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December 7, 2018

Quebec Research Event a Learning Experience for CSD Grad Students

by Kurt Gottschalk

Amanda Nagler and Kathryn Ressa ’17 were among a group of Adelphi University Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders students and faculty who presented their research at the 58th annual meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research in Canada. It was the first international conference for both master’s degree students and a valuable opportunity to present their work before a professional organization with a worldwide membership.

Attending and presenting at the conference, held from October 3 to October 7, 2018, in Quebec City, is just one of the many ways Adelphi prepares students for professional practice. The students made the trip, the first visit to Canada for both Nagler and Ressa, with Assistant Professor Melissa Randazzo, Ph.D.

“It was great to see how many women were actually there, and Dr. Randazzo was there with us,” said Nagler, who plans to receive her M.S. in Communications Disorders: Speech-Language Pathology in 2020.

Nagler’s research, which focuses on rhyme recognition in subjects who have recently undergone a stroke, uses electroencephalograph (EEG) measurements to determine mental activity. Without the equipment and state-of-the-art labs she has access to through Adelphi, her work wouldn’t be possible.

“It tells us so much more than just observing behavior,” Nagler said. “It’s not just what we’re seeing the person do, we’re seeing what their brain is doing.”

Like Nagler, Ressa developed her research in Dr. Randazzo’s EEG Research Methods elective course. Her research uses the EEG technology to study mental activity in people who stutter to better understand the root cause of the impediment.

Like Dr. Randazzo’s lab, the conference was a learning experience for Ressa, who plans to receive her M.S. in Communications Disorders: Speech-Language Pathology in 2019.

“It was research intensive, it was very academically focused,” she said. “There were no vendors or booths. It was all lectures and presentations, and I was able to meet people from all over the world.”

Growing up in Port Washington, New York, with a mother who earned her master’s degree in education at Adelphi, the school was always an option for Ressa—one that solidified once she settled on a course of study.

“It was always just on my radar,” she said. “I wanted to study speech pathology, and Adelphi has one of the most prestigious programs around.”

The perks of Dr. Randazzo’s lab—from professional practice and interacting regularly with Ph.D. candidates to presenting at an international conference—will help carry Nagler and Ressa into the next stage of their journey, whether it’s research, practical application or a Ph.D. program. The EEG class is outside their required coursework, and Dr. Randazzo recognizes the accomplishments of her students.

“We are extremely proud of them for participating in research throughout their very demanding clinical master’s program,” said Dr. Randazzo.


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