MSC01 1195
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131


April 2016

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Cathy Binger will be conducting a workshop at the 4th annual Closing the Gap conference.  The conference will focus on Assistive Technology in Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Everyday Living, and will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 19-21, 2016.  

Dr. Binger's workshop, Building Language Skills for Children Who Use AAC and Teaching Educators and Parents to Provide AAC Supports, will be held on Tuesday, October 18th from 8:00 am-4:30 pm.  More details can be found by viewing the handout or by visiting the Closing the Gap conference website.

March 2016

Welome back from spring break

Spring may have just begun, but our break is already over.  The AAC lab is bustling as everyone works to complete our exciting current research projects.  With the semester progressing nicely, 2016 is already proving to be an exciting year!

January 2016

 National Institute of Health (NIH) funds Jennifer Kent-Walsh's AAC research.

The NIH has awareded a $437,812 grant to University of Central Flordia communication science disorders professor Jennifer Kent-Walsh.  The grant will fund research evaluating use of AAC as part of a language-focused intervention for preschoolers with severe speech sound disorders.  The full article from UCF Today can be found here: http://today.ucf.edu/nih-funds-study-on-technology-services-for-children-with-severe-speech-disabilities/

January 2015

The start of a new semester

The UNM AAC lab is back in session and everyone is hard at work.  We have new students joining us in the lab as we continue to move forward on our existing research.  Stay tuned for exciting abbouncements about upcoming research publications and new projects.

November 2014

2014 ASHA Convention presentations

We are pleased to announce the schedule of AAC presentations for this year's ASHA Convention in Orlando, Flordia!

Thursday, November 20

Planning Effective AAC Services: What's Up in the Schools?
Cathy Binger; Maja Whitaker; Merissa Ekman; VIctoria Ortega; Jennifer Kent-Walsh
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM, Hall C

Teaching Preschoolers With Unintelligible Speech to Produce Rule-Based Sentences: AAC Solutions
Cathy Binger; Jennifer Kent-Walsh; Marika King; Lindsay Mansfield; Elijia Buenviaje; Merissa Ekman; Victoria Ortega; Jamie Ragsdale; Maja Whitaker
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM, W209ABC

Dynamic Assessment with Preschoolers Using an AAC iPad App: Syntax Assessment
Cathy Binger; Jennifer Kent-Walsh; Marika King
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM, W415BC

iCan Communicate: Implementing AAC Apps With Children in Community Contexts
Jennifer Kent-Walsh; Nancy Harrington; Melissa Malani; Cathy Binger; Stephanie Amundsen; Melissa Malani
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM, W415BC

Saturday, November 22

Life Before & After PECS: Part II
Presenters: Cathy Binger; Nancy Brady; Michelle Flippin; Sherry Sancibrian
8:00 AM- 10:00 AM

Measuring the Expressive Language of Children With Highly Unintelligible Speech: Language Sampling Techniques
Cathy inger; Jamie Ragsdale; Jennifer Kent-Walsh;
12:30 PM- 2:00 PM
Hall C

October 2014

Maja Whitaker presents McNair Scholar research.

Maja Whitaker with McNair research board

On October 3rd McNair scholar and UNM AAC lab member Maja Whitaker unveiled her research at the annual 2014 McNair Scholars Research Conference.  Maja presented on her topic, Assessing the Augmentative and Alternative Communication Needs of Students in Rural New Mexico.

September 2014

2014 graduates welcomed by Penn State

Penn state 2014

Congratulations to Elijia Buenviaje, Merissa Ekman, Victoria Ortega, and Jamie Ragsdale, our recent UNM bachelor's degree grads and former UNM AAC lab workers, all of whom are obtaining their masters' degrees from Penn State. These fine ladies are all part of the prestigious AAC Training Grant program. We are so proud of you!

Read the full article from the AAC at PSU website here.

April 2014

Congratulations 2014 graduates from the UNM AAC Lab!

2014 Graduation group photo

March 2014

New McNair Scholar!


Maja Whitaker was recently inducted into the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program at the University of New Mexico. This program prepares undergraduates for graduate school by providing scholars with a faculty-mentored research experience and support for the graduate school application process. Maja will be working with Cathy Binger on a research project designed to evaluate the AAC needs of students in schools throughout New Mexico. Congratulations, Maja!

October 2013

Undergraduate student selected for McNair program

Maja WhitakerMaja Whitaker, undergraduate SHS student, was recently selected by the McNair and ROP programs selection committee to be a scholar for the 2013-14 academic year. The committee recognized Maja's outstanding academic achievements and her desire to pursue a doctorate or professional degree in speech-language pathology. Maja is working with Dr. Cathy Binger in the AAC lab.

Two undergraduates receive College of Arts & Sciences research award

MerissaVictoriaSpeech and Hearing Sciences undergraduate students Merissa Ekman and Victoria Ortega just received an undergraduate student research initiative award from the College of Arts & Sciences.

From the College of Arts & Sciences website: " This program is aimed at increasing the number of undergraduate students working with faculty mentors on research or scholarship and at increasing the overall awareness of undergraduate research."

Merissa and Victoria work as student employees Dr. Cathy Binger’s lab. Congratulations, Merissa and Victoria!

September 2013

Graduate student receives ASHA travel award

Marika KingSpeech and Hearing Sciences graduate student Marika King has been selected to receive a Student Research Travel Award (SRTA) to attend the ASHA Annual Convention in Chicago, Illinois, in November. This award is given to the highest-rated ASHA Convention papers—with a student as first author— in each of the 26 topic categories.

The purpose of the SRTA is to highlight the research activities of students and encourage careers in science and research. As an award recipient, Marika will receive a $500 stipend and complimentary Convention registration to help defray costs associated with attending the Convention.  

Marika began working with Dr. Cathy Binger in her lab as an undergraduate, and has continued on in the lab as a graduate student project assistant.  Way to go, Marika!

Two undergraduates win ASHA PROGENY awards

Elijia JamieSpeech and Hearing Sciences undergraduate students Lee Buenviaje and Jamie Ragsdale were just notified that they each won a PROGENY award from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association for the posters they each submitted to this year’s convention.

From the ASHA web site: “The purpose of PROGENY is to encourage the development of young scientists in communication sciences and disorders, and to highlight undergraduate research efforts. PROGENY pairs faculty researchers with undergraduate students who are first authors on poster presentations at the annual ASHA Convention. PROGENY highlights and supports the work of these undergraduates by providing them with an opportunity to talk with experienced scientists about their research, and about pursuing an academic-research career.” 

Lee currently works as a student employee in Dr. Cathy Binger’s lab.  Jamie has also worked as a student employee in the lab, and is currently enrolled in an independent study class with Dr. Binger.  Congratulations, Lee and Jamie!

For more information about the PROGENY program, visit http://www.asha.org/research/progeny.

July 2013

Jamie Ragsdale Awarded the Prestigious SPARC Award!

Jamie Ragsdale

Jamie Ragsdale just received notification that she is a recipient of the 2013 Students Preparing for Academic-Research Careers (SPARC) Award. The SPARC Award Program is part of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association’s strategic objective to increase research commitment. The goal of SPARC is to foster students’ interest in the pursuit of PhD education and careers in academia in order to fill faculty/researcher vacancies in communication sciences and disorders (CSD).

Jamie’s long-term goal is to conduct research and teach at the university level where she will focus on two areas of interest: childhood developmental disorders such as autism, and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Dr. Cathy Binger will serve as Jamie’s primary SPARC mentor and will assist Jamie in completing an AAC research project in the coming year. Dr. Sandra Nettleton and Dr. Barbara Rodriguez, also faculty members of the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, will serve as additional mentors, in addition to Dr. Susan Copeland, a faculty member in UNM’s Department of Special Education who has extensive expertise in working with individuals with autism.

April 2013

Awarded Scholarships

Congratulations to UNM’s Jamie Ragsdale for being awarded THREE scholarships! Jamie currently has a UNM Osher Reentry Scholarship, and to help support her ongoing studies, she has received two awards for the 2013-2014 academic year: the Nathaniel Pitman Weber Scholarship in the College of Arts & Sciences, and the Class of '42 Memorial Scholarship from the UNM Alumni Association. Well done, Jamie!

Excellence in Research Award

jenniferJennifer Kent-Walsh was awarded a 2013 Excellence in Research Award at the Founder’s Day Honors Convocation at the University of Central Florida. The Convocation Ceremony celebrated UCF’s 50th Anniversary.

McNair Scholar Joins UNM AAC Lab Team

We are proud to have our second McNair Scholar Jamie Ragsdale working in the UNM AAC Lab.  The McNair Scholars Program is a federal TRIO program funded at approximately 200 institutions across the United States and Puerto Rico by the U.S. Department of Education. It is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. McNair participants are either first-generation college students with financial need, or members of a group that is traditionally underrepresented in graduate education and have demonstrated strong academic potential. The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to increase graduate degree awards for students from underrepresented segments of society.

Article Published

Binger, C., Ball, L., Dietz, A., Kent-Walsh, J., Lasker, J., Lund, S., McKelvey, M., & Quach, W. (2012). Personnel roles in the AAC assessment process. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 28, 278-288. Abstract

March 2013

New Member of UCF Team

Nancy Harrington

The FAAST ARDC is pleased to welcome a new full-time member to our team - Nancy Harrington, M.A., CCC-SLP. After working for almost 20 years as an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Specialist in Ireland, Nancy has returned to the United States to join our team as the Lead Assistive Technology Specialist & Assistant Regional Coordinator. Nancy has extensive clinical, administrative, and university teaching/supervision experience and is a fantastic addition to our team!

February 2013

OwenWe have a wonderful new addition to the UNM AAC Lab: Owen Henry Eckart was born on February 6. We are thrilled for his parents and plan to get him to work transcribing just as soon as he has developed a wee bit more eye-hand coordination. Congratulations, Elyse and Audrey!

January 2013

Program Coordinator for iCommunicate @ UCF

Melissa Malani

The FAAST ARDC is pleased to welcome Melissa Malani, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, as the Program Coordinator for iCommunicate @ UCF, a program funded the the Chelsey G. Magruder Foundation. Melissa has been an ongoing collaborator of the FAAST ARDC for several years and we are thrilled to now have her working with us on our current collaboration with the Down Syndrome Foundation of Florida via the iCan Communicate program.

December 2012

Augmentative Communication Specialist

Carolyn Buchanan

The FAAST ARDC is pleased to congratulate Carolyn Buchanan, M.S., CF-SLP, on her appointment as an Augmentative Communication Specialist with Crotched Mountain ATECH Services in New Hampshire. Carolyn is excited to be able to put her skills to good use in providing AAC evaluations and consultative services to individuals with varying disabilities across the lifespan. Although she will be greatly missed at UCF, we are thrilled that she will have the opportunity to work as part of an interdisciplinary team to provide services in the community.

November 2012

Undergraduate student named Research Opportunity Scholar

Elijia Buenviaje

Undergraduate student Elijia Buenviaje was named a Research Opportunity Scholar in an induction ceremony on November 13.

The Research Opportunity Program (ROP) at the University of New Mexico is a state-funded initiative that was established in 1995 to promote access to graduate education among underrepresented minority undergraduates. Today, ROP mirrors the goal of the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program, allowing the University to further increase the number of undergraduate students entering graduate programs who are first generation college students from disadvantaged backgrounds or who are members of under-represented groups in graduate school (African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander).

Graduate student awarded ASHFoundation Scholarship

Eliza Webb

Eliza Webb was recently notified that she is this year's recipient of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation's Graduate Student Scholarship for a National NSSLHA Member. Webb served as UNM's NSSLHA Chapter President in her senior year of her undergraduate studies and began her graduate studies at UNM this semester. Each Spring, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation (ASHFoundation) invites full-time students who will be or who are currently enrolled in a graduate program in communication sciences and disorders to submit applications in competition for graduate scholarship awards. Scholarships are open to students who are undergraduate seniors or students who are currently pursuing master's and doctoral degrees.

ASHA Meritorious Poster Submission

Cathy, Marika, Eliza
Cathy Binger, Marika King, and Eliza Webb

Associate Professor Cathy Binger and students Eliza Webb, Marika King, and Marysa Deblassie received notification that their 2012 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention poster presentation titled, "Semantic-Syntactic Coding and Analysis for a Child Using Aided AAC," has been selected as a Meritorious Poster Submission. Dr. Binger, Webb and King will all attend the ASHA Convention this month in Atlanta, GA.