HAMPTON, VA. (Aug. 11, 2021) — Gabrielle S. Howard, a 2021 graduate from Hampton University’s Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, is now serving as the President-Elect of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA). Howard is the first Hampton University student or alumnus to hold this office.
“Congratulations to Ms. Gabrielle Howard for this incredible honor and being elected to this distinguished position of leadership of NSSLHA,” said Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey. “This is another example of the type of leaders we cultivate at Hampton University. Our alumni are prepared to go out and serve our community and the world-at-large in their respective fields from the moment they leave our prestigious campus. I applaud the faculty and staff in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders for continually developing future speech pathologists to meet the needs of individuals with communication needs," said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.”
Howard’s term is two years. During the first year, she will serve as President-Elect, where her responsibilities are to observe, collaborate with, and support the sitting President while also serving on American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) committees. In the second year of her term, Howard will assume the position of President and serve on ASHA committees.
“It is an honor to hold this position,” said Howard. “Being selected means that I have the potential to evoke change in the fields of speech, language, and hearing. It is nerve-racking, yet humbling. Words cannot describe the excitement of being the first Hamptonian to hold this position. As freshmen, we were told we are the ‘The Standard of Excellence’. This opportunity demonstrates the meaning of the phrase. I look forward to representing my Home by the Sea as I continue this journey.”
During her time at Hampton University, Howard served as the President of the NSSLHA campus chapter. Howard also credits the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders with being her greatest support system upon entering Hampton in 2017.
“My professors have always been encouraging and supportive of my career and academic plans,” said Howard. “I am certain that without the Hampton University Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, I would not be in the position I am now. The student and leader I was when I began in the Communicative Sciences and Disorders Department is not the same student and leader I am now. The department fostered growth that could only come from a place of genuine desire to see someone succeed in every endeavor. Because of this department, I feel confident, humble, and able to fulfill the duties of this position and exceed expectations.”
The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association is the only national student organization for pre-professionals studying communication sciences and disorders (CSD) recognized by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Established in 1972, NSSLHA supports 11,700+ members and 340+ chapters at colleges and universities nationwide.
Howard is currently attending the University of Pittsburg, pursuing a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. After her time at Pitt, Howard will consider the Ph.D. path; however, she wants to work for a few years to establish herself. She hopes to be a school-based speech-language pathologist in schools highly populated by minority students and also aspires to continue advocating for greater diversity and inclusion.