Akron hosts speech and pathology convention


Grant Morgan

Youngstown State University president Jim Tressel speaks about leadership to the Saturday morning audience.

By Grant Morgan, Writer

Quaker Square was bustling in the early morning hours of Saturday, Oct. 11. After more than a year of planning, The University of Akron hosted the Ohio National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention for students studying speech-language pathology and audiology.

During the session, UA’s Sharon Lesner, Denise Ray, and Roberta DePompei were given NSSLHA awards for their contributions to the field of speech-language.

Wray, in her acceptance speech, modified a 1982 Neil Postman quote to fit the audience.

“You students are the living messages that we send to a professional time that we’ll never see,” Wray said.

This quote coincided with the convention’s theme: “Succeeding by Leading.” Emphasis was placed on the idea that students determine the future of speech-language and that they must be intrepid leaders.

Jim Tressel, president of Youngstown State University and former UA administrator, delivered the keynote “Succeeding by Leading” speech soon after introductions.

Tressel defined success as “The inner-satisfaction and peace of mind knowing we did the best we could possibly do for the group…for the team, for the university, for the community, for the state…for the world.”

He went on to explain his top five indicators of future success.

“The number one thing we better work hard to be is as selfless as we can be, knowing we can’t be perfect,” Tressel said. “Number two in my mind, is you have to have grit.”

By “grit” Tressel means that the students must endure through the times that most challenge our power of will.

“Here’s my number three…I think you have to have constant curiosity. Sometimes, that nasty ‘c-word’ creeps in, and it’s called complacency,” said Tressel.

His number four is “talent, intellect, and competency,” while number five is “hard work.”

Afterwards, students attended several informative seminars that lasted from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. The 45-minute sessions went until 4 p.m., when students could attend the graduate school’s open house.

The event began with registration at 8 a.m. in the lobby of Quaker Square’s banquet building. By 8:30 a.m., 343 students were seated in the dining area.