention techniques and personal stories of successes and difficulties among these families. Our goal is for these components to help professionals gain a glimpse into what these families with ASD would have liked to have done differently in the past, and what they foresee for the future as they share their stories.

Instructional Level: Introductory           Multi-Interest

Learner Outcomes: At the end of this poster, participants will be able to:

  • Identify differences in lived experiences among families with autism.
  • List three factors that families impacted by ASD said benefited their communication over time.
  • List three factors that families impacted by ASD said impeded their communication over time.

Poster 4 - Assessing Healthcare Students’ Readiness to Care for Individuals With Aphasia

Jacklyn Shragher, BS, La Salle University
Ryan Husak, PhD, CCC-SLP, La Salle University

Patients admitted to hospitals with aphasia (PWA) may have difficulties conversing with health care providers about their medical needs. There is limited research on the readiness of entry-level health care professionals to serve PWA. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of a questionnaire for assessing health care students’ knowledge of aphasia and their perceived skills in communicating with PWA.  A 32-item questionnaire was developed based the four domains of the WHO-ICF framework and piloted on 39 undergraduate nursing students. Seven items gathered information on the WHO-ICF health domain. All participants (100 percent) demonstrated knowledge that aphasia is caused by stroke; however, many reported incorrect information, such as aphasia is caused by an emotional disturbance (48 percent) or impaired intelligence (64 percent).   Eleven items provided information related to aphasia according to the WHO-ICF function/impairment domain.  Most students knew that aphasia is a communication disorder (95 percent) and that it is associated with expressive language problems (92 percent). Participants were less aware of auditory comprehension (62 percent), reading (18 percent) and writing (8 percent) impairments associated with aphasia. Seven items collected information related to the WHO-ICF activity/limitation and participation/restriction domains. Sixty-seven percent (67 percent) of respondents felt confident that they could provide communicative support to help PWA participate in conversations concerning their medical care; however, only five  percent of the respondents provided less than two compensatory strategies, and 28 percent did not list any known supportive strategies. Administering this survey to health care students is feasible.  The survey may be helpful for tailoring interdisciplinary educational experiences between students in SLP programs and other allied healthcare disciplines.

Instructional Level: Introductory           Adult SLP

Learner Outcomes: At the end of this poster, participants will be able to:

  • Describe an outcome measure for evaluating non-SLP students’ readiness to provide care to individuals with aphasia in medical settings.
  • Discuss potential interdisciplinary educational opportunities for students and instructors in SLP and allied healthcare disciplines.
  • Discuss ideas for future research on improving communication between entry-level healthcare professionals and individuals with aphasia.

Poster 5 - Formant Frequency Differences Related to Geographic Region

Elaine Shuey, PhD, East Stroudsburg University
Samantha Ward, BS, East Stroudsburg University
Danielle Barczynski, BS, East Stroudsburg University
2020 ESU Speech Science Class, East Stroudsburg University

A goal of the undergraduate speech science class at East Stroudsburg University (ESU) is to complete a small research project, including completion of an IRB, obtaining data from subjects, analyzing the data, and reporting results in relation to similar published studies. In spring 2020, the students were set to study the effect of body position on maximum phonation time. When the pandemic hit, learning went remote and research projects were halted. How would the class get this experience?  By using data from one of their assignments in which they measured their own formant frequencies on four vowels embedded in a carrier phrase!  The vowel /ɑ/ is frequently altered based on geographic region and was chosen as the vowel to study.  “Subjects” were grouped by geographic region which resulted in four areas:  southeastern Pennsylvania/eastern Maryland; central/northeast New Jersey; general New York city and northeastern Pennsylvania.  As would be expected, numbers in the groups varied greatly.   Because of the differing numbers, the data was submitted to two, one-way analyses of variance, one for each formant.  No significant differences were found for either formant based on geographic region.   However, the students were able to fully engage in a project that allowed them to experience the process first hand. The specific results will be displayed, along with known formant differences in relation to geographic region/dialect.

Instructional Level: Introductory           Multi-Interest

Learner Outcomes: At the end of this poster, participants will be able to:

  • Describe that vowels are often affected by geographic location/dialect
  • List examples of vowels that vary by region.
  • Identify how changes in formants are reflected by and result in these vowel differences.
  • Name three ways to improve this study

Poster 6 - The Speech Pathologist's Role in the Assessment and Treatment of Primary Progressive Apraxia of Speech

McKenzie Troutman, MA, CCC-SLP, Penn State Health

Through a case study of an 80-year-old female with primary progressive apraxia of speech, listeners will learn how to recognize speech characteristics of primary progressive apraxia of speech, perform comprehensive assessment, send appropriate referrals and provide functional communication strategies, including augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

Instructional Level: Intermediate           Adult SLP

Learner Outcomes: At the end of this poster, participants will be able to:

  • Define aphasia and apraxia of speech and their neurodegenerative counterparts.
  • Describe the relationship between primary progressive aphasia and primary progressive apraxia of speech and differentiate between the two.
  • Conduct evaluation for and treatment of primary progressive apraxia of speech.

Poster 7 - Attitudes About Stuttering Among Health Science College Students

Ava Zinno, BA, La Salle University
Samantha Margerum, BS, La Salle University
Zeana Salem, BS, La Salle University
Evelyn Klein, PhD, CCC-SLP , BCS-CL, , La Salle University, Faculty Advisor

This poster provides a comparison study investigating differences in attitudes about people who stutter (PWS) between 107 students in three health science departments at a private university in Philadelphia. This study included communication sciences and disorders (CSD), nursing and public health-nutrition majors. The Teacher Attitudes Toward Stuttering (TATS) Survey (Crowe & Walton, 1981), a 30 item survey investigating perceptions of PWS, was administered using Qualtrics. This study is of importance because these health related disciplines often interact with PWS in their careers. Of the 30 items on the survey, several items resulted in a significant difference among the three departmental groups. For example, students in the CSD program strongly believed that one should make eye contact when speaking with a PWS, whereas students in the nursing program were significantly less likely to support making eye contact with a PWS.There was a significant relationship between the number of people who stutter our survey participants knew personally and their judgement of what responses would negatively impact a PWS. Data was also gathered regarding what students in health science majors think causes stuttering, and what impact they believe stuttering has on the lives of PWS. The details of these findings and their implications will be presented. The information collected may assist in supporting the needs of students to learn more about PWS.

Instructional Level: Advanced           Adult SLP

Learner Outcomes: At the end of this poster, participants will be able to:

  • Identify differences in health science majors regarding attitudes about PWS.
  • Identify significant relationships associated with positive and negative attitudes about PWS.
  • Discuss variables that influence attitudes and perceptions about PWS.

Poster 8 - Perceptual Measures Administered by Paper and Pencil and by VoiceEvalU8

Brigit Corej, BA, West Chester University
Jeremy Wolfberg, BA, Massachuetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions
Elizabeth Grillo, PhD, CCC-SLP, West Chester University, Faculty Advisor

Introduction: The study compared perceptual measures completed by paper and pencil and by the VoiceEvalU8 app. Traditionally, individuals complete the measures by hand using paper and pencil. All normative data for the measures are based on this traditional method. With the creation of VoiceEvalU8, validation of the electronic completion of these measures is necessary. Methods: Fifty vocally healthy participants completed the Voice Handicap Index (VHI)-30, VHI-10, the Vocal Fatigue Index, and other perceptual questions modeled after the Consensus Auditory-Perceptual Evaluation of Voice using paper and pencil and the VoiceEvalU8 app. The order of completion (i.e., paper versus app) was randomized across participants with the stipulation that all participants completed both paper and app administration. Results: Results are being analyzed to address the following research question, will the traditional, paper-based method and the electronic completion via VoiceEvalU8 produce the same results for perceptual measures in vocally healthy adults? Conclusions: The rationale for the study, study design, perceptual measures, and results will be presented in the poster.

Instructional Level: Introductory           Adult SLP

Learner Outcomes: At the end of this poster, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the study design.
  • Discuss the results.
  • Apply the results of the study to clinical practice.

Poster 9 - The Relationship of Obesity and Communication Delays and Disorders

Cheryl Gunter, PhD, CCC-SLP, West Chester University

The Centers for Disease Control (2018) reported that more than 40 percent of individuals in the United States 20 years old and older presented with obesity while more than 18 percent of individuals between two and 19 years old presented with this condition.  “Obesity” is defined as a complex medical condition in which “abnormal or excessive fat accumulation . . . presents a risk to health” (World Health Organization, 2020).  This session will overview the three primary relationships between obesity and communication disorders:  (a)  Maternal obesity during pregnancy places offspring at higher risk for various adverse health outcomes, including cognitive and more global developmental disorders (Gaillard, Santos, Duijts, and Felix, 2016).  (b)  Obesity during childhood and adolescence places individuals at higher risk for social consequences associated with bullying behavior, both as the recipients and the initiators (Janssen, Craig, Boyce, and Pickett, 2004), as well as the effects of otherwise altered social interactions on continued communication development.  (c)  Obesity places individuals at higher risk for medical conditions for which acquired communication disorders can be a consequence (Centers for Disease Control, 2020).  These include diabetes, hypertension, cerebrovascular accident, various cancers and clinical depression.   This session will also present information about the measurement of physical status and classification of levels of obesity individuals present.  Comorbid conditions, which can also contribute to the increase risk for communication disorders, will be overviewed.  Information about the professionals who serve the various needs of individuals with obesity, including the speech-language pathologist, will be included.

Instructional Level: Introductory           Multi-Interest

Learner Outcomes: At the end of this poster, participants will be able to:

  • Define the condition of obesity and describe the classification of obesity levels.
  • Describe the potential impact of maternal obesity on offspring.
  • Describe the medical consequences of obesity that increase the risk for communication disorders.
  • Describe the role of the SLP in clinical service delivery to individuals with obesity.

Poster 10 - Services for Bariatric Surgery Patients: The Role of the SLP

Cheryl Gunter, PhD, CCC-SLP, West Chester University

Bariatric surgery includes procedures that will alter the stomach and/or intestines to promote weight loss.  These procedures either reduce the amount of food consumed and/or reduce the absorption of the food.  Three common bariatric surgery procedures include the gastric band, the gastric bypass and the vertical sleeve gastrectomy (known as the gastric sleeve).  The benefits of these procedures have been well-documented in the literature and include not only the treatment of obesity but also the resolution of comorbid conditions that potentially decrease life expectancy and quality.  While the benefits eclipse the risks inherent in bariatric surgery procedures, some outcomes may compromise the success of these procedures.  One consequence for some patients is dysphagia.  Abu-Jaish, Wasserman, Jafferji, & Shah (2014), in a case study, described dysphagia that presented five years post-gastric bypass procedure.  Additionally, Nath, Yewale, Tran, Brebbia, Shope, & Koch (2016), in a retrospective study, identified dysphagia in 22.7 percent of patients post-gastric sleeve procedure.  Dysphagia after bariatric surgery has been attributed both to structural considerations and to behavioral practices, such as oversized bolus, rapid eating and drinking and not separating eating and drinking for the recommended time span.  While the speech-language pathologist (SLP) has not traditionally been a member of the bariatric surgery team, the expertise of this professional can enhance clinical service delivery to patients who have undergone a weight loss surgery procedure.  This session overviews the contributions of the SLP to the prevention, evaluation and treatment of dysphagia in bariatric surgery patients.

Instructional Level: Introductory           Adult SLP

Learner Outcomes: At the end of this poster, participants will be able to:

  • List the common varieties of bariatric surgery for weight loss purposes.
  • Describe the reasons that bariatric surgery patients present with dysphagia.
  • Describe the role of the SLP in the care for bariatric surgery patients with dysphagia.
  • Describe the role of the SLP in the prevention of post-surgery dysphagia.

Poster 11 - PTSD and Dementia in Veterans: A Pilot Study

Tonya Griggs-Smith, MS, CF-SLP, Darlington County Schools
Skye Lewis, PhD, CCC-SLP, Thiel College

The purpose of this study was to examine the link between confirmed or suspected posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dementia in military veterans. Fourteen participants, nine men and five women, aged 37–74 years, with PTSD and previous military experience with or without service during conflict completed a multi-dimensional questionnaire to collect baseline data about their impressions and experiences of being in the military. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test–3 (RBMT-3) were administered to evaluate various aspects of cognition. Participants averaged 25 on the MoCA, reflecting a mild impairment in cognition. Although most of the participants scored within the average range on the General Memory Score of the RBMT-3, 36 percent fell into the borderline/moderate impairment range. These data, as well as the answers on the questionnaire, suggest a link between PTSD and dementia, but more information and time are necessary to determine how strongly these factors are associated. This study was approved by the Francis Marion University Institutional Review Board.

Instructional Level: Introductory           Adult SLP

Learner Outcomes: At the end of this poster, participants will be able to:

  • List five criteria for PTSD.
  • Contrast the signs/symptoms of two forms of dementia.
  • Name three ways that military service varies from one person to another.
  • Describe two reasons the existing literature has not yet verified/disproven a PTSD-dementia link.

Poster 12 - A Community Engagement for Bilingual English-Spanish Undergraduate CSD Students

Patricia Swasey Washington, PhD, West Chester University
Manasseh Washington, BA, West Chester University
Grace Crawford, BA, Moravian College
Makenzie Highbarger, BA, West Chester University

This  posterwill explain the community engagement, which involved bilingual English-Spanish undergraduate West Chester University (WCU) students in their senior year of the Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) Program. The students provided speech and language screenings to local YMCA children, under the training and supervision of Dr. Patricia Swasey Washington, the Bilingual Emphasis Course Sequence (BECS) founder and coordinator in the graduate speech-language program. The collaborating organization was the Oscar Lasko branch of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The benefit to the community was the provision of speech and language screenings and prevention activities for a culturally and linguistically diverse community, involving bilingual Spanish-English children. This was a unique opportunity for the students, because WCU does not offer a clinical training component at the undergraduate level. The students were able to practice using their bilingual and clinical skills, in preparation for graduate study. Two of the three students are currently participating in the BECS at WCU. Future prevention activities had been planned, which would have involved a new cohort of undergraduate students. However, they have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project was supported by a grant from the WCU College of Health Sciences and the YMCA of Greater Brandywine Valley Community Engaged Research Funding.

Instructional Level: Intermediate           Multi-Interest

Learner Outcomes: At the end of this poster, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the benefits of providing speech-language screening and prevention activities to the community.
  • Discuss how collaborations with the community can enhance clinical training of undergraduate students.
  • Discuss the importance of clinical outreach to culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
  • Discuss ways of promoting future community engagement activities.

Poster 13 - The Impact of Cluttering on the Lives of Adults, Children and Family Members

Lisa Giuffre, Misericordia University
Kathleen Scaler Scott, PhD, CCC-SLP, Monmouth University
Glen Tellis, PhD, CCC-SLP, Misericordia University, Faculty Advisor
Cari Tellis, PhD, CCC-SLP, Misericordia University, Faculty Advisor

This ethnographic study collected and analyzed interviews of 10 people who clutter as well as their family members or significant others. Each participant participated in a semi-structured interview focusing on grand and mini tour questions. The participants were asked to speak about their perspective and experience with cluttering. Preliminary results of this study revealed the following themes: lack of resources and understanding impact all aspects of life; in/accurate diagnosis impacts life outcome; social impact is significant. Plans are underway to interview an additional 10 participants. Analysis will involve integration of new themes as applicable. Clinical and research implications of findings will be discussed.

Instructional Level: Intermediate             Multi-Interest

Learner Outcomes: At the end of this poster, participants will be able to:

  • Identify one perspective of a person who clutters regarding the life impact of cluttering.
  • Identify one perspective of a family member regarding the life impact of cluttering.
  • Identify one strategy that a person who clutters finds helpful for managing cluttering.
  • Identify one clinical application related to the affective components of cluttering.

Poster 14 - Exploring SLP Students’ Perception: Pilot IPE Program With Nursing Students - WITHDRAWN

Michelle Scesa, EdD, Lebanon Valley College
Helga McCullough, EdD, Lebanon Valley College
Elizabeth Lucas, Lebanon Valley College


Poster 15 - Gallery of Speech-Language Pathology

Alexandra Woodward, Misericordia
Jessica Kisenwether, PhD, Faculty Advisor, Misericordia University

As a member of Misericordia University’s Honor’s Program, I elected to complete my Capstone Project during the 2020-2021 academic year. My project includes a collection of seven portraits that depict how speech-language pathologists change the lives of their patients. My decision for this project was inspired by my own experiences of being a speech-language pathology student. I have found that the public tends to have a misunderstanding of speech-language pathology, and often assumes that this profession is limited in practice. Through taking classes at Misericordia University, I have learned the extensive scope of services practiced by speech-language pathologists, as well as the social and emotional support they provide to patients. I strive to convey how speech-language pathologists treat the entire individual and not just a pathological disorder. The portraits depict varying patients that differ in age and disorder; yet, each painting embodies the significance of speech-language pathology. The use of portraits provides an alternative format to provide insight on this profession. Furthermore, the portraits painted depict relatable scenarios in order to allow the audience to make purposeful connections. The development of these connections therefore deepen the audience’s understanding of this rewarding career. Through using art to convey the science of speech-language pathology, I have created a meaningful experience for my audience that elicits a newfound appreciation of this often misunderstood profession.

Instructional Level: Introductory Multi-Interest

Learner Outcomes: At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the multitude of disorders treated by speech-language pathologists.
  • Describe how speech and language therapy has a profound impact on a patient’s overall quality of life.
  • Describe what the field of speech-language pathology truly entails.