12 of our Master's students who are out in clinical placements wearing PPE
Second-year speech-language pathology master’s students at summer and fall externship 
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The Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Students become active participants in the on-site Miami University Speech & Hearing Clinic, where they learn clinical methods, observe speech and language evaluations, and eventually plan and implement therapy sessions.
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Artist's rendition of new Clinical Health Science Building
Artist's rendition of new Clinical Health Science Building
Welcome from the Chair
Susan Brehm
Dear Friends and Alumni,
It is hard to believe that only a year has passed since our last newsletter. I never would have imagined the change of operations that we have faced in this global pandemic. There certainly have been challenges and I really cannot say enough about how well our faculty, staff and students have risen to the occasion. You see the pictures of our second-year master’s students in their protective gear at their externships from this summer and this fall above. We are so proud of all of our students for their flexibility and the dedication to their training. We are so appreciative to all of our externship partners for their commitment to safely allowing our students to continue their placements. So, while we have faced many difficulties, just as I am sure all of you have in your work, home, and family life, we want to share with you some of the ways we are pushing forward to meet our educational and clinical mission.
I am also so pleased to share with you that despite a short pause in the planning phase this spring, the construction of the new Clinical Health Science Building will begin in early 2021 (see image to the left). This building will house our program, a new physician associate program, and the nursing program. The Student Health Center, Student Counseling, and Student Wellness will also be located in the new building. The building is slated to open in the summer of 2023 and will be located at the current site of the Student Health Center (south of the Campus Avenue Building). We look forward to providing updates about the progress of the new building with you very soon!
Wishing you and your family a safe and healthy end to 2020. 
Susan Baker Brehm
Professor and Department Chair
Miami University Alumna, BS ’97, and MA ’99

Meeting Clinical Education Goals and Community Needs during the Pandemic 
Dr. Gottliebson (top middle) conducting a debriefing session for a SimuCase assignment with five first year Master’s students
Dr. Gottliebson (top middle) conducting a debriefing session for a SimuCase assignment
with five first-year master’s students
Our graduate faculty and clinical educators worked tirelessly in the second half of spring semester and into this fall to transition our clinical education program from face-to-face therapy to clinical simulations and telepractice. We utilized SimuCase, an online platform with an extensive library of clinical cases for simulation hours to assist our first year master’s students in obtaining clinical clock hours. Most of our second year master’s students in the spring, transitioned to telehealth in their school placement, but we were able to use SimuCase to assist in obtaining hours in specific areas and successfully achieved on-time graduations!  
“SimuCase has been such a wonderful tool because you have the ability to practice anytime you want, as much as you want. SimuCase provides valuable feedback which you can discuss with your supervisor in the debriefing session following a case.” Lydia Pion, MA ‘22  
Clinic Coordinator, Cheryl Stewart (top right) working with first year Master’s students on a telepractice activity
Clinic Coordinator, Cheryl Stewart (top right) working with first year Master’s students on a telepractice activity
Master’s students Drew Bevelhimer, MA ’22 (left) and McKenzie Pruitt, MA ’22 (right) practicing the baseline concussion protocol.
Master’s students Drew Bevelhimer, MA ’22 (left) and McKenzie Pruitt, MA ’22 (right) practicing the baseline concussion protocol.
Next, our attention turned to the implementation of telepractice. “We did a lot of problem solving and collaboration with Miami IT!” said clinic coordinator Cheryl Stewart. “What seemed like an overwhelming task last spring quickly became an adventure and a discovery of technology, resources, teaching strategies and creativity. Now telepractice is another routine service the Clinic offers.” We also moved our Stroke Support Group to WebEx with 17 active participants!
A portion of our services are offered in person, including some speech therapy and our audiology services. We have found creative ways to complete other clinical activities. Dr. Renee Gottliebson, assistant clinical professor, leads a collaboration between our department and the Department of Music through which voice screenings are conducted for new majors in voice performance. This fall the voice screenings were conducted through WebEx. Dr. Gottliebson shares, “Our revised protocol allowed extra time for valuable, individualized vocal health and hygiene education.” 
Additionally, Miami athletes were back in action this fall, and the Miami University Concussion Management Program, led by Dr. Kelly Knollman-Porter, was busy helping athletes get ready for the start of the season. The department has provided baseline and post-injury testing for over 20 years and the pandemic did not prevent us from providing this necessary service to our athletes.  Throughout the summer and early fall, first- and second-year speech-language pathology graduate students completed over 300 neurocognitive baseline assessments on varsity athletes across a variety of sports programs using enhanced COVID-19 precautions. The students were trained to follow strict safety protocols for distancing and cleaning before the testing began. 
Using Hybrid Teaching Models to Teach Critical Clinical Skills
Undergraduate students learning how to complete hearing screenings during small group labs.
Teaching clinical skills to students has posed some interesting challenges during this time period, especially for courses like SPA 316 - Introduction to Audiology, that typically include a great deal of "hands-on" time learning how to use instrumentation. Dr. Chip Hahn, who serves as the instructor for this course implemented a hybrid model of online lectures and video demonstrations coupled with physically distanced hands on "labs" for small groups of students. Dr. Hahn shares “I miss having undergraduate students in the clinic for these activities, but this format was viable alternative and student feedback has been positive.
Continuing Undergraduate Research Through Online Collaboration 
Dr. Shield (top left and top right) and Hailey Kingsbury BS ‘21 (bottom right) collaborating over WebEx using ELAN to review data collected on facial expressions.
Dr. Shield (top left and top right) and Hailey Kingsbury BS ‘21 (bottom right) collaborating over WebEx using ELAN to review data collected on facial expressions.

Senior speech pathology and audiology major Hailey Kingsbury BS ‘21 and her faculty mentor, assistant professor Dr. Aaron Shield, are currently investigating facial expression production by deaf children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are exposed to American Sign Language (ASL) from birth by their Deaf parents. This project is funded by a College of Arts and Science Dean’s Scholar Award. Hailey and Dr. Shield have been able to continue this work during the academic year while collaborating online using Webex for meetings and ELAN (EUDICO Linguistic Annotator) software for coding data.
Hailey Kingsbury
Hailey Kingsbury
Dr. Shield explains that “exposure to ASL involves lots of practice with both emotional and grammatical facial expressions such as raising eyebrows when asking a question, along with many others. Facial expressions are an area of particular difficulty for hearing children with ASD. They produce fewer facial expressions than typical hearing children, their facial expressions are often perceived as awkward or abnormal by others, and they have trouble interpreting the facial expressions of others.”
The research explores if deaf children with ASD are like hearing children with ASD in producing fewer overall facial expressions as a result of their autism, or if exposure to ASL might facilitate their ability to produce facial expressions. There has been very little work in this area, with no studies in the United States and a single study in the United Kingdom. Research from this study could inform if ASL exposure helps children with ASD produce facial expressions, ultimately determining if facial expressions should be a particular area of therapy or intervention.
Currently, Hailey is working on coding facial expressions in a sample of 12 deaf children with a confirmed ASD diagnosis and native exposure to ASL, and a control group of 23 typically-developing deaf children, also with native exposure to ASL.
Rachel Topper, MA ‘21 (top) collaborates over WebEx with graduate research assistant, Allison Crittenden, BS ‘20, MA ‘22 (bottom)
Rachel Topper, MA ‘21 (top) collaborates over WebEx with graduate research assistant Allison Crittenden,
BS ‘20, MA ‘22 (bottom)
Creative Approaches for Master’s Thesis Projects 
Rachel Topper, MA ‘21 is completing a master’s thesis project under the direction of assistant professor, Dr. Kelly Knollman-Porter. The project is a part of a multi-site collaborative research study involving Miami’s Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, the Durham VA, and Scripps Gerontology Center.
The aim of the study is to develop photos to supplement The Preferences of Everyday Living Inventory (PELI), an assessment administered to individuals in long term care facilities to determine their care and activity preferences. The photos will be used as a communication support for adults with cognitive-linguistic impairments (e.g., dementia, aphasia) to better comprehend the PELI prompts and express their preferences to long-term care staff.
As part of the study, Rachel is recruiting participants 65 years or older to rate and provide feedback on how to improve the photos to better represent the PELI preference. Rachel modified the original data collection protocol from in-person to online via videoconferencing. Rachel states, “This adaptation has not only kept our participant’s healthy and safe but has also allowed us to get perspectives from adults all around the United States.” 
Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology

2 Bachelor Hall • 
Oxford, OH 45056 
513-529-2500 • spa@MiamiOH.edu
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