Grand Valley MHSA takes home two awards

Grand Valley MHSA members at the conference.
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Grand Valley MHSA members at the conference.
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Grand Valley earned two awards at the recent Michigan Speech-Language-Hearing Association Conference, including one for having the most members.

The second award went to Rebecca Beebe and Thomas Beebe, a mother-son duo who won the student research poster category for their poster titled ‘Familial Similarities in the Acoustic Vowel Quadrilateral.’ Both Rebecca and Thomas are currently enrolled in classes in the speech language pathology and audiology program. Faculty member Beth Macauley served as mentor for the project. The project poster will also be shown on April 11, from 9 to 10 a.m. in the Henry Hall Atrium, booth 88, at Student Scholarship Day.

The award is significant for the Beebes, considering the competition included both undergraduate and graduate students from all other Michigan schools with a speech pathology program. They also took home some scholarship money, which they plan to split when they pursue graduate studies in the field.

“Having two undergraduate students win an award like that against other larger university programs was quite a coup,” Macauley said. 

The Grand Valley MSHA, which consists of both student and faculty members, also took home the 'M&M' award for the most members in the group. The organization is led by student co-presidents Sarah Rietema and Erin Walker. 

Thirty-five students and four faculty members attended this year’s conference in Kalamazoo. The Grand Valley Speech-Language-Hearing Association is in its second year at the university. 

Grand Valley currently offers two programs in the discipline, including speech language pathology and audiology, and communication sciences and disorders. 

The university Board of Trustees could approve a master’s degree program for speech language pathology at the next board meeting, and a doctorate program in audiology is in the beginning stages of academic approval, Macaulay said.