June 12, 2017
17-172

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Wins Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association Praxis Bowl Competition

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University won first place at the 2017 Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention’s Praxis Bowl.

Five graduate students from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders — Amanda Barlow, Melanie Morris Hyde, Patricia Sumner, April Ward, and Molly Zechman — were selected to represent Blazer Nation in the Praxis Bowl. Using clickers to answer multiple-choice questions, the VSU team competed against teams from the University of Georgia, Georgia State University, and the University of West Georgia.

“The questions were similar to those that are found on the Praxis examination, which is the exam that a future speech-language pathologist must take and pass before being allowed to practice as a professional,” said Dr. Matthew Carter, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist. “Teams scored points for answering questions correctly, and VSU answered more questions correctly than anyone else. Every member of the VSU team had their praxis registration fee waived, which is $120 per person, so that was a nice addition to the recognition they received.”

During the three-day Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention, Barlow, Hyde, Sumner, Ward, and Zechman were able to expand their knowledge base by listening to national, state, and local experts from the speech-language pathology, audiology, occupational therapy, and assistive technology fields. They were also able to network with educators and professionals in their chosen career field and learn about the latest research being conducted by students at colleges and universities around the state.

The Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association is a professional association of individuals specializing in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of communication, swallowing, and hearing disorders. It advocates for the professional interests of its members and the individuals they serve and provides a forum for the exchange of professional information and ideas.

Barlow, 22, of Woodbine, earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in communication disorders from VSU in May 2016 and is currently pursuing a Master of Education in communication disorders. In 2015 she received the Best Poster Award for the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services at VSU’s Undergraduate Research Symposium. She went on to secure the 2016 Outstanding Student Research Award, presented by the Dewar College of Education and Human Services, and to win first place in the undergraduate research category at the 2016 Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention Student Poster Competition. She is a member of the Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association and attends CrossPointe Church of Valdosta. As an undergraduate student she served with the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association and as a Relay for Life volunteer. She is the daughter of Brian and Stephanie Barlow. 

Hyde, 24, of Warner Robins, earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in communication disorders from VSU in May 2015 and anticipates graduating with a Master of Education in communication disorders in May 2018. She was twice honored by the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders — first with the 2015 Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award and then with the 2017 Outstanding Graduate Clinician of the Year Award. She achieved Dean’s List status throughout her undergraduate career and was honored with the 2015 President’s Award for Academic Excellence and allowed to lead her fellow James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services graduates during the Spring 2015 commencement ceremony. She earned the 2014 Georgia Wine and Spirits Wholesalers Scholarship and, most recently, the 2017 Dorothy Dewar Service Scholarship. She is a member of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She attends Crossroads Baptist Church in Valdosta, where she works with the Celebration Choir and the Music and Missions Kids Program and gives back to others as a Respite Night volunteer and through Haiti mission trips. She is the wife of Joshua Hyde and the daughter of Richard and Renee Morris.

Sumner, 22, of Valdosta, earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in communication disorders in May 2016 and is currently pursuing a Master of Education in communication disorders. She is an alumna of the Delta Theta chapter of Alpha Delta Pi and was inducted into Order of Omega. Her Greek activities include serving as president of the Junior College Panhellenic Council from 2012 to 2013. She is a member of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association and serves rehabilitation patients as a volunteer at South Georgia Medical Center.

Ward, 23, of Richmond Hill, earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in communication disorders in May 2016 and anticipates graduating with a Master of Education in communication disorders in May 2018. She was most recently nominated for 2017 Graduate Assistant of the Year and honored with the 2017 Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year Award by the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the 2017 Dorothy Dewar Service Scholarship. She won first place in the undergraduate research category at the 2016 Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention Student Poster Competition and the Best Poster Award for the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services during VSU’s 2015 Undergraduate Research Symposium, was named the 2016 Outstanding National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association Student of the Year, and earned the 2016 Robert A. Hull Memorial Scholarship. Her list of extracurricular activities includes volunteering at the Moody Air Force Base Child Expo and serving as vice president of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association, secretary of Dance Marathon, a team captain at Relay for Life, and a member of the National Residence Hall Honorary, Sigma Alpha Pi: The National Society of Leadership and Success, and Kappa Delta Pi: International Honor Society in Education. She is the daughter of Randolph and Irene S. Ward.      

Zechman, 23, of Midway, earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in communication disorders in May 2016 and anticipates graduating with a Master of Education in communication disorders in December 2017. She is an alumna of the Delta Theta chapter of Alpha Delta Pi, where she served as president, executive vice president, and finance vice president and received the 2016 Dorothy Shaw Scholarship. She was named Outstanding Greek President of the Year in 2016. She is a member of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and a former junior representative on the College Panhellenic Council. She is the daughter of Paul and Marleen Zechman.

On the Web:
https://www.valdosta.edu/colleges/education/communication-sciences-and-disorders/welcome.php
https://gsa.memberclicks.net
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