Dr. Jonathan Preston, CCC-SLP to Speak on Articulation Treatment for School-Aged Children at SUNY New Paltz on October 5, 2019

Jonathan Preston headshotDr. Jonathan Preston, CC-SLP, an esteemed expert in child speech sound disorders, will be the presenter at the Speech & Hearing Association of the Hudson Valley (SHAHV) Fall 2019 Conference on October 5, 2019. The Communication Disorders Dept. is proud to sponsor this all-day event which will take place on campus in the Lecture Center, Room 102. To register, visit SHAHV.org. SLP professionals may earn .06 CEUs for their attendance.

Dr. Preston has been working with children with speech sound disorders for 15 years. He received his PhD from Syracuse University in 2008 and completed postdoctoral training at Haskins Laboratories, an affiliate of Yale University. He is an Associate Professor in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at Syracuse University. He is currently involved in multiple federally funded clinical trials to study treatments and different service delivery models for school-age children with persisting speech sound errors as well as Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

The workshop will focus primarily on evidence-based treatment considerations for school-age children with speech sound disorders. The emphasis will be on treatment of persisting articulation errors. Recent approaches that formalize principles of motor learning will be highlighted, including speech motor chaining, concurrent treatment, and challenge point. Specific cueing strategies for late-developing (and hard-to-treat) sounds will be offered, including scientifically-informed cueing strategies for /r/ and /s/. Other treatment factors such as speech perception training and methods to visualize speech will also be described.

Course objectives, learner outcomes, workshop agenda, registration, and further details are available on the conference website at SHAHV.org.

SHAHV logo


Celebrating the Speech, Language & Hearing Center Renovation

Please click the link below to access an article regarding the recent renovation of the Speech, Language & Hearing Center and the Department of Communication Disorders. The article includes short (and stirring!) videos of the handful of speakers at the ribbon-cutting event (an Aphasia client, a graduating masters student, and officials of the department and the college).

Ribbon-Cutting for Renovated Speech, Language & Hearing Center

New Aphasia Groups Starting February 8, 2017

Participants are encouraged to enroll in two aphasia groups offered by the SUNY New Paltz Speech, Language and Hearing Center (SLHC). The groups will meet once a week on Wednesdays for 12 weeks, starting February 8th. The cost is $45.

Spring 2017 aphasia group descriptions

People with all types of aphasia are welcome. Being able to speak is not a requirement!

If you, a family member, friend, colleague or client is interested in signing up or learning more about the groups, please contact:

Jessica Welsh, M.S., CCC-SLP
(845) 257-3693

Social Skills Group for Adolescents

Social Skills Group for Adolescents

Thursdays from 5:00-6:15 pm
10 weeks starting February 9, 2017

The Speech, Language and Hearing Center at SUNY New Paltz is offering a spring semester clinic for adolescents who need assistance with social skills. This group is for middle school/high school students. (Preferably 7th -11th graders).

This specialty clinic will be conducted on Thursdays from 5:00-6:15 pm and will focus on improving verbal and non-verbal communication skills in a variety of social interactions. Therapy will be conducted in a group setting by undergraduate students in the Communication Disorders program, supervised by Wendy Bower, Ph.D. CCC-SLP—a New York State licensed and certified speech language pathologist and full-time faculty member. Large and small group interventions will include activities to enhance social communication and there will be a maximum of 8-10 students in the group.

The session will run for 10 weeks beginning February 9, 2017. There is no clinic on Thursday March 23 and Thursday April 13 during Spring Break. The fee for the clinic is $100 for the 10 week session.

The group will meet at the Speech, Language and Hearing Center which is temporarily located in the South Classroom Building (SCB) on the SUNY New Paltz campus. For further information or to sign up for the group, please contact Kelly Colby, the secretary in the Department office, at 257-3600, or e-mail Dr. Bower at bowerw@newpaltz.edu.

ASL Club Movie Night – Raising Awareness of Deaf Culture

"The Hammer" movie posterThe SUNY New Paltz American Sign Language (ASL) Club held it’s second movie night of the semester on December 3, 2016. The movie shown was “The Hammer” – the biographical film of Matt Hamill, the first Deaf wrestler to win a National Collegiate Wrestling Championship. ASL Club movie night audiences tend to be students fascinated by Deaf culture and American sign language, with occasional attendance from members of the Deaf community. For the movie night events, the ASL Club selects movies where the protagonist is a Deaf individual. This is done not only to show Deaf individuals’ use of sign language but also to demonstrate what Deaf life is like, and what better way than to do so from the perspective of a Deaf protagonist?

The ASL club has also shown “The Miracle Worker” – the classic story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. These two movies portray the frustration, struggles, and great achievements of two vastly different Deaf individuals. I can confidently say that following the movie showing, attendees leave with a greater appreciation and better understanding of the Deaf community.

On behalf of the ASL Club, we would like to again thank everyone who has attended a movie night event. We intend to do more events like these in the future and look forward to having more students and other members of the campus community and wider community in attendance. We hope everyone will enjoy themselves and learn something new! Also, a special thank you to our supervisor, Rebecca Swenson, and the staff of the Communication Disorders Department and Deaf Studies Department for spreading the word about movie night. Until next time!  -Jillian Quirante, Public Relations, SUNY New Paltz ASL Club

Stories from Abroad – Deaf Education and Empowerment in Ethiopia

DeYan and student showing his art work“My trip to Ethiopia was one of the most eye opening experiences I have ever had. I was able to see and experience a different culture that many people don’t get to see. Working with the deaf children and leading art activities helped me improve my sign language ability and helped me to adapt to new situations, such as finding a new way to communicate to people who don’t speak or sign the same way. One of the fondest memories I have is when some of the kids gave me their art work to keep. Every time one of the kids or young adults was done painting, the smile they had while handing their work to me was priceless. They seemed really happy with what they did and more confident about their work and themselves. Another big highlight of the trip was seeing the remains of Lucy, who was a part of human evolution. I am an anthropology major, so seeing the remains was cool because I was able to connect the experience to what I was learning in class. Overall, this trip challenged me mentally, emotionally and physically. I feel more humble and I love Ethiopia even more. I would definitely go back.” -DeYan McCarthy


Katie Capulli and students in Ethiopia“Going to Ethiopia was an amazing life changing trip I’ll never forget. We got to see and experience so much of Ethiopia and its culture in such short amount of time. From the expected all day bus rides through the countryside to the unexpected trip to the Great Pyramids and Ethiopia vs. Kenya soccer game we saw how different things are. I came to admire the way that they live as well as appreciate what I have. Getting the opportunity to work with and get to know the amazing people in the Deaf Community in Bahir Dar was by far the best part and influenced me to focus my career goals in that direction. I am so grateful I got the opportunity to go and hopefully one day I’ll be able to go to back to Ethiopia and travel some more.” -Kathleen Capulli


Maria and dancers on stage“Nearing the end of our first week in Ethiopia we had one of biggest cultural experiences: a night of traditional dancing. This night in particular was special because we were celebrating the birthday of our program coordinator from Visions, Greg. From the moment we arrived it was like there was a spotlight on our group; Greg was sung to and given a cake and there was lots of celebrating Birthday celebration for Greg from Visions Global Empowermentbefore we even got inside. Once inside it was like a full immersion in Ethiopian culture. The structure looked like a bigger version of the stick houses we had passed in the countryside, the music from the live band engulfed us right away, and everyone working was in traditional clothing. The show was a combination of sitting and watching performances and required audience participation. There was a part in every song where the dancers would come off the stage to make people dance with them; and during the songs when the dancers were backstage, people would just get up on their own and start dancing. This was one of my favorite nights because going dancing allowed us to have a full cultural experience without a language barrier or worries that we were doing something wrong. We just blended in.” -Maria Gillin


“Summarizing our trip to Bahir Dar and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is quite a difficult task. To think in just 14 days we began and completed our journey is amazing. We accomplished so much in such a short time. Before beginning I was ecstatic, yet terrified, unaware of exactly what I would encounter. My family had the same thoughts as we were the first group traveling on this exact study abroad trip. As it turns out, the trip was safe and a wonderful life experience for which I am grateful to have. The journey began with an Kalie at the soccer gameincredibly long plane flight. We then took an unexpected trip in Egypt to see the pyramids which was purely breathtaking. From there we took a short flight into Addis Ababa. We were all so happy to have arrived. From there we went to Bahir Dar. The 12-hour bus ride through the mountains was both draining and beautiful. Looking through the window provided so much cultural awareness for what was ahead. We saw the people living their daily lives in a way I personally never witnessed before. It really forces you to realize how fortunate we are. Once we began working with the deaf children and adults from the center and the schools there was an immense feeling of security. I had no fears. I knew the long travel and overcoming my fears was all worth it. Everyone was so appreciative and so happy to have us there. Dealing with culture shock and the exposure to 4 languages at once resulted in exhausting, yet rewarding days. We taught lessons, we played numerous games, we experienced a professional soccer game, we visited historical sites, we went to cultural dancing and so much more. There was a nice balance of work and fun throughout the entire trip. This study abroad was a unique experience that no words can do appropriate justice.” -Kalie Hagen


“The opportunity I had to work with the Deaf community in Ethiopia was amazing. Beyond learning Ethiopian Sign Language, seeing Ethiopian history and artifacts and learning the cultures of both the hearing and Deaf population in Ethiopia, I learned a lot about myself. I’m so grateful for all the friends, both SUNY students and Ethiopians, I made while abroad and all that I learned from them. This trip was truly an inspiration and gave me memories and lessons I’ll remember for a lifetime.” -Cathryn BrownCathryn and friends


“Having this kind of opportunity is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most people. It’s not so much about bettering oneself as it is letting yourself open up and allowing a culture much different than your own to influence you. It’s about loving other people, creating new friendships, and experiencing life-changing events. That’s exactly what has happened on this trip to Ethiopia. I never, in a million years, could imagine seeing myself in Africa let alone making as many friends as I have. Between the other girls who were a part of this Alexa and friends on bustrip and the amazing Deaf community we met, it’s as if we’ve become one big family. Together, we created an environment of equality and trust, both of which seem to be so difficult to have in the United States. That’s why this adventure is so rewarding; you simply cannot find this genuine experience back home.” -Alexa Venezia



Jada and students“I absolutely enjoyed my study abroad experience in Ethiopia. It was beautiful to be able to interact with the Ethiopian Deaf community. They embraced us with open arms. Even though there was a language barrier, the children and even the adults wanted our companionship and advice. The teachers also wanted our help to make the center more successful. Not only did I bond with Jada and friendsthose I was helping, I formed a bond with the group of New Paltz girls I came with. This trip shaped everyone involved into a family. I am so anxious to be able to see how the center will grow.” -Jada Quinlan








Study Abroad Ethiopia Presentation October 20, 2015

Students who traveled to Ethiopia this past June on the Deaf Education and Empowerment service learning trip will be sharing their experiences at a study abroad presentation on October 20, 2015 at 6:30pm in Humanities Bldg. Room 201. All are welcome to come and hear about their experiences, and learn about the next trip coming up in June 2016.

The Deaf Education and Empowerment study abroad service learning trip is a collaboration between SUNY New Paltz Center for International Programs and Visions Global Empowerment, an organization that seeks to create positive change for youth affected by poverty, conflict, and disability through educational and empowerment initiatives. For more information about Visions, visit their Facebook page:


Rebecca Swenson, coordinator of the Deaf Studies minor and the study abroad course instructor, and Caitlin Paul, Study Abroad Adviser, Center for International Programs, will also be at the presentation to provide information and answer questions.

Sociology Professor’s New Book Examines the Organic Farming Movement in the U.S.

Brian Obach, professor of sociology at SUNY New Paltz, has released “Organic Struggle,” a new publication from MIT Press that looks at the past, present and future of the push to develop and institutionalize the practices and principles of sustainable agriculture.

Obach bookThe book draws on Obach’s long-standing interest in environmentally-focused social movements, but in the case of organic farming he said he’s found particular inspiration in the landscape of the Hudson Valley and the passion and innovation of its residents.

“My interest in the sustainable agriculture movement was really first stimulated when I moved to New Paltz,” Obach said. “New Paltz is kind of a hub of activity around this issue, and so I was able to use local examples to illustrate different aspects of the national sustainable agriculture movement.”

In his time as a faculty member with the Department of Sociology, Obach has shared his enthusiasm for environmental issues with New Paltz students and colleagues. He teaches courses on social movements and environmental sociology, regularly takes students on excursions to local farms and helped develop and presently directs the Environmental Studies minor program of study for students pursuing environmentally-focused careers.

Brian Obach

Brian Obach

Even in researching for this book, Obach found ways to integrate the collective talents of the College community. He enlisted a small group of student interns to help with research, and also worked with KT Tobin, associate director of the Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach (CRREO), to study local community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs.

Many of the book’s findings, however, are culled from Obach’s direct immersion into the organic farming movement. He met with farmers and advocates, participated in conferences and attended political meetings and workshops.

“I really feel like I got to know the inside story of organic politics: how policy gets made, and the strengths and weaknesses of the approach used by the movement,” he said.

The experience ultimately led Obach to conclude that while organic farmers, food sellers and advocates have made meaningful accomplishments in recent decades, future advances will only be achieved via a coordinated effort to change agricultural rules and regulations.

“It was crucially important to develop an alternative to conventional agriculture, and the movement has succeeded in perfecting organic farming techniques and proving they can work,” Obach said. “What needs to happen now is for the people involved to focus on enacting policy changes that will affect the agricultural industry as a whole.”

More information about “Organic Struggle” by Brian Obach is available at the website of MIT Press.

For students who are interested in getting involved with sustainable agriculture in the Hudson Valley, Obach recommends learning more about the Environmental Studies minor or joining Students for Sustainable Agriculture, a student organization that works to promote food production systems that are healthy for consumers, farmworkers and the environment.

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.

Students Raise Money to Build Adobe Oven for Guatemalan Nutrition Center

Nutrition Center

Students in the summer 2015 study abroad class, Human Rights in Guatemala, are raising money to build an adobe oven for the Konojel Nutrition Center in San Marcos, Guatemala.

Students in the summer 2015 Study Abroad Class Human Rights in Guatemala are currently conducting a series of bake sale fundraisers to raise money to build an adobe oven for the Konojel Nutrition Center, located in the Kaq’chikel (Mayan) community in San Marcos, Guatemala. The Konojel Nutrition Center, a non-profit organization, provides 70 lunches, five days a week, to the town’s poorest children, elders, and pregnant women. In addition, they also provide a variety of educational programs. The Project Coordinator, Andrew Raphael, is a SUNY New Paltz graduate.

Andrew Raphael

New Paltz alumnus Andrew Raphael is the project coordinator of the center.

The first bake sale will be at the Mexico Solidarity Network talk on the role of corn in the political violence in Mexico on Tuesday, February 24th at 5:00 in LC 108. Bake sales will be held every Tuesday night at 5:00 during the Spanish Club’s Movie Night. Please come by to purchase some homemade goodies and help support our students’ project as well as the work of the Konojel Nutrition Center.

If you would like to make a donation please contact Anne R. Roschelle (Sociology-roschela@newpaltz.edu) or Luz Porras (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures – porrasl@newpaltz.edu)