2015 Annual Convention
April 30-May 1, 2015
Ocean Place Resort and Spa
Long Branch, NJ

Report your Convention CE Hours.

Welcome from the Convention Chairperson

Joan WarnerWelcome to the 2015 NJSHA Convention! We look forward to another year of fantastic, high-quality speakers, reconnecting with colleagues and breathing in the beautiful ocean air. We are pleased to partner again this year with the New Jersey Academy of Audiology (NJAA) to bring you a fabulous audiology program. We also welcome back our vendors who join us each year to share the latest in employment opportunities, materials and technology.

The Convention Planning Committee has worked diligently this year to bring you exciting speakers and topics from all across the country. We have many interesting pediatric, adult and student topics for you to choose from, as well as additional student poster sessions and special interest topics for you to attend. Our Marni Reisberg Memorial Program will be presented by one of our pediatric speakers, Gretchen Poage, Improving Identification and Management of Cleft and Craniofacial Syndromes. We are also offering a special student presentation by Courtney Caruso and Tatyana Elleseff and a student luncheon. If you are a student in either audiology or speech-language pathology, don’t miss these events.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our Convention Planning Committee, Michele Baker, Cindy D’Antonio, Kelly Pezzanite, Holly Weinstock, Alan Gertner, Karen Kushla, Marykate Vaughn, Bob Woods, Faith Moglia and Janet Koehnke for helping to make Convention 2015 exceptional. We greatly appreciate your volunteered time, support and dedication. We would also like to thank the NJSHA Board of Directors for their continued support and dedication.

We look forward to travelling along the Pathways to Communication with you at the 2015 NJSHA Convention. See you at the beach!

Joan Warner, MS, CCC-SLP
2015 Convention Chairperson


Highlighted Speakers

Kathleen ArnosKathleen Arnos, PhD
Dr. Kathleen Arnos is director of the genetics program, professor of biology and chair of the Department of Science, Technology & Mathematics at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. She obtained her PhD in human genetics from the Medical College of Virginia. She is certified as a medical geneticist by the American Board of Medical Genetics. Over the past 30 years she has been an investigator for several research grants to identify genes for deafness and has published widely on the clinical and molecular aspects of various forms of hereditary hearing loss and ethical considerations of genetic testing for hearing loss. She has provided numerous educational programs for educators, audiologists, physicians and other professionals.

Dr. Arnos will present Genetics and Hearing Loss: Clinical and Molecular Characteristics on Friday, May 1.

Amy BirathCapt. Mercedes Benitez McCrary, MS, CCC-SLP, MPH
Capt. Benitez McCrary is a USPHS officer and began undergraduate studies at New York University (NYU) and graduate studies at the George Washington University. Currently, she is completing her Doctorate degree in health science in leadership/global health science at A.T. Still University.  Ms. Benitez McCrary completed a Masters of Public Health certificate in public health from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 2013.  She possesses board certification in Speech-Language Pathology and specializes in elder/geriatric therapeutic care, TBI, lower motor neurological disorders rehabilitation. Ms. Benitez McCrary is multilingual and demonstrates language competence in Spanish and French.  She is currently stationed at Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Center for Medicare Medicaid Innovation and serves as a senior advisor.

Capt. Benitez McCrary will present Healthcare is Changing: Is Speech Pathology Ready? on Friday, May 1.

Amy BirathAmy Lynn Birath, AuD, CCC-SLP/A, LSLS Cert. AVEd
Dr. Birath is a pediatric audiologist and speech-language pathologist at The Moog Center for Deaf Education in St. Louis, Missouri. She is dually certified in speech-language pathology and audiology and holds certification as a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist. In addition to her work at the Moog Center, Dr. Birath is an instructor in audiology and communication sciences at Washington University School of Medicine. She has presented regionally and nationally for parents and professionals, most frequently on the speech and auditory skills development of children who have hearing loss.

Dr. Birath will present From Detection to Comprehension: Targeting Auditory Skills Development With Children Who Have Cochlear Implants on Thursday, April 30.

Jeanette E. Benigas, PhD, CCC-SLP
Dr. Benigas is an assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders at West Chester University.  Her extensive clinical experience as a speech-language pathologist has included work with pediatrics in the private practice and school setting and with adults in the post-acute, long term care and home health settings. Jeanette’s experience with adults contributes to her research interests, which involve improving quality of life for persons with dementia, specifically for those who have eating and swallowing impairments.  Her research has focused on evaluating reading comprehension abilities in people with dementia for use of visual aids and using Spaced Retrieval to teach swallowing strategies to avoid unwanted dietary modifications. Jeanette received her BA in Speech-Language Pathology from The University of Toledo, her MA from Eastern Michigan University in Speech-Language Pathology and completed a specialization certificate in aging and PhD in Speech and Hearing Science from The Ohio State University.

Dr. Benigas will present Using Space Retrieval to Improve Recall in Persons With Dementia and Dining With Dementia on Friday, May 1.

Stacy CasselStacy Gallese Cassel, MS, CCC-SLP, PhD candidate, ABD
Ms. Cassel is an assistant professor of communication disorders at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She specializes in medical speech-language pathology, serving in acute care and trauma hospital settings for nearly 25 years. Her dissertation addresses the clinical applications of teledysphagia. When not scrambling to complete her dissertation, she remains continually grateful for her family, friends, students (she would teach them for free!) and her department.

Ms. Cassel will present Are You Connected? Catching Up With Clinical Trends in Telepracticeon Thursday, April 30.

Joseph DonaherJoseph Donaher, PhD
Dr. Donaher is the academic and research program director of the Center for Childhood Communication at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Donaher is an assistant professor of otorhinolaryngology at The University of Pennsylvania. He is a Board Recognized Specialist in fluency and fluency disorders and the editor of Perspectives on  Fluency and Fluency Disorders. Dr. Donaher is the chair of the Research and Publications Committee of The International Fluency Association. His clinical and research interests focus on the assessment and treatment of school-age children who stutter and disfluency patterns secondary to neurological conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Dr. Donaher will present Preschool Children Who Stutter: Determining Risk and Planning Interventionand Moving Forward in Therapy With School-Aged Children Who Stutteron Thursday, April 30.

Karen KimberlinKaren Kimberlin, MS, CCC-SLP
Ms. Kimberlin is the owner of the Speech Language Learning Connection, LLC, an educational and speech-language therapy private practice in Tinton Falls. Over her 35 plus year career, Ms. Kimberlin has developed a passion for working with children with reading and writing disabilities. She currently specializes in performing independent language and literacy evaluations for parents, schools and educational attorneys. In February 2011, Ms. Kimberlin was named to the New Jersey Reading Disabilities Task Force by Governor Christie and served as the NJSHA representative from July 2011 through July 2012. In May 2011, she received the NJSHA Distinguished Clinical Service Award. In October 2014, Ms. Kimberlin was elected to serve as a Board Member of the New Jersey International Dyslexia Association.

Ms. Kimberlin will present Dyslexia/Reading Disabilities Update and Case Study Reviews on Thursday, April 30.

Pam MasonPam Mason, MEd, CCC-A
Ms. Mason is the director of the audiology professional practices unit at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). This unit reaches out to audiologists in clinical practice and education by providing up-todate resources and professional consultation through electronic newsletters, annual publications and individually on the telephone, in email or in person at professional meetings. Ms. Mason serves on ASHA’s strategic objective team to advance Interprofessional education and Interprofessional collaborative practice. She has extensive experience in working with the media and has provided numerous interviews related to hearing-tinnitus-balance deficits for ASHA.

Ms. Mason will present Interprofessional Collaborative Practice: Breaking Down Silos to Enhance Outcomes on Friday, May 1.

Jane KitsonJane Kitson, BS
Ms. Kitson is the author of more than 350 original songs and fingerplays that have been shared with over 100,000 early childhood professionals in 46 states and Canada. Participants in her presentations are wowed by her practical tips and user-friendly ideas that are easy to replicate. She has been the classroom teacher of children ages two to seven and now on-site consultant for 30 years. In addition to speaking at 20 venues per year, with more than 4,500 children in school settings, Ms. Kitson fine tunes her presentations with information and experience. She has jumped, spinned and clapped her way through programs with children from Florida to Alaska.

Ms. Kitson will present Giggle…Wiggle…Clap…Learn: Move Your Body and Your Brainon Thursday, April 30 and Red Rover, Red Rover… Let’s Send Literacy Right Over! on Friday, May 1.

Sara MamoSara Mamo, AuD, PhD
Dr. Mamo completed her AuD and PhD at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Otolaryngology Head/Neck Surgery. Her research interests include age-related hearing loss from a public health perspective and affordable access to hearing health care.

Dr. Mamo will present Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline: A Public Health Perspective on Friday, May 1.

Donna MerchantDonna Goione Merchant, AuD, CCC-A
Dr. Merchant is the owner of Educational Audiology Resources and New Jersey Hearing Health Center in Brick, New Jersey. She has been a practicing audiologist for over 25 years with focus on educational audiology through her practices for 23 years with a specialization working with hearing impaired children and their parents, assistive technology in the classroom and central auditory processing disorders. She has presented extensively to parents and special education groups and Child Study Teams throughout New Jersey on topics related to hearing loss and other auditory disorders. Dr. Merchant consults to multiple school districts providing evaluations, consultative services on IEP teams for appropriate interventions, placements and accommodations for auditory disorders in the schools and on-site educational audiologic services. Dr. Merchant works as an assistant professor of audiology in the Montclair State University Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Doctoral Audiology and Graduate Speech Pathology programs. Dr. Merchant authored Chapter 10 (Hearing Aids and Hearing Assistance Technology for Children and Adults) in the text Fundamentals of Audiology for the Speech-Language Pathologist (2014).

Dr. Merchant will present Classroom Amplification: Considering the Needs and Changing Options for Students With Auditory Disorderson Thursday, April 30.

Gretchen PoageGretchen Poage, MA
Ms. Poage is a licensed Speech Pathologist who specializes in dysphagia and craniofacial care. She has worked in the Craniofacial and Swallowing Departments of St. Joseph’s Healthcare System in Paterson, New Jersey for the last 19 years. Ms. Poage is the Craniofacial Center’s Clinical Coordinator and has taught the Craniofacial Course for both Montclair State University and William Paterson University. In 2007, she assisted in the development of a full time dedicated dysphagia program at the Wayne campus of the Medical Center. Ms. Poage serves on the hospital’s geriatric care committee and cancer committee. She has published research in the peer reviewed journal, Dysphagia. In addition to the acute care medical setting, Ms. Poage has experience working in nursing homes, early intervention programs and private practice.

Ms. Poage will present the Marni Reisberg Memorial Program, Improving Identification and Management of Cleft and Craniofacial Syndromeson Thursday, April 30.

Erik RajErik Raj, MS, CCC-SLP
Mr. Raj holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and has been a practicing speech-language pathologist working with school-age children with various communication difficulties. He is currently a school-based speech-language pathologist working for the Edison Township Public School District. Mr. Raj regularly presents interactive workshops demonstrating how school-based speech-language pathologists can use technology to motivate and teach students on their caseload. In addition to developing numerous top-ranking educational iPad applications for children, he has also directed the DVD component to the award-winning speech-language pathology book titled Your Voice is Your Business by Plural Publishing and has created original video content for such television networks as MTV and mtvU.

Mr. Raj will present Creative Ideas for Successfully Using iPad in Speech-Language Therapy on Thursday, April 30.

Anastasia RaymerAnastasia Raymer, PhD, CCC-SLP
Dr. Raymer is a professor and chair of the Department of Communication Disorders & Special Education at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, having joined the faculty in 1996. For the past 30 years her research has examined the neural and cognitive mechanisms implicated in disorders of language and skilled limb movements and means to promote optimal rehabilitation of these disorders in individuals with stroke-induced aphasia, dysgraphia and limb apraxia. Her work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health-National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders and by the Department of Defense. She has published more than 75 papers and chapters and has given hundreds of talks nationally and internationally on her research. She is president of the Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences and is a member of the Aphasia Committee of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics. She is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in recognition of her research and service to the profession, and is former Coordinator of ASHA Special Interest Group 2, Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Communication Disorders.

Dr. Raymer will present Evidence-Based Treatment Resources for Neurogenic Communication Disordersand Restoration and Reorganization in Word Retrieval Treatments for Aphasia on Friday, May 1.

Holi WasserHolli Ross Wasser, MA, CCC-SLP
Ms. Wasser is presently on the faculty of Hofstra University, Montclair State University and Princeton University where she teaches applied jazz vocal studies and is musical director of the jazz vocal ensemble at MSU. She is a member of musician’s local 802 and the Jazz Educator’s Network. As an experienced performer and singing instructor, Ms. Wasser brings a highly specialized set of skills to the clinical setting with her particular interests in voice disorders and care of the professional voice (singers, actors, teachers, salespeople, etc.). She performs complete voice, speech and language evaluations and treatments for both adults and children. Her training background includes instrumental assessment and treatment of adult patients with voice disorders at Vox Humana Voice Laboratory Head & Neck Surgical Group and she is competent in videostroboscopy. Ms. Wasser is a member of ASHA in addition to the Voice Special Interest Division of ASHA.

Ms. Wasser will present Assessment, Treatment and Care for the Professional Voiceon Friday, May 1.

2015 Convention Registration Rates

  Two-Day    One-Day
Regular Members $250  $150
Life Members $150 $125
Non-Members $350  $250
Student Members $50 $50
Student Non-Members $110 $110

Please note that there will be a $25 fee added to registrations received after March 19, 2015.

Online registration is closed. 

Print a registration form to Register Onsite.

If you wish to receive a confirmation, please provide your email address on the Registration Form. Please pick up your attendee packet at Registration.

Cancellations and Refunds
All cancellations and refunds will be processed after the Convention. Full refunds (minus a $25 processing fee) will be made only if a written cancellation request is received by April 16, 2015. NJSHA is accountable for the number of attendees guaranteed to the hotel at this time; therefore, we cannot grant refunds for cancellations received after April 16, 2015.

Hotel Information

photoA special group rate of $169 (parking included) has been obtained for the 2015 Annual Convention at the Ocean Place Resort & Spa. The special group rate will only be honored until April 12, 2015, or until the room block is sold out, whichever occurs first. Please make your reservations early.

Reservations may be made by contacting the Ocean Place Resort & Spa at 1-800-411-6493 and identifying the group as NJ Speech-Language-Hearing Assoc.

Or online, by clicking here.

Visit the hotel website for additional information, www.Oceanplace.com.


Continuing Education

ASHA Continuing Education
This course is offered for up to 1.75 ASHA CEUs (Various levels, Professional area)

AAA Continuing Education
NJSHA is approved by the American Academy of Audiology to offer Academy CEUs for this activity. The program is worth a maximum of 1.45 CEUs. Academy approval of this continuing education activity does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products or clinical procedures.

International Institute for Hearing Instruments Studies
International Hearing Society CE credits will be offered for designated sessions.

The content in the presentation Dyslexia/Reading Disabilities Update and Case Study Review (Sessions 3 and 10) is aligned with the professional development requirement established by the new dyslexia laws. Both sessions must be attended.

Presenter and Session Disclosures


CEA Record-Keeping Process for Everyone!

e-file your continuing education hours for ASHA, AAA, IHS or just for NJSHA record-keeping using the new e-file system.

It’s Fast, Easy and Electronic, Saving You Time! No more standing in line to turn in your CE Records! You will be able to enter your session attendance information into the NEW e-file system at your convenience. Yes, that means you can update your online CE record after each session, at the end of each day or from the comfort of your
couch after the Convention.

Access to your online CE record is unlimited until you select “I’m Done- Submit” and generate your Convention Professional Development Certificate. (If you need individual session Professional Development Certificates to submit to your employer, these will still be handed out at the end of the session you attended.)

Deadline to report your hours earned is May 15, 2015.
Detailed instructions on how to submit your CEUs online will be provided at Convention in your On-Site Program.


New Jersey Academy of Audiology

This year, NJSHA has partnered with the New Jersey Academy of Audiology (NJAA) to plan the audiology program.


NEW This Year

Mobile Phone

Free NJSHA Convention App!

Easy to install and full of features.

Session information at your figure tips.

Watch for more information on this new and exciting attendee benefit.



2013 New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association | All rights reserved.