Kudos to NSSLHA!

NSSHLA members 12-2013Featured (left to right): Alexandra Lavrentieva (Treasurer), Catherine Schembri (Vice president), Arielle Rubinstein (President), Victoria Guido (Secretary). Not pictured: Marina Kuzminar (Public Relations)

What is NSSLHA?

The mission statement of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is to advocate for students at the national, state, and local level, to forge professional relationships between speech-language pathologists and audiologists, to provide resources to prepare students to become professionals, and to facilitate the transition from NSSLHA to ASHA membership and other
professional organizations as the entry into the profession.

Recent Accomplishments of the SUNY New Paltz NSSLHA Chapter

The SUNY New Paltz NSSLHA chapter strives to uphold the central tenets of this statement through its selection of a communication disorders-based theme and charity each semester. This past semester, the chapter promoted public awareness of dysphagia, with the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders (NFOSD) as its charity of choice. We raised over $300 for this organization, surpassing our goal of $200, through fundraisers at Stop & Shop, McGillicuddy’s, and Fat Bob’s. We also sold promotional bracelets and fliers.  Edward Steger, the president of NFOSD, promoted our chapter events on the foundation’s website.

To further orchestrate dysphagia awareness, we worked with Professor Bower to host an educational lecture on Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) with expert Michael Webb. This presentation featured a hands-on component in which students were provided with the opportunity to receive a FEES evaluation.

Our semi-annual banquet on December 3, 2013, featured NICU swallowing therapist, Mary Ell Izzo, from the Vassar Brothers Medical Center. In addition to discussing diagnostic and therapeutic feeding considerations for the newborn infant, Mrs. Izzo provided specialized nursing bottle nipples for attendees to examine.

NSSLHA will continue to host events that foster education, advocacy, and inclusion amongst the students and professors of the SUNY New Paltz Communication Disorders department.

–Arielle Rubinstein, President

Global Engagement Program Students Share Experiences in NYC

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and School of Business students participated this fall in the inaugural semester of the SUNY Global Engagement Program (GEP) in New York City.  The ten SUNY New Paltz students and two students from Cortland and Buffalo immersed themselves in international affairs through a seminar and globally engaged internships in New York City.

The Global Engagement seminar explores the role of global civil society in international relations.  The seminar addresses the impact of global civic organizations on human rights, humanitarian affairs, environmental issues, women’s issues, poverty and inequality. Seminar discussions thus give the students social scientific tools to understand their experience on the ground.

Students also participate in a three-credit research colloquium in which they develop, write and present a full-length paper about their internship topic; the students’ research thus enhances their substantive knowledge of their internship missions.

In Their Own WordsGEP Student Internship Experiences


Nadine Ahrabi-Nejad

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian aid organization that provides independent, impartial assistance in more than 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters.  MSF was created in Paris in 1971 by a group of doctors and journalists; MSF-USA was created in 1990 in New York City, and was the first office to open outside of Europe.  As a marketing intern at MSF, I work closely with the Direct Marketing Associate for Creative and Production on a variety of marketing tactics aimed at reaching donors all across the United States.  I assist in direct mail activities, email marketing, and logistical work behind fundraising events.  I am also responsible for tracking donor giving behavior, as well as conducting analysis of industry marketing materials and trends via ROI software.  As an intern I am learning how an organization maintains donor relations, markets itself to donors and the public, and the general activities of a Development department.


Kate Boehler

I am an Accounting/Bookkeeping intern at The Adventure Project. TAP is a start-up nonprofit designed to “add venture” to support entrepreneurs in developing countries. It brings together people determined to create jobs in developing countries and works on issues related to health, water, environment and hunger.  In 2012, TAP’s effort impacted over 500,000 people around the world.  I am responsible for entering all donations, purchases, and bank transfers into the accounting software program each week. I assisted in creating the Annual Report by presenting the accounting of the organization to public.  I translated our accounting in to presentable charts so that the public/donors can understand where the organization’s money was spent.  I also have to send tax receipts to donors for their donations.  I meet with a CPA a couple times each month to make sure that everything is accurate, but this is a very independent position.


Gregory Blitstein (on left)

I work as an Events Department intern at the Foreign Policy Association. The FPA was started in 1918 to spread awareness of global affairs and to encourage citizen participation in foreign policy. I work with the events coordinator and the assistant to the president in planning different conferences, task forces and other events held throughout the year. In September, the Foreign Policy Association hosted its annual World Leadership Forum, where prominent figures from governments, fortune 500 companies, and international organizations come together to address various issues regarding foreign policy, economics, and other current events and pressing issues in the world. Task Forces are shorter events designed to spread awareness of growing issues that affect the world. We are currently planning two Task Forces; Climate Change and Global Conflict that will be held in November in New York City.


Alexander Elmasri

For the fall 2013 semester, I am interning with the Program Department at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). CGI is an initiative of the Clinton Foundation that convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.  My responsibilities include helping the department develop the content for all of the CGI meetings. Included in this process is creating the meeting schedules, format and session topics, as well as the selection and recruitment of moderators and panelists. As a program intern, I am also responsible with aiding the department in support of the day-to-day management of all program related matters. My internship experience has been very exhilarating and I have learned a lot about the logistics of managing how such major events as the CGI Annual Meeting occur. I have also been able to obtain a better understanding of how an international nongovernmental organization and foundation operates on both a day-to-day basis and the broader picture of their overall impact throughout the world.


Monica Farrel (on right)

I am an Executive Office intern for the Foreign Policy Association in New York. My work here is focused on education, event planning and social media management. The FPA publishes a yearly magazine entitled Great Decisions, which aims to educate Americans about eight pressing foreign policy issues of the year. The Foreign Policy Association holds various events throughout the year that are focused upon the topics of Great Decisions. I work to design the topics of discussion for the lectures, locate venues and panelists for these events, and advertise these events to FPA members and students. Every year the FPA holds a Great Decisions Teachers Training Institute to help promote education about foreign policy in high schools across the nation. My job is to maintain contact with the teachers of the institute and provide resources for them to educate their students.


Ricardo A. Hernandez Jr.

I am a communications intern at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), an organization dedicated to ending discrimination or abuse on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. I currently work to create multimedia for the organization using video editing software. Materials are available through the organization’s website and Youtube channel. I also write press releases and media advisories about upcoming projects, studies and events for the organization. In addition to the above, I establish relationships with reporters. I monitor IGLHRC in the news, and research LGBT human rights violations in selected regions. I also plan to write editorials about special topics concerning LGBT human rights violations. I have witnessed history in the making when ten member states, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and members of the LGBT Core Group at the United Nations held an unprecedented meeting to address violence and discrimination against LGBT people around the world. I will also help to host activism events throughout the semester.


Christiana Nicolaou

The Global Engagement Program class, along with my internship, has truly enriched my learning experience. The combination of the research colloquium, the internship class, and my internship responsibilities has created a supportive learning environment. The resources given to me by this program will allow me to thrive and continue on to achieve my future career goals.

I am interning at the New York City Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, in the Division for International Business. The Division for International Business aids foreign companies in establishing operations in New York City. My responsibilities at the Mayor’s Office are of greater substantive value, as I am able to observe companies launch and flourish in one of the most competitive cities in the world and ultimately understand the obstacles and opportunities in conducting business globally.


Caitlin O’Donnell

This semester, I am interning with the Global Legal Program at the Center For Reproductive Rights in Manhattan. This non-governmental organization is a global legal advocacy organization dedicated to expanding reproductive freedom for women around the world. The Center works to expand access to quality, safe, and affordable reproductive health care; which includes access to contraceptives, safe and legal abortion, prenatal and obstetric care and unbiased information. As an intern, I support the work of the Global Legal Program’s team of legal advisors, fellows, program associates, and legal assistants. My projects range from doing research and fact checking world abortion laws to creating and organizing databases for communication and outreach purposes. Additionally, I am also able to attend both Center wide staff meetings and meetings for the Global Legal Program specifically. This is a great way to keep informed about the array of projects going on throughout the Center.


Cecilia Stein

For the Fall 2013 semester I am working as an intern at the Clerk’s Office at the United States Court of International Trade.  The Court of International Trade was established in 1980 and oversees all legal controversies arising out of international trade policy in the United States. As an intern in the Clerk’s Office I am working on several projects with the Court’s Advisory committee on the rules, the law library court archives, and preparing for an investiture ceremony for two new judges who were recently appointed the court. Through these tasks I am gaining experience in preparing memos as well as becoming acquainted with different tools for legal research.  I also have the opportunity to attend court hearings and meet one on one with judges to gain insight on how the work of the Court impacts the globalized economy.


Keith Uffer

I currently am an intern with the United Nations Association of the United States of America Southern NYS Division. The UNA-USA is an association dedicated to building understanding of the UN and supports the ideals and vital work of the UN among the American people. They do this by their education and advocacy programs which stress the importance of nations working together and the need for U.S. leadership at the UN.

I have several responsibilities.  The first responsibility I have just completed involved organizing and judging a video contest in which middle school students and high school students make videos based on the world they want.  My second responsibility involves expanding our outreach over the social network.  This involves using twitter and Facebook.  My third responsibility is helping to plan and coordinate major events such as the Post-2015 Agenda Event, the Human Rights Day Event, and the Mid-Atlantic Conference.  The final and most important task I have is to create a chapter in the Mid-Hudson Valley.  I want SUNY New Paltz to have an active role in forming this new chapter as the ideals of the UN are so vital to our community, country and our world.


Jennifer Vanriper

As part of the SUNY Global Engagement Program, I work at the Humpty Dumpty Institute, an NGO dedicated to “putting the pieces back together.” The HDI was formed after its founders traveled around the world, witnessing firsthand UN peacekeeping operations in places like post-genocide Rwanda, and decided to take action. Today, the organization runs both diplomatic and large-scale humanitarian projects around the world. These include strengthening US-UN relations, removing land mines for post-conflict areas, and promoting healthcare and food security in developing nations.

The department I work with is the Higher Education Alliance, an initiative that connects institutions of higher learning with organizations within the UN in order to raise awareness about the issues which currently face the global community. To do this, we arrange for UN speakers to travel to colleges and universities across the country, lead discussions, and answer questions from students and the public. Topics this year include Peace and Security, Human Rights, Sustainable Development, and the Post-2015 Development Agenda. My responsibilities range widely, and I have been tasked with putting together contact information and calendars, publicity, and social media. Being a part of the organization has given me valuable insight into the efforts being made to address urgent global issues, as well as the work that goes into organizing and holding large events.


LA&S Students Achieve Success in Communication and Media


Claudia GalloKaleigh Griffin

Claudia Gallo (left) and Kaleigh Griffin (right) wrote and produced a short film, “Unsung Hero,” that was accepted in the Woodstock Film Festival Documentary Shorts category.

2013 was a banner year for current students and alumni in the Department of Communication and Media.  Students presented at national conferences, had their films accepted in prestigious film festivals and earned awards for film production.

In October, four Communication and Media alumni had their Seminar in Digital Filmmaking projects accepted in the Woodstock Film Festival Documentary Shorts category.  Their work screened in two venues:  Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, NY and at the Woodstock Playhouse.  The film is not available online as it is currently being considered for screening at other film festivals.  They are Claudia Gallo (currently employed at the WWE in Ct. as an editor), Kaleigh Griffin (who is currently a production coordinator for an independent film), Lindsay Nimphius (Currently working for Microsoft) and Kerri Sheheen (who is currently freelancing in and around New York City).

The department also we had students cover the Woodstock Film Festival for their ‘Fiercely Independent’ YouTube channel: youtube.com/woodstockfilmfestival

An example of their work can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A43t6NByS4k

In August, student Sasha Ribowsky and recent graduate Eric Solwaskie (now working for Umbra Soundstage and Motorcycle Museum in Newburgh) won the first place prize for the National Association of Broadcasters for their PSA ‘Room for New Ideas’ http://vimeo.com/65116043. They were flown to Anaheim, CA where they were awarded with plaques, and Sasha secured a scholarship.

This past April, the Broadcast Education Association recognized Kim Mas and Josh Rosman at their annual Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Kim and Josh’s PSA was peer-reviewed (3rd place in Spots) in the national competition.  (http://vimeo.com/55184869)

Student Miriam Ward secured a scholarship for this year through the Broadcast Education Association (competitive scholarship).

Students also earned the Eli Jaffe Award (regional award) for their piece “Son Down after Sun Down.”  The students (all class of ’13) were Chris Sarmiento (currently a music video director), Katelyn Jones (currently employed at WDST and Umbra Sound Stage) and Ben Golden (currently freelancing in and around the Hudson Valley).  The film can be found here: http://vimeo.com/55247966

Finally, students earned a Bronze Telly for their documentary “From the Ground Up.” Those students were Eric Sowalski, Sam Lobo (who interned at CBS and is now a freelance video editor), and Clark Slater (who currently works for MTV) this past spring.

Student Presentations and Publications

Francesca Rogo (Class of 2013 – with Dr. Jason Wrench) “The Mysterious Case of Cosmo Sludge” In Wrench, Schuman, and Flayhan’s Casing Public Relations (Dubuque: IA: Kendall-Hunt)

Austin Schatz (Class of 2014 – with Dr. Jason Wrench) “Not in my Backyard!” In Wrench, Schuman, and Flayhan’s Casing Public Relations (Dubuque: IA: Kendall-Hunt)

Esi Efissima Yamoah (Class of 2013), Austin Schatz (Class of 2014), Robert Revello (Class of 2014), Francesca Rogo (Class of 2013), Jenna Harris (Class of 2014), Alexandra Sofen (Class of 2013), and Alexandra Harvazinski (Class of 2013) presented their research “Examining the Zombie Phenomenon and Perceptions of a Zombie Apocalypse” at the Eastern Communication Association in Pittsburgh, PA.


Sociology Professor Discusses Avant-Garde Theater at CUNY Grad Center

Associate Professor Judy Halasz (Sociology Department and Film and Video Studies Minor Program) participated in a panel discussion and video screening at the City University of New York Graduate Center on December 2nd on the legacy of the Obie award-winning avant-garde theatre collective the Squat Theatre, based in Budapest in the 60s-70s and downtown New York City in the 70s-80s. The discussion addressed the unintended consequences of the distinct, yet equally challenging social, cultural, political, and economic conditions in the East and West for the creative world. Both settings fostered Squat’s significant theatrical innovations, including the redefinition of what constitutes performance space, the reformulation of the role of audience, and the merger of multimedia and live performance, enabling the Squat to attract a vibrant, broad-based artistic community.  The Squat’s influence transcended the theater world, inspiring Fluxus artists, Neo-Expressionist painter Jean Michel Basquiat, graffiti artist and hip hop musician Rammellzee, No Wave bands DNA and the Lounge Lizards, big bands Kid Creole and the Coconuts and the Sun Ra Arkestra, indie filmmakers Jim Jarmusch, Vincent Gallo, Jonathan Demme, and Shirley Clarke, and Andy Warhol Superstar Viva, among others.  In 1985, the Squat was evicted from their Chelsea storefront theater.  Emblematic of the socio-cultural and political economic shifts ushered in by the New Economy, their former four-story artistic and domestic home was promptly demolished and replaced with a cinema multiplex designed to show Hollywood blockbusters.  Like many other creative collectives, the group broke up in the ensuing years as bohemian life became increasingly untenable in New York City.  The talk referenced research from Dr. Halasz’ forthcoming book The Bohemian Ethos (Routledge, 2014).  The event was blogged by the New York Times and the audience included avant-garde theatre legend Judith Malina of the Living Theater.

Ancient history students stage mock battle

Students in Prof. Andrea Gatzke’s ancient history classes recently staged a mock battle using ancient battlefield tactics.  After reading ancient sources that described the techniques of the ancient Greeks and Romans, students recreated the formations used by ancient armies.  Armed with cardboard shields and 10 foot plastic spears, they formed into phalanxes, pioneered by the ancient Greeks, and attacked each other in the wheeling motion described in the original documents.  They also experimented with Roman formations called cohorts. You can see a video of the ancient Greek phalanxes attacking each other here:


Appelbaum Wins Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Activity


On October 12, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Professor David Appelbaum delivered an erudite and poetic meditation on voice, authenticity and language, entitled, “A Voice of One’s Own.”  Appelbaum, a Philosophy professor, spoke to students, faculty, and staff gathered in the Honors Center.  Appelbaum is the 2013 winner of the Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Activity.  You can read his talk in its entirety here. Appelbaum, A Voice of One’s Own.