Welcome Alumni & Friends!
These pages are intended to maintain our connection with WSU Speech and Hearing Sciences alumni, donors and friends, providing updates on what is new in the department, and to let you know about our alumni events and news.
Dr. Pat Feeney (MA ’79) is the Director of the VA National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research at the VA Medical Center in Portland, OR. He received his PhD at the University of Washington (UW). He is the past Chief of Audiology in the Department of Otolaryngology, HNS at the UW. He conducts research on the assessment of peripheral auditory function and adult hearing screening. He is a Past President of the American Academy of Audiology.
Dr. Anna C. Diedesch (B.A. ’04) earned her doctorate of audiology (Au.D.) from Wichita State University in 2008. She completed her Au.D. externship at the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR) at the Portland VA Medical Center, where she continued to work for three years as a research audiologist upon the completion of her audiology degree. While at NCRAR, she worked on several grants, one of which focused on the effects of central auditory processing disorders associated with high intensity blast exposure sustained by our nation’s Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Diedesch recently returned to work on her Ph.D. focusing on the effects of aging and hearing impairment on sound localization.
Neil Aiello (BA '88, MA '92 in audiology) is in private practice with his father, Dr. Frank Aiello, in Richland, Washington. They now have offices in Kennewick, Prosser, and Sunnyside, and hope soon to open another service center in northeastern Oregon. The centers offer a full range of diagnostic audiological and rehabilitative services include dispensing of hearing aids and assistive listening devices.
Christiane Dechert (M.A. '97) has been a clinical educator at the University of Wyoming since 2002. She worked in a variety of clinical settings in Wyoming and Colorado before joining the clinical faculty in the Division of Communication Disorders. In addition to teaching clinical skills to graduate students, she has taught undergraduate classes in phonetics, diagnostics, and speech disorders. In 2008, she was president of the Wyoming Speech Language Hearing Association. She is currently serving as Wyoming's representative to the ASHA Advisory Council. She has a strong interest in multicultural issues and international service opportunities.
Dr. Stephen A. Fausti (BA '65) directs the VA's National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research at the Portland VA Medical Center and is a professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at Oregon Health and Science University. He gained international recognition for his pioneering research and clinical expertise in assessing high-frequency auditory sensitivity and using high-frequency testing for early identification of hearing loss caused by ototoxicity. Dr. Fausti received the Magnuson Award, the VA's most distinguished honor for rehabilitation investigators, in 2004.
Dr. Kresent O. Gurtler (MA '88) earned his doctorate of audiology (Au.D.) from A.T. Still University's Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2006. Dr. Gurtler holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and he is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. He was born and raised in Alaska. Currently, he is the managing member of Southern Arizona Hearing and Balance, L.L.C., in Sierra Vista, Arizona.
Marty Laronal (MA '01) has been a speech-language pathologist for the Muckleshoot Birth to Three Program in Auburn, Washington, since graduating from WSU. In 2008–2009, she provided speech and language services to the Muckleshoot Head Start Program. Marty is most excited about incorporating Whulshootseed (the Muckleshoot language) into the Muckleshoot literacy program, as well as in her therapy plans. She contracts with the Quileute Indian Tribe to provide speech and language services to infants in their Baby Face and daycare programs and to children aged 5 to 15 years in the Quileute Tribal School. Marty has served on the board of the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation from 2006–2009.
Trish (Nagel) Niehl (BA '79, M.A. '80) is system director for Franciscan Health System Therapy Services (PT, OT, and SLP) based in Tacoma, Washington. She is responsible for inpatient and outpatient therapy operations of five hospitals and five PT clinics in the south Puget Sound region.
Brian Shute (MA '86, speech-language pathology) is co-owner of Communicative Medical Clinic, Inc., one of only four nationwide service and supply companies to provide an extensive stock of communication aids for laryngectomy patients in the country. They also provide their own line of tracheostoma filters, approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Rachel Tapper Zijlstra (BA '94, MA '98 in speech-language pathology) is director of clinical services with Pro-Speech in San Diego. She has 8 full-time SLP colleagues and says "we work very hard to serve the community... From summer camps for users of augmentative and alternative communication (Camp TAALCC) to our 'BabySign' program, in which we teach parents and babies with profound hearing loss basic signs to facilitate early communication, to our phonological awareness-based reading programs (Reading STARS), Pro-Speech keeps me very busy. I enjoy the variety of this diverse, service-oriented environment, which can be hectic, but is always rewarding."