UNI’s NSSLHA chapter focused on three areas of improvement during the 2016-2017 academic school year: community service, professional development, and student relations. Committed community service was demonstrated last fall, as the chapter sought out residents in the Cedar Valley to host a leaf raking project which raised a total of $765 for the NSSLHA Loves Campaign. The chapter also participated in the Cedar Valley Alzheimer’s Association Walk, in which a total of $505 dollars was raised to help promote awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease. Other service projects included two fundraisers for the Northeast Iowa Food bank which collected over 250 cans, and a holiday toy drive for the University of Iowa’s Children’s Hospital which collected 96 toys for the children. In total, UNI’s NSSLHA chapter raised $1,500 for the NSSLHA Loves Campaign.
In addition to the largest contribution to the NSSLHA Loves Campaign in the country, the chapter had its highest member enrollment in chapter history with 205 total members. To improve student relations, the chapter launched the very first mentorship program that helped connect undergraduate and graduate students. Monthly all-member meetings were hosted which featured guest speakers such as Angie Glynn, a speech-language pathologist who worked with Gabrielle Giffords during her road to recovery. The NSSLHA chapter also created a professional development branch to offer its members opportunities to grow as pre-professionals. Under this branch was the Research Club, which taught members about the research process, the importance of evidence-based practice, and research opportunities within the department. The Diversity Club was also established and served to teach members about using their clinical skills to help people all around the world. The bar is set high for this year, and the newly elected officers are up for the challenge!