Liz Garri, a Cormier Honors scholar, is a Communication Sciences and Disorders major with a minor in Children’s Literature at Longwood University. She was recently chosen to serve as the National Student Speech, Language, and Hearing Association’s Virginia Student State Officer for the 2021-2022 school year.
The National Student Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is a pre-professional organization for Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSDS) majors. The organization is recognized by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is comprised of more than 340 chapters across the nation.
According to Garri, “Essentially, I’m the liaison between nationals and local chapters in Virginia.” She continues to explain that she relays information from the national chapter of NSSLHA to chapters on college campuses in the commonwealth. She actively communicates with chapter presidents from the University of Virginia, Hampton University, Radford University, Norfolk State University, and Longwood University. “It’s a lot of emails,” she says.
Garri explains that there are many professional development opportunities with this position. She says with optimism, “I’ve already gotten the privilege of speaking with a lot of current graduate students in other states, and also the other new school officers from around the country. Of course, it’s growing as a communicator, and learning how to connect with people across campuses as well.”
Longwood’s chapter of the National Student Speech, Language, and Hearing Association is open to all CSDS majors, and anyone interested in speech pathology or audiology. Garri has been an active member of Longwood’s chapter of NSSLHA since her freshman year. Last year, she was elected to serve as the organization’s president where she was exposed to the national chapter.
“Being Longwood’s chapter NSSLHA president was really my first interaction with nationals,” she says. When she was president of Longwood’s chapter, the past Virginia Student State Officer would reach out to her as the primary contact for the chapter. She was the initial person to relay important updates and information to Longwood’s chapter.
As Virginia Student Officer, Garri predicts that not only will Longwood’s chapter of NSSLHA have more exposure, but the CSDS program will as well. “This gives us exposure to what nationals offers,” says Garri. “Having the Virginia Student State Officer here at Longwood means that our chapter doesn’t have to reach out to me over the phone or email. I sit in class with most of our NSSLHA chapter officers.”
According to Garri, she is most excited to help chapter officers across Virginia connect because she did not have the chance to do so when she served as president of Longwood’s chapter. “I really hope that I can help people, especially chapter presidents, get ideas from each other.” She urges students interested in the position to apply, even if they do not believe it is achievable. She reassures fellow Longwood students by saying, “Definitely go for it! It’s not unattainable for an undergraduate student, and I would say you would benefit as much, if not more, than graduate students with the experience that it gives you.”
You can follow Longwood’s chapter of the National Student Speech, Language, and Hearing Association on Instagram @lu_nsslha and like them on Facebook at Longwood NSSLHA to keep up with current events and meetings.