Queens and Staten Island National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) Chapters Earn Gold Honors

NSSLHA Gold Chapter 2021 Honors logo
August 11, 2021

Both St. John’s University Queens and Staten Island Campus Chapters of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) earned Gold Chapter Honors. This year was the first year that the Queens Chapter applied for Honors. The Staten Island Chapter received Gold Honors in 2020, 2019 and 2018. NSSLHA Chapter Honors are awarded to affiliated NSSLHA chapters that demonstrate an outstanding effort to support National NSSLHA’s mission to inspire, empower, and support students in communication sciences and disorders (CSD) programs.

Chapters receiving Gold Honors have increased awareness of communication disorders among state and federal legislators, created vibrant online conversations in the NSSLHA community, and raised and donated money to provide scholarships to students in communication sciences and disorders programs and support for CSD related organizations.

Both Chapters will receive a Recognition Ribbon at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention in Washington, D.C. in November 2021, and will be featured in the NSSLHA e-newsletter, website, and blog.

The award letters from NSSLHA commend the chapters for sharing “the gift of leadership, while demonstrating that the future of the professions is filled with strong leaders who are committed to serving and advocating for their clients.”

Queens Chapter NSSLHA on Zoom
Queens Chapter
Staten Island Chapter of NSSLHA poses for a picture in front of Kelleher Center
Staten Island Chapter

Megan DiCosta was the St. John’s Queens NSSLHA Chapter President for 2020-2021 and Assistant Professor Mellissa Bortz, Ph.D. serves as the faculty advisor.

The St. John’s Staten Island NSSLHA Chapter President for 2020-2021 was Arpit Nagra and the faculty advisor is Associate Professor Gary E. Martin, Ph.D.

“When meeting with the newly elected Executive Board for the first time in July 2020, I recommended that the Chapter attempt to achieve Bronze NSSLHA status for this year,” said Bortz, Queens Chapter Advisor. “After having reviewed the requirements, this indomitable board responded that they believed that they could achieve Gold status within the 2020-2021 year and they succeeded. It has been an honor to work with these students to make St John’s University proud!”

“I am so proud of Arpit and the rest of our 2020-2021 Executive Board,” said Martin, Staten Island Chapter Advisor.

“Their dedication, attention to detail, and passions for the field and for helping people with communication disorders have been clearly evident throughout all of their efforts this year. These students truly embody the lessons of love, compassion, and respect that are at the root of a St. John’s education.”

“The NSSSLA Chapter Gold Awards highlights the outstanding work of our students and their commitment to their future profession” noted Interim Dean Gina Florio. “Our students’ attitudes, kindness and giving natures fulfill the Vincentian mission of our University.”