Friday, March 1, 2013 was the NJSHA Student Advocacy Day in Trenton, New Jersey. Over 60 speech pathology and audiology students from across the state gathered in the State House for an afternoon of advocacy and legislation education. Students were welcomed by NJSHA President, Joan Bruno, and members of the Higher Education Committee. The morning began with a light breakfast while students had the opportunity to network with each other and program faculty. NJSHA’s Lobbyist Lynn Nowak discussed why advocacy is important and what her role as Lobbyist means to NJSHA and professionals all over the state. She explained how students and professionals alike can make a difference by supporting advocacy and legislative efforts. Jason Redd, Chief of Staff to Loretta Weinberg, Senate Majority Leader, discussed his role in Trenton along with other key legislators in the state of New Jersey. He offered his expertise in the life cycle of a bill and how a bill becomes a law. Student’s also heard from Christopher Emigholz, Budget Officer. Christopher presented his general role in government and how his department works day to day. He gave wonderful examples of how to be assertive yet respectful when working in Trenton. The day ended with an equally educational and beautiful tour of the State House.
Student Advocacy Day was funded through a grant from The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). NJSHA’s Higher Education Committee under the leadership of Patricia Remshifski prepared the grant application that ASHA deemed as an example that other states are encouraged to follow.
NJSHA’s Student Advocacy Day was a success! On behalf of the students in attendance, I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to the Higher Education Committee for creating and implementing such a fantastic event!