Leighton Speech & Language Clinic Dedicated, Graduate Program Announced
Interested in the Master of Science in Speech Pathology? The program starts in the Fall of 2015. Please contact Melissa Fruscione, associate director of admission for graduate programs, with your questions. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (574) 284-5098.
Questions about the services available at the Judd Leighton Speech and Language Clinic? Please contact Karla Bronicki in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at email@example.com or (574) 284-5210.
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College
April 23, 2014 (Notre Dame, Ind.)— Saint Mary’s College celebrated the establishment of the Judd Leighton Speech and Language Clinic with a dedication and blessing of the space this afternoon. At the dedication, the College announced the new Master of Science in Speech Pathology. Both the clinic and the implementation of the master’s program are thanks to a $1 million grant from the Judd Leighton Foundation, Inc.
Earlier this month the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) approved the graduate program. Pending accreditation from the Council on Academic Accreditation in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, the program will begin in the fall of 2015. It will be the only such graduate program offered in northern Indiana and the second proposed graduate program that Saint Mary’s College has announced within the past few months. The College hasn’t offered master’s programs since the 1960’s.
“This is a day of great celebration at Saint Mary’s College,” said Carol Ann Mooney, Saint Mary’s College president. “In the spirit of the Sisters of the Holy Cross and their mission to reflect on the signs of the times, discern needs, and respond to those needs, the Master of Science in Speech Pathology and the Judd Leighton Speech and Language Clinic are our response to a regionally unmet demand. We are very grateful to the foundation for this generous gift.”
Judd Leighton was a friend to Saint Mary’s College. The Leighton name graces the Cushwa-Leighton Library and he and his wife Mary Lou Morris Leighton established an endowed chair in music. The couple focused most of their philanthropic efforts in and around St. Joseph County. The Judd Leighton Foundation, established in his memory, is an independent, private grant-making foundation, which focuses on three primary areas – health, education, and economic development.
“The foundation is so pleased to be able to continue this long-standing partnership with Saint Mary’s,” said Jim Keenan, foundation president. “We are also excited by the learning opportunities that this new graduate program brings to the College and its students and we are delighted that our community will have access to these important services.”
Michael Flahive, chair of the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders and director of the Master of Science in Speech Pathology program noted, “The profession of speech-language pathology resonates with Saint Mary’s core values of learning, community, faith, and justice. With this graduate program and majors like communicative sciences and disorders, nursing, education, and social work, we are a community of helpers inclined to work with those facing life’s challenges. In northern Indiana, we face a shortage of qualified speech and language personnel in schools and healthcare facilities. It’s my hope that Saint Mary’s graduates will help meet that critical need.”
Saint Mary’s alumna and associate professor Susan Olney Latham ’91, PhD, who worked over the last nine years to establish the undergraduate and graduate programs is doubly pleased that the Judd Leighton Speech and Language Clinic will support both programs. The facility opened in the fall and replaces a smaller lab on campus that provided limited services to the community for more than five years. As the lab had, the new clinic offers student-led/faculty-supervised speech and language services to clients from throughout St. Joseph County. Clients include those whose speech is affected by stroke, dementia, autism, Down syndrome, or other factors.
Kati Schneider ’15, a communicative sciences and disorders major from East Sparta, Ohio, is considering staying at Saint Mary’s for graduate school. “Working in the lab has reaffirmed that being a speech language pathologist is what I want to do with my life. Whether it’s hearing a professor share a great therapy story or hearing a mother say, ‘I’ve never heard my daughter say that before,’ a smile is never far from my face when I’m in the lab.”
Those interested in the services provided at The Judd Leighton Speech and Language Clinic may contact Janet Lovett, director of clinical education, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (574) 284-5210.
About Saint Mary’s College Graduate Programs: Saint Mary’s College received a new Statement of Affiliated Status (SAS) from its accrediting body, North Central Association’s Higher Learning Commission to offer bachelors and a master’s degrees. While currently limited to offering the Master of Science in Speech Pathology, the College, pending HLC approval, hopes to offer another master’s program in the fall of 2015. Saint Mary’s reported in December that Lilly Endowment Inc. awarded it a $1 million grant to plan, seek approval of, and implement the Master of Science in Data Science program. The women’s college will open all of its graduate programs to both men and women, in keeping with federal standards. The College hasn’t had graduate programs since 1969. Education offered master’s degrees in special education and elementary education from 1965-1969. The Graduate School of Sacred Theology offered a graduate program from 1943-1966 and it was the first school in the country to offer graduate training in Catholic Theology to women.
About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, residential, women’s liberal arts college offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study, such as business, nursing, art, chemistry, and social work. The College’s single-gender environment has been proven, in study after study, to foster confidence, ethical leadership, and strong academic success. Saint Mary's College ranks 76 among the 248 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” for 2014 published by U.S. News and World Report. Founded in 1844 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Saint Mary’s College’s mission is to educate women and prepare them for postgraduate success whether it’s a first job, graduate school, or postgraduate service.