Look at the schedule on the wall of the Gebbie Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic and one thing becomes apparent: It is very busy. "We're bursting at the seams at certain times of the day," says speech-language clinic director Patricia Kriegisch Kondapi.
      For 25 years, the nonprofit clinic, located in the Hoople Building, has provided a wide range of services for thousands of community members. It also serves as a training site for nearly 100 graduate students in speech-language pathology (SLP) and audiology, and as a research resource for faculty. Under the guidance of staff supervisors, students meld textbook theory with clinical experience to develop diagnostic and therapy skills. "It's a wonderful experience," says Lara Giachino, an SLP graduate student. "It's your chance to try out things you learn in the classroom."
      As coursework advances, so do clinical assignments—students must log 375 clinical hours and complete two externships as part of their professional certification training. "We try to individualize the program by facilitating in whatever area the student needs to grow," says hearing clinic director Julie Moorhead. "Their externship supervisors are great at helping with that. It's a real team approach."

The Gebbie Clinic provides students with the opportunity to work with children who have speech, language, and hearing difficulties.

      The clinic features several rooms where students, who often work in teams, can videotape sessions with clients for later review. Sessions are also monitored from adjacent observation rooms. SLP students may meet with a group of youngsters and their parents to develop speech skills, be part of a stuttering diagnostics team, help clients with accent reduction, or assist stroke victims with speech recovery. Audiology students perform diagnostic evaluations and rehab work, and assist geriatric clients being tested and fitted for hearing aids. The audiology clinic also participates in a universal infant hearing screening program conducted at Crouse Hospital. "The clinic serves so many roles," says Beth Prieve, professor of communication sciences and disorders. "It's really a marriage of theory and improving people's lives."
      To celebrate the clinic's 25 years, Prieve organized a symposium in May with panel discussions featuring alumni, local clinicians, and professors. The clinic also launched a fund-raising campaign at the celebration, and will use a $20,000 grant from the McDonald Foundation to assist with renovations. "We're very proud of our services," Kriegisch Kondapi says.
                                                  —JAY COX


This fall the Department of Bioengineering and Neuroscience will capitalize on its national renown when it launches a master's degree program in bioengineering. "We've designed the program to sit very comfortably on top of our undergraduate program, which is one of the finest in the country," says department chair Steve Chamberlain.
      The new program, which will add two faculty members to the department, is funded through a $1 million special opportunities award from the Whitaker Foundation, the nation's largest private sponsor of biomedical engineering research and education. Primary research will focus on sensory systems, artificial joints, and the biophysics and biomechanics of bone. The program will also benefit from the department's longstanding working relationship with the SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse and its faculty. "We plan to educate students in a way that will offer employers more than the standard bioengineering program," says bioengineering professor Gustav Engbretson, who organized the department's Whitaker grant proposal.
      In coordination with the College of Law, the School of Management, and the manufacturing engineering program, students will be able to complement their studies with concentrations in such areas as patent law, technology transfer, and biotechnology management or manufacturing. A component with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs is in the works as well. Plans also call for externships in related industries. "We want students to get real-world experience working with bioengineering firms and other companies," Engbretson says.

      The department envisions a first-year class of 12 students and hopes to build enrollment in ensuing years. So far, Chamberlain says, the program has attracted a mix of excellent students. Among them are graduates of SU's undergraduate bioengineering program, as well as a variety of science and engineering majors from other universities. "We seem to be on target," Chamberlain says.
      Through the initiative, the department aims to create a five-year program for incoming undergraduates that will culminate with the one-year professional master's degree. Ultimately, a bioengineering doctoral program may also be established.
      According to Chamberlain, "bioengineering has a lot of flavors" ranging from bioinstrumentation, biomechanics, and sensory studies to the pharmaceutical and athletics industries. It also is a field on the frontier of science that will continue to have an important impact on health care. "Whether a bioengineer is making the latest state-of-the-art doodad for transplants or trying to improve the quality of health care for less money—either way we need it," Chamberlain says.

                                                  —JAY COX

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Main Home Page Summer 1998 Issue Contents
Chancellor's Message Opening Remarks In Basket
H. Douglas Barclay Vision Quest Student Career Services
Reserve Officers Training Corps Quad Angles Campaign News
Student Center Faculty Focus Research Report
View From The Hill University Place

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