Alaska <br>  Speech-Language-Hearing <br>         Association

2016 AKSHA Award Winners!

Thank you everyone for your nominations for AKSHA Awards! We are thrilled to recognize the following people for their achievements:


 Several of the 2016 AKSHA Award Winners at the AKSHA Convention. 

From left; Sarah McWilliams, Erica Tweet, Kathleen Morgan, Darlene Batchelder, Nancy Lovering on iPad, and Jason Steadman.

AKSHA Sourdough for Outstanding Contributions in Speech Language Pathology and/or Audiology: This award recognizes an Audiologist and/or SLP who demonstrates long-term dedication to issues in the state, advocacy, leadership, or outstanding clinical practice.

Kathleen “Kathie” Morgan has practiced speech-language pathology in the State of Alaska for over thirteen years. She is the owner of a private speech therapy clinic, Time for Speech, in Anchorage, where she has built an atmosphere of exemplary care and service for children who experience communication disorders, and a place of support and recognition for their families. Kathie is a fierce advocate and champion for the clients she serves. She has mentored numerous therapists, including graduate students and Clinical Fellows, and encourages SLPs to find their niches and passions. Clinically, one of Kathie’s areas of passion is the provision of diagnostic and therapeutic services to individuals who experience Fetal Autism Spectrum Disorders. Kathie serves on the interdisciplinary FASDx Team tasked with diagnosing and establishing supports and services for individuals with FASD. Kathie works to build understanding and awareness of FASD in the community and encourage its prevention. She has made important contributions to our professional association, as well, serving as AKSHA President and Continuing Education Chair. She takes great efforts to bring speakers and topics that are of interest, practical and functional to AKSHA membership. Kathie has an incredible work ethic and stamina and is an invaluable asset to our organization.

-nominated by Anna Spilker & Amy Russell

AKSHA 49’er for Excellence in Clinical Practice: This award recognizes an Audiologist and/or SLP who demonstrates innovative ideas in speech language pathology or audiology; may include service delivery, programs, or services.

Jason Steadman has demonstrated innovative ideas in Speech-Language Pathology for the Kenai Peninsula School District in the areas of technology, articulation, and language. He was instrumental in convincing the district to provide iPads for the district SLPs, and he has transitioned the Peninsula SLPs into the world of iPad apps in therapy through inservice training, individual training, and answering a multitude of questions on iPads and apps. Jason’s ideas for articulation therapy have moved many students quickly through speech therapy as he delivers short sessions of daily therapy and targets articulation with recordings on Audicity. To improve language therapy in the district, he introduced the SLPs to Story Champs and Story Champs Blitz, programs that target story structure and complex language features necessary for understanding and producing oral and written language. In conjunction, the training in Story Champs led the district SLPs to the PEARL kindergarten screener for decoding and language, as well as the CUBED assessments for benchmark and progress monitoring. Jason’s knowledge and skills with technology as an SLP have allowed him to bridge the divide between the typical SLP and the tech department, effectively giving us as a district amazing tools and the training to use them effectively for the children of the Kenai Peninsula. Kudos to Jason!

-nominated by Noelle Miller and Rhonda Neill

Red Lantern for Outstanding Contributions in Rural Alaska by an Audiologist and/or SLP: This award recognizes the unique challenges many AKSHA members work under to provide services to those in our rural areas.

Darlene Batchelder is something of an institution in rural Alaska when it comes to speech-language therapy. In a time when people are flocking to Alaska from the lower 48 and providing services to rural communities in between contracts elsewhere, Darlene understands the communities and children she serves both culturally and personally. She has a history with the areas she serves. Providing services in the Bush requires a hearty optimism. There are weather delays, hard school floors and snow, lots of snow. One must train the people that will carry through with the speech plan between visits. This requires a skill we don’t necessarily learn in graduate school. Darlene is able to break down the pertinent details of a complex communication plan so that change can be made locally. Darlene is coach, trainer, therapist and counselor. Children are learning more efficiently because Darlene was there. She truly makes a difference.

-nominated by Molly Thompson and Sandra McKinnis

Denali Award for Recent Clinical Achievement by an Audiologist and/or SLP: This award is for advancement of knowledge in clinical practice as evidenced by significant recent accomplishment within the past 6 years in speech-language pathology and/or audiology.

Mary Dooher has been an asset to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District (MSBSD) Speech Department. She has organized a Focused Learning Team (FLT) to address a hot topic in the schools:”Management of Swallowing Disorders in Schools" and has provided a lot of support to the SLPs in the district who do not have a medical background in the field. Mary also works part-time in home health after school so that she is able to keep her nose in the medical side of our profession. She is able to apply her background in treating adult dysphagia to help inform teachers and SLPs on how to help manage swallowing disorders experienced by children at school. Mary’s presentation is offered for course credit through UAA.  She’s working toward offering ASHA CEUs, as well.

-nominated by Regina Jones & Kirsten Koivunen

Friend of the Association: A non-SLP/Audiologist who helps advocate for speech, language and hearing issues

Renee Estelle earned her B.A. in Secondary Language Arts at the University of Northern Colorado, and her M.A. in Deaf Education at Western Oregon University. For the past 23 years (and currently), Renee has served students district-wide for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD). KPBSD has 23 schools and Renee makes her way to students via paved and dirt roads; muddy 4-wheeler trails; and through the sky via small aircraft. Renee not only provides direct services to her students, but also has a wealth of information and knowledge she freely shares with families, SLPs, Resource and General Education Teachers. She’s known by many as a “cat lady” and in her free time and summers she’s a crafter extraordinaire that travels to rural Alaska for fun and ministry.

-nominated by Cecilia Deatherage and Cynthia Detrow

Lifetime Member Award for Lifetime achievement: This award recognizes an outstanding history of clinical practice in the field of speech language pathology and/or audiology within Alaska and AKSHA. Nominees must have practiced at least 20 years as an Audiologist and/or SLP and been an AKSHA member for 10 or more years.

Nancy Lovering has been a committed and dedicated member of AKSHA and the profession since the beginning. She was President, is a Past President, and has helped with or coordinated at least 10 conventions. She is currently the Star and Advisory Councilor. What hasn’t she done for AkSHA? Her tireless efforts on behalf of AkSHA and the professions has resulted in a multitude of improvements for all SLPs, and specifically for private practice SLPs. She is well-deserving of the Lifetime Achievement Award.  

-nominated by Hilary Hardwick and Molly Thompson

President's Award: this award recognizes a member for outstanding service to the association.

As Secretary of AKSHA, Sarah McWilliams has made an enormous organizational contribution to our association, bringing the AKSHA Executive Board into the digital world. She converts new and old records to digital records and keeps them well organized online for easy access by all board members. She updates documents as needed. She has great ideas that turn into effective solutions. She is always very responsive to requests for assistance. She regularly collects the AKSHA mail, distributes to the appropriate officer(s) or chair(s) and deposits the checks. She attends all board meetings, types up clear and concise minutes and distributes them quickly and cheerfully!

 -nominated by Monica Glen, AKSHA President

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