Communication Disorders Alumna Wins Big on “Wheel of Fortune”

When Jenny (Thayer) Riehl ’02 ’04g (Communication Disorders) was a contestant on “Wheel of Fortune” last December, she had no idea that she would eventually win $54,505 in cash and prizes on the popular game show.

Thayer

Jenny (Thayer) Riehl ’02 ’04g

With a combination of positivity, smarts and strategy, the Town of Ulster resident closed out the win with a phrase worth $32,000 in the bonus round. She also walked away with an all-expense-paid trip to Honolulu, Hawaii.

“My first thought was one of being grateful and blessed for the win,” said Riehl. “I hadn’t really thought about the monetary outcome of the game, just solving the puzzles correctly.”

Riehl watched the February broadcast with a private viewing party of close friends and family. The celebration included a cake adorned with a wheel on top, and Riehl surprised her guests by handing out leis after the Hawaii trip was announced.

“It was an amazing night,” she said. “I was actually more nervous that day than I had been to tape the show because that’s when the reality of it all hit me.”

Though she hasn’t decided how to enjoy her windfall, Riehl said she’s already gotten a great deal out of the experience of competing on the game show.

“I feel beyond amazing and wouldn’t have changed a thing,” she said. “I feel most people have dreams that they never fulfill. This experience has taught me to listen to that inner voice more often, try some things that are out of my comfort zone, and not to be intimidated or afraid to fail.”

Riehl, a school speech language pathologist for the Red Hook School District, lives with her husband, A.J., and their rescue dog, Whitney, in Kingston, N.Y. She worked as an adjunct faculty member at SUNY New Paltz until 2011.

Notes from Ethiopia

This June, the Coordinator of the Deaf Studies program, Rebecca Swenson and seven and New Paltz students embarked on a Deaf education and empowerment study abroad trip to Ethiopia. Here are some notes and photos of their adventure so far:

From Rebecca Swenson on June 17:

Rebecca Swenson and Deafness Center students around a table

Rebecca, New Paltz students, and Bahir Dar Deafness Center students in the classroom

I am just checking in to let you know we have started working with the Deaf here in Bahir Dar. Yesterday we had a site visit to the school and the new Deafness Center where we were given a show put on by the children. Then we started working with the Deaf young adults to put together skits for short educational films to raise public awareness about deafness.  Our New Paltz students are doing well with communicating using their sign skill and with the interpreters. It is really quite an experience with 4 languages going on at one time! Today we will visit two new classrooms for deaf students and we will put on a program and lead some activities for them. This is really an amazing learning experience for our New Paltz students; and it is wonderful to see their enthusiastic participation.

Cick thumbnails to enlarge photos.

24 Inducted in Lambda Pi Eta National Honor Society

On Tuesday, May 12, 24 juniors and seniors majoring in communication-related fields were inducted into the Lambda Pi Eta National Honor Society at a ceremony in the College Terrace.  While the national Lambda Pi Eta criteria are a 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.25 major GPA, The SUNY New Paltz Chapter requires higher standards of an overall 3.25 GPA and a 3.5 major GPA, as well as junior or senior standing in a communication-related field.

Com Honor Society inducteesThis year’s inductees were: Andrew David Abbott, Anisa Ahdieh Arcos-Pangione, Payal Batra, Alexandria Bizub, Nyah Lee Del Carmen Bonilla, Christine M Borella, Gianna Elizabeth Canevari. Jill M Cronin, Emily Jean DeFranco, Alexa Mara Gold, Anne Eileen Jacobs, April M Lopez del Castillo, Nicholas Magnanti, Daniel Joseph Motto, Casey Marie Nardone, Annamaria Palumbo, Jesse M Pilnik, Ashley Elizabeth Riefenhauser, Amanda Rose Ruschak, Stephanie Anna Ryba, Paige Ashley Schindler, Sara Huq Shameem, Rebecca Zedeck and Nicole A Zuyus.

Approximately 100 people attended the ceremony, including family members, friends, faculty and 2014 Lambda Pi Eta inductees.  All enjoyed the intimate induction ceremony, buffet dinner, and congratulatory cake.  The event was organized by Donna Flayhan, associate professor of communication and the honor society’s faculty adviser. 2014 Lambda Pi Eta inductees Zameena Mejia and April Polydorou led the ceremony.

Lambda Pi Eta inductees Stephanie Black, Nick Magnotti, and Stephanie Ryba will lead the campus chapter next year.

 

Deaf Awareness ASL Movie Night Returns April 28!

The Department of Communication Disorders is pleased to announce ASL Movie Night on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. “The Legend of the Mountain Man” (rated PG) will be shown at 6:30pm on campus in Lecture Center Room 100. There is no cost for this event. The movie is presented in sign language and is closed captioned for the hearing.

Please join us for this ever-popular and delightfully campy movie night!
asl_movie_night_poster_4-28-2015Sponsored by:
Mid-Hudson Deaf Awareness Group
Department of Communication Disorders, SUNY New Paltz
Sociology Concentration in Human Services, SUNY New Paltz
Taconic Resources for Independence, Inc.
CAS

Prominent Doctor to Speak on Acid Reflux Disease Epidemic

Dr. Jonathan E. Aviv, one of the leading authorities on acid reflux disease, will share his expertise on the disease’s warning signs and linkage to the fastest growing cancer in America during a presentation on Thursday, April 16 at 6 p.m. in Lecture Center 100.

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Dr. Jonathan E. Aviv

The presentation, entitled “Hard to Swallow: The Sweet and Sour of Acid Reflux Disease,” will demonstrate how throat complaints (cough, hoarseness, frequent throat clearing, and lump-like sensations in the throat) even more so than traditional heartburn complaints, may indicate severe acid reflux disease. Aviv will describe how actions by the U.S. government and food industry in the 1970s inadvertently led to the nation’s current acid reflux epidemic and the rise of esophageal cancer. The latest technology available to prevent, diagnose and treat this growing problem, including the use of “food as medicine,” will also be discussed.

Aviv has been named one of New York Magazine’s “Best Doctors” (1998-2013). He has been featured in articles in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times and has appeared on “Good Morning America,” the Discovery Channel and several national radio programs.

bookimage3He is the clinical director of the Voice and Swallowing Center, a division of ENT and Allergy Associates, LLP (ENTA) and author of the health and wellness book “Killing Me Softly from Inside,” which makes explicit the connection between highly processed foods, acid reflux and esophageal cancer. The book advocates for a low-acid, nutritionally balanced diet.

Following the presentation, Aviv will sign copies of his book and low acid refreshments will be served.

The event is sponsored by the Communication Disorders Department, SUNY New Paltz Speech, Language and Hearing Center, Office of Academic Affairs, HealthQuest and Medtronic.

For more information, contact Nina JeckerBryne at 845-257-2399 or jeckerbn@newpaltz.edu.

Presentation on Ethiopia Study Abroad Opportunity to be Held Jan. 29.

 

Students will learn about an opportunity to work with Ethiopia’s deaf population during a presentation on Thursday, Jan. 29 at 5 p.m. in Lecture Center room 108.

Communication Disorders lecturer Rebecca Swenson participated in the Visions Deaf Education and Empowerment in Ethiopia service learning trip last summer and will speak about her experiences. A representative from the Study Abroad office will be present to provide information and answer questions.

Students can earn three credits for the study abroad course in Ethiopia, held June 15-27. The course is offered by the SUNY New Paltz Center for International Programs, in partnership with Visions Global Empowerment.

LA&S Outstanding Graduates Honored

Students from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who excelled academically and outside of the classroom were among graduates honored during the campus-wide Outstanding Graduate Awards ceremony, held Thursday, Dec. 11 in the Multi-Purpose Room.

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Philip Mauceri presented the students with certificates.

Congratulations to all LA&S Outstanding Graduates:

Anthropology
Alexis Moody

Asian Studies
Dennis Gross

Communication
Mia Faske
Carly Rome
Hayley Ward

Communication Disorders
Sarah McNamara
Shayna Burgess
Heidi Schmidt (Graduate)

Digital Media and Journalism
Gianna Canevari
Julio Olivencia
Alexandria Fontanez*

English
Maya Slouka
James Frauenberger
Karissa Keir
Danielle Brown (Graduate)

History
Kevin Vogelaar
Jessica Pierorazio (Graduate)
Jonathan Mandia*

Languages, Literatures & Cultures
Alexandria Fontanez*
Sarah Walling

Latin American & Caribbean Studies
Adam Repose

Philosophy
Elizabeth Saunders
Jonathan Mandia*

Political Science/International Relations
Andrew Roepe

Psychology
Hannah Lake
Stefany Batista
Geoffrey Ralls
Morgan Gleason (Graduate)

Sociology
Sarah Alestalo
Imuetinyan Odigie
Allison Smalley

Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Sudies
Emily Holmes

*Received multiple departmental awards.

Cognitive Science Colloquium Series Begins with Sign Language Lecture

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Dr. Marie Coppola conducts field work to promote equal access to language and education for deaf individuals.

Dr. Marie Coppola will be the first speaker of the 2014-2015 Cognitive Science Colloquium Series. Dr. Coppola is the director of the Language Creation Lab at the University of Connecticut. Her research investigates how sign languages emerge and are created in communities. Her talk will focus on homesign gesture systems (that is, gesture systems developed by deaf individuals who are not exposed to conventional sign or spoken language input), their characteristics, and the developmental consequences of linguistic deprivation with respect to other aspects of cognition.

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Dr. Coppola

Dr. Coppola’s talk, titled “Which aspects of language and cognition depend on linguistic input? Insights from homesign gesture systems” will take place on Thursday, October 23, at 3:30 pm in the Coykendall Science Building Auditorium. The talk is sponsored by Campus Auxiliary Services and by the following programs and departments: Linguistics, Deaf Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Communication Disorders, and Psychology.

Abstract of the Talk:

Researchers in the cognitive sciences have long debated the relationships between linguistic input and language structure, as well as the relationships between language and cognition. Homesign systems offer a unique window into these relationships. Homesigns are gesture systems developed by deaf individuals who are not exposed to conventional sign or spoken language input. Homesign systems exhibit a number of linguistic properties, but appear to lack others, which depend on access to a linguistic model and/or interaction within a language community. Dr. Coppola will show that homesign systems have structure at a variety of levels of linguistic analysis, including phonology and discourse structure. Dr. Coppola will describe some of the developmental consequences of linguistic (but not social) deprivation, particularly with respect to number cognition. Finally, she will discuss her work with Manos Unidas (www.manos-unidas.org), a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote equal access to language and education for deaf individuals in Nicaragua.

Study Abroad Opportunity in Deaf Studies

Please join us on Monday, October 27 for a slide show and presentation on this exciting study abroad opportunity affiliated with the Deaf Studies program:

Deaf Studies study abroad presentation announcementLearn more about faculty member Rebecca Swenson’s trip to Ethiopia this past summer here:

 Deaf Education and Empowerment in Ethiopia

For more information, contact Rebecca Swenson at swensonr@newpaltz.edu

 

Communication Disorders Graduate Program Open House

Are you interested in applying to graduate school for a degree in Communication Disorders, or do you know someone who is? The Graduate Program in Communication Disorders will be having an open house from 2pm to 4pm on December 18, 2014; join us in Room 22 of the Humanities Building. Here is a link to assist campus visitors:

Campus Visitor Information

Additionally, the program coordinator, Dr. Anne Balant, will be offering informal tours of the department and the Speech, Language and Hearing Center facilities at 2:30pm on two Fridays: October 31 and November 21 – meet in the Humanities Building, Room 14A.

Grad program open house announcement