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College of Liberal Arts - Louisiana Tech University

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School of Communication

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The School of Communication, through the College of Liberal Arts, offers undergraduate degrees in Communication Studies and Pre-Professional Speech-Language Pathology, an M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology and the Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.).

The department also serves the community through its Speech and Hearing Center and it administers Louisiana Tech University's award-winning debate program.

The School of Communication, housed in Robinson Hall, Davison, and Keeny has the largest and most competitive graduate enrollment of any masters program in the College of Liberal Arts and has the only doctoral program in the College of Liberal Arts, the Doctor of Audiology. The Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology programs are major academic components of the Department of Communication Disorders. The master's program in Speech-Language Pathology and the doctoral program in Audiology are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association.

Click on the link for information concerning Louisiana Tech services for Individuals with Disabilities.

School of Communication Strategic Plan 2012-2017

Click here to view the School of Communication Strategic Plan


Students Present Research Projects at the 2016 LAA Professional Conference

Hayden Holtzclaw, Melissa De La O, Brooke Carsey, and Rachel McGee represented the Au.D. program of Louisiana Tech University in outstanding fashion at the 2016 Louisiana Academy of Audiology Professional Conference. Each student presented their research projects to a full audience of audiologists and fellow students. The presentations were the highlight of the student research forum where Au.D. students were invited to present their research ideas and findings. Each student was given ten minutes to share their research ideas to the audience, and at the conclusion answer questions. Their presentations stimulated much discussion and highlighted the ongoing student research that our department supports.


2016 Louisiana Academy of Audiology Student Scholarship Recipient

We would like to congratulate Hayden Holtzclaw for his recognition and awarding of the 2016 Louisiana Academy of Audiology Student Scholarship. The $500.00 scholarship is awarded to one outstanding full-time graduate student enrolled at Louisiana Tech University and Louisiana State University Health and Sciences Center. The scholarship application process is selective and based on academic and clinical achievement. 

2016 Louisiana Tech Research Awards

On April 25, 2016, two faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts and School of Communication were honored at the 2016 Louisiana Tech Research Awards Reception sponsored by the Research Council and Office of University Research.  At this reception, there were 7 outstanding student researchers recognized and 8 outstanding faculty researchers recognized.

Dr. Jefferson Walker received the Outstanding Faculty Research Award for the College of Liberal Arts for his recently published book on the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial. Dr. Melinda Bryan received the Outstanding Doctoral Advisor Award for graduating the most doctoral students over the past three years.


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Press Release

The Louisiana Academy of Audiology (LAA) in conjunction with the Texas Academy of Audiology (TAA) is very excited to announce the first ever Future Leaders of Audiology Student Conference (FLASC) which will be held in New Orleans June 2nd through June 4th, 2016.  The conference is selective admission, invitation only, and this year’s class will include four Au.D. students from Louisiana Tech University.  This will be an annual conference and the host sites will alternate between Louisiana and Texas.

The purpose of the conference is to identify Au.D. students who have a passion for Audiology and a strong desire to become advocates and pursue leadership roles in in the profession. Following completion of the conference, students will be able to identify the goals and challenges of Audiology in the current healthcare landscape, be knowledgeable concerning the structure of Audiology professional organizations and how they work, and an understanding of what is necessary to implement legislative change at the state and national level.

FLASC will be held in the summer of each year and applications for admission will be distributed to every Au.D. program in Louisiana and Texas at the beginning of the spring academic term.  Selected students will be identified at the end of the spring academic term and extended an invitation to attend the FLASC.  The conference is sponsored by LAA, TAA, and a number of generous corporate sponsors, and is provided at no expense to the selected students.

Press Release

The Louisiana Tech University Speech and Hearing Center (LTSHC) announces the addition of a satellite space for use in additional assessment and treatment of speech-language and hearing interventions. The space is housed in the Robert H. Rawle Enterprise Center, 509 W. Alabama Ave. Ruston, LA 71270. The LTSHC offers speech and hearing assessments, therapeutic intervention, hearing aid dispensing, and tinnitus management.
The LTSHC has also begun two new assessment programs on the Tech campus in our Robinson Hall clinic. The Department of Communication Disorders now offers vestibular testing/rehabilitation and augmentative communication evaluations. These two components add to the wide array of speech and hearing assessment and therapy already offered at both sites.
For further information regarding the LTSHC, please contact either clinic site. The Robinson Hall clinic can be reached at 318-257-4766 and the Rawle Enterprise Center clinic at 318-257-2438.

Press Release: Melinda F. Bryan, Ph.D. - co-Chair of an International Congress

Melinda F. Bryan, Ph.D., CCC-A, an audiologist in the Department of Communication Disorders in the School of Communication within the College of Liberal Arts, has been chosen as the co-chair for an International Congress entitled Coping with Noise.  This Congress which will occur from June 11-12, 2016 in Valencia, Spain, is sponsored by Amplifon International. The Congress is a conference presenting health information on the effects of noise such as the effects of noise on communication, cardiovascular health, mental state, etc.  Dr. Bryan’s role in the Congress is planning the conference, writing/editing a 40 page consensus paper, compiling acceptable noise level data from 7 countries, and presenting at the Congress. The Congress is planned for approximately 400 otolaryngologists in the United States and Europe.  The following topics have been planned for the Congress: the effects and importance of coping with noise, hot topics in otology, and hot topics in ENT

The Spirit Reins Equine Center and Hippotherapy

The Louisiana Tech University Speech-Language Pathology graduate students and faculty visited Spirit Reins Equine Center in Harrisonburg, Louisiana.  Anna Costanza Borne, M.A., CCC-SLP,   Louisiana Tech graduate and one of the founders of the non-profit organization, is a Speech-Language Pathologist who conducts speech and language therapy with clients incorporating equine movement otherwise known as hippotherapy.  "Hippo" is the ancient Greek word for horse. Anna is trained to use hippotherapy as a treatment strategy to address her clients’ speech and language deficits.  The beautiful farm is owned by her parents who care for the horses and property.  Two 12-week sessions are held twice a year for approximately 20 clients with multiple disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, Apraxia, developmental delays, and Joubert's syndrome. Anna explained the impact equine movement has while treating clients' speech and language disorders. Clients are motivated using multiple sensory inputs during therapy.   During therapy sessions, a trained handler for each horse is present leading the horse while Anna focuses on the needs of the client.  Her therapy setting includes an arena with a variety of therapy materials and sensory reinforcements as well as a trail ride with intermittent mailboxes housing additional therapy stimuli.  Anna's passion for her clients and the progress she has witnessed in this setting was inspiring.  


American Speech-Language Hearing Association Award for Continuing Education

The Continuing Education Board of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association granted Daphne R. Washington her 4th Award for Continuing Education (ACE) on February, 2015.  Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists may meet the requirements of the ACE by earning seven ASHA Continuing Education Units which is equivalent to 70 hours in a thirty-six month period.  Mrs. Washington joins a select group of individuals who have made a concerted personal effort achieve this goal.  Congratulations to her on this accomplishment.

The Newsletter of the National Student Speech and Language Hearing Association

Several Louisiana Tech Doctorate of Audiology students have written articles that were featured in the NSSLHA newsletter.  Congratulations to these students on this accomplishment.

Looking At Literacy

Louisiana Tech Graduate clinicians from the Louisiana Tech Speech and Hearing Center received recognition in the LSHA Lagniappe magazine that was recently released. They were recognized for their dedicated work with third grade students at the local elementary schools to enhance literacy skills. Congratulations to these students and clinical educators for their time and commitment to enhance these third grade students lives!!!

Student Research Symposium

Three students from the School of Communication presented in the 15th annual Student Research Symposium that was held February 13, 2015.  Congratulations for being selected and honoring our department!!!

Keeley Layfield
Kaylee Laitinen, Audiology, Doctoral Student

Cassia Carmichael
Cassia Carmichael, Speech-Language Pathology, Graduate Student 

Dianne Walding
Dianne Walding, Speech-Language Pathology, Graduate Student

Dr. Melinda Bryan: Making speech and hearing a family matter

Debate Team Holds Their Own at Elite Competition

Members of Louisiana Tech University Debate Team continue their 2014-2015 debate season with a remarkable showing at the North American Universities Debate Championship held October 24-26 at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY.

The Tech Debate Team held strong with the most elite schools around North America including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Brown, and the University of Toronto. While Tech did not advance to the final debate round this year, we were in the top tier of the schools that competed. Loyola Marymount University won the tournament while a competitor from the University of Toronto won the honor of best speaker.

Shane Puckett, the director of debate, said, “I am very delighted and proud of our team. The unique skill set that our students possess allows them to perform extremely well within national and international debate circuits. Whenever we compete against these elite liberal arts colleges, our students have the unique ability to critically analyze arguments from a wide range of perspectives. This gives Louisiana Tech an additional edge in competition.”

Some of the topics debated were whether the United States should hold prisoners of war after cessation of a conflict, abolishing spousal privilege in the courts, and whether or not to consider academics’ public statements, blog posts, when hiring them or promoting them to tenure positions.

“Debate has always been a huge part of my life, and it has always given me the tools necessary to learn at levels deeper than what a classroom can provide,” says Hannah Bozeman, a freshman Communication Studies major. She continued saying, “I am also grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given to compete with a variety of people that I otherwise would not have encountered.”

Sam Hathorn, a senior Education major, comments about the recent debate saying, “It was some of the most intense competition we’ve faced this year. Going against Harvard, Princeton, and Yale is no easy task. It was a great learning experience.”

The North American Universities Debate Championship is a debate championship for Canada, the United States, and Mexico; however, it is not limited to just these three countries. Beijing University petitioned to be included in the tournament and was allowed to compete. Over 100 top-ranked debate teams came from 35 colleges and universities to compete in this year’s tournament.

If you would like any further information concerning the Louisiana Tech Debate Team, please contact Shane Puckett, Director of Debate, at spuckett@latech.edu.

Brenda L. Heiman, Ph.D., Director

306 Robinson Hall
P.O. Box 3165
Ruston, LA 71272
Phone: (318) 257-4764
Fax: (318) 257-4492

The School of Communication Strategic Plan can be obtained by submitting a written request to Dr. Brenda Heiman at P.O. Box 3165, Ruston, LA 71272.

Note: Individuals are treated in a nondiscriminatory manner-that is, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran. The institution and program comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and executive orders pertaining thereto.