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Idaho State University

The AISU-Boise speech-language pathology students provide free screenings for Hewlett-Packard employees

May, 25, 2007

Boise— Eleven students in Idaho State University-Boise’s speech-language pathology master’s program recently provided free speech, voice and hearing screenings for more than 100 Hewlett-Packard employees and their families.

“The opportunity was invaluable,” said Kristin Negilski, director of ISU-Boise’s Speech and Language Clinic.  “To be able to explain and discuss results with the HP employees immediately following the screening gave our students a wonderful learning experience and opportunity for continued growth as future professionals.”
During the clinic, held May 17-18 at HP, the students screened 132 people, including four children.

“I enjoy working with kids,” said student Kimra Rich, who plans to pursue a career as a certified speech-language pathologist in the public school system. “Communication is a fascinating thing. It’s something everyone needs to be able to do.”

Using a device called a tympanometer, Rich and classmate Kelly Howard were able to test the middle-ear function of HP employee Srikanth Tanikella.  
“It was something I wanted them to do… just in case,” said Tanikella. Within minutes, he had the results.  “I’m fine,” he said.

In another room, students Anthony Richitella and Erin Westfall were monitoring a series of graphs as HP employee Roni Ekman read text into a microphone. They were assessing Ekman’s vocal quality, including pitch, volume and nasality. Voice screening can discriminate normal from possible pathologic voice disorders, explained Negilski.

The students graduated from ISU-Boise’s speech-language master’s program in May and will spend the summer completing an eight-week externship supervised by licensed speech-language pathologists in the Treasure Valley.                                             
May is national Better Hearing and Speech Month. The purpose is to raise awareness about communication disorders and their treatments in local communities and nationwide.

For more information about ISU-Boise’s Speech and Language Clinic or the speech-language pathology program, contact Kristin Negilski at 208-373-1722 or