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The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is at the forefront of research and the scientific study of speech production, speech perception, hearing, language organization in the brain, and language and literacy development and disorders. Our master's degree program focuses on preparing clinical scientists to advance the practice of speech-language pathology. As such, it provides a broad-based curriculum that includes, among other topics, the study of spoken and written language development and disorders, adult neurogenic disorders, and cochlear implant (re)habilitation. Our doctoral program is actively training the next generation of university professors and research scientists. Our students are highly sought after and our faculty are widely regarded as national and international experts in their respective fields of study. Opportunities abound here. Learn more about COMD.



Apel earns highest ASHA award
Kenn Apel, COMD professor and chair, has been honored with the highest award that the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association bestows: Honors of the Association.

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Treating selective mutism
The USC Speech and Hearing Research Center provides treatment for patients with common (e.g., language delays) and rare communication disorders, such as selective mutism.

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How to stop stuttering
Charley Adams, a clinical assistant professor in COMD's USC Speech and Hearing Research Center, reveals how they treat patients who stutter…and how we can too.

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Wade-Woolley leads international conference
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders' Lesly Wade-Woolley led an international conference in Hawaii last month as the president-elect of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading.

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COMD students win national awards
Two students from COMD’s Master of Speech-Language Pathology program have won awards from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association out of a nationwide competition.

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Alex Basilakos

Read about one of our superior doctoral students!
USC Presidential Fellow Alexandra Basilakos has big plans. The Arnold School of Public Health doctoral candidate is pursuing a career as a professor so she can help improve treatments for patients with post-stroke communication disorders and educate future speech-language pathologists.

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More Good News for COMD Student
More good news for our graduate student, Stacey Sangtian. Stacey has selected to be a participant in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Minority Student Leadership Program (MSLP) Class of 2015. There were 153 applications for only 40 slots! As a participant, Stacey will attend a Meet-and Greet and Kick-Off Reception, hosted by ASHA’s President, Judy Page, on the Tuesday before ASHA convention, and then attend a set of leadership-focused educational programs and activities at the Convention. These activities will help her build and enhance her leadership skills and gain an understanding of how the Association works. She also will have the opportunity to interact with leaders in the professions of audiology, speech-language pathology, and speech, language, and hearing sciences. Congratulations Stacey!


COMD Faculty Earn Meritorious Poster Award for 2015 ASHA Convention
Another piece of great news! A poster that Dr. Suzanne Adlof, along with her co-authors, Joanna Scoggins and Spencer Babb (a new doctoral student in the COMD program), will be presenting at the ASHA convention has been named meritorious - only 3% of all presentations receive this honor. Congrats to the whole group!! To read about this presentation, go to: http://submissions.mirasmart.com/ASHA2015/Itinerary/ItinerarySubmissionDetail.aspx?sbmID=2851

Julie Byard

August grad inspired by students
Julie Byard returned to USC to obtain her Master degree in Speech-Language Pathology after seven years in the public school system. She plans to work with adults and children in a medical setting.

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Alumni Survey

Exciting News about COMD Graduate Students
COMD recently learned that two of its graduate students, Stacey Sangtian and Sheida Abdi, were selected to receive the American Speech-Language-Hearing’s (ASHA) 2015 Students Preparing for Academic -Research Careers (SPARC) Award. These two students were selected by external reviewers who reviewed hundreds of applicants for this prestigious award. As part of the award, they each will receive $1,000 to support a research mentoring plan they submitted to ASHA as part of the application process. The plans will be completed with their main faculty research mentors, Dr. Roozbeh Behroozmand (Ms. Sangtian) and Dr. Suzanne Adlof (Ms. Abdi). As part of the award, they are invited to attend a networking reception for participants in ASHA’s Academic Affairs & Research Education’s award and mentoring programs at the upcoming 2015 ASHA Convention in Denver, Colorado (November 12-14, 2015). Congratulations to our outstanding students!

Alumni Survey

Notice to our Alumni
Final count for our Alumni Survey – 279 responses to the emails (49% of the emails sent out) plus 17 on the open link. GREAT JOB! We truly appreciate all who responded. COMD Alum rock!

Alumni Survey

Notice to our Alumni
Dear Alumni,
We are having a terrific response rate to our alumni survey (so far, 241 of you have responded; that’s 37%!). We want to break a record for our Arnold School, though. So, if you have received an email from me asking you to fill out the survey, will you please do that? If you did NOT receive an email, you can click on this link and complete the survey:

Alumni Survey

Notice to our Alumni
Dear COMD Alumni,
So far, our COMD Alumni are responding well! We have had 161 individuals respond so far. Wahoo! If you received our email and have not responded yet, please do so. If you did NOT receive our email, please follow this link to respond to the survey:
We thank you all for your valuable information.

-The COMD Faculty


Notice to our Alumni
Please be on the lookout for a survey coming to your email box. It will look somewhat like the picture below. We hope you will take the few minutes to complete it (should take less than 5 minutes), because your information will help us fine-tune our program. Thank you in advance for providing us with your valuable information.


Something to Talk About Pictures

COMD Holds its First Major Fundraiser
On May 16th, COMD held its first major fundraiser, Something to Talk About, at the SC State Museum. The fundraiser, attended by over 100 friends and alumni, featured food catered by Southern Way, music by Party Time DJs, and a silent auction with over 60 items. All in attendance had a terrific time eating, dancing to great tunes, and competitively bidding on sought-after items. The fundraiser was the successful start of an annual event.

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Annual Research Festival held
On December 6, 2014, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders held its annual Research Festival in the Keenan Building, home of the department and the Speech and Hearing Research Center.

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COMD has a New Home
For the first time in the history of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, the Speech and Hearing Research Center, the department office, and (most) academic faculty offices and research labs are housed together in one facility. Once separated by several miles, these offices and the Center are now located in the historic Keenan building downtown at the corner of Sumter and Lady Streets. The new facility, which was renovated to house both the Center and the department, is approximately 17,000 square feet. The new facility has 12 speech and language diagnostic/treatment rooms, a full audiology suite that houses the audiology sound booths and cochlear mapping rooms, and a large student area that houses computer and materials preparation work stations. It also is home to nine different research labs in which research faculty are conducting investigations in the areas of speech perception, literacy, and speech production and motor control. The entire COMD faculty are quite pleased to be in their new home. An Open House is scheduled for September 19th from 4-6pm.

Directions to the new facility can be found here.

Dr. Lesly Wade-Woolley

We are excited to announce that Dr. Lesly Wade-Woolley, currently on faculty in the Department of Cognitive Studies in Education at Queen's University at Kingston, will be joining our faculty in January, 2015. Dr. Wade-Woolley was offered this position specifically for her expertise in the area of literacy, as it complements and strengthens the research of three other faculty within COMD (Drs. Adlof, Apel, and Werfel). With the addition of Dr. Wade-Woolley, the department will have a core of literacy researchers that is rarely found within one research department. Dr. Wade-Woolley is a productive and programmatic researcher, with a long record of continuous extramural funding as principal investigator and co-investigator. The majority of her grant support has come from the Canadian federal and provincial government, and she has secured over a million dollars in grants, research awards, and evaluation contracts as PI or co-investigator. Dr. Wade-Woolley is nationally- and internationally-known and is beginning her position as President-elect of the most prestigious scientific research society in the area of reading, the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading.

COMD researcher awarded grants to help students with reading, language challenges.
From research to honors and awards, COMD faculty, staff and students have been in the limelight during spring and summer.
COMD Doctoral Students Receive 2013 Presidential Fellowship Award
A study by Dr. Julius Fridriksson on "speech entrainment" shows promise in helping those with aphasia to speak in fluent sentences.
COMD Doctoral Student Receives $10,000 Scholarship from ASHA

University makes significant jump in Kiplinger's ranking of nation's public universities that "deliver strong academics at affordable prices."

COMD News Archive

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