March 13, 2023

World Voice Day to be Celebrated
by WCU’s Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders on its 100th Anniversary

West Chester University Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders Liz Grillo (pictured on the right) shows 6abc Action News HealthCheck Producer Dawn Heefner (pictured on the left) how to use the VoiceEvalU8 tool that Professor Grillo invented to help today’s teachers reduce debilitating voice disorders.National World Voice Day will be recognized on the 100th anniversary of West Chester University’s Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders on Tuesday, March 21, 7-9 pm, in The Sciences and Engineering Center and The Commons, Ballroom A, located on campus at 155 University Avenue, West Chester, PA. Bringing voice disorder scholars, speech-language pathologists as well as speech-language students and alumni together, the special symposium will feature compelling discussions on a wide range of trending and relevant topics, including the results of the first study conducted on mindfulness and people with voice disorders.

“World Voice Day is a celebration of all things voice,” says Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders Liz Grillo. “In the field of communication sciences and disorders, it is a celebration of how we, as speech-language pathologists, help people with voice problems, disorders and differences.”

In addition to presentations, a lively discussion will also take place between Professor Grillo and several current graduate students, as well as alumni, who assisted on two National Institutes of Health grants dedicated to saving teachers’ voices. Professor Grillo’s ground-breaking grant work helped support her invention of VoiceEvalU8, the only comprehensive voice-evaluation smartphone application tool in the U.S. dedicated to helping to reduce debilitating voice disorders. The tool is the first to record acoustic, perceptual and aerodynamic voice data across multiple days in the morning before talking all day and in the evening after talking all day.

“World Voice Day is a celebration of all things voice”

Among the symposium’s many other highlights will be the performance of an elite soprano who has full mastery of her voice. Philadelphia-based opera singer, Kara Goodrich, also a pre-graduate certification student in the University’s Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, will sing an Opera Aria. Following her studies at WCU, Ms. Goodrich, who will perform the lead soprano role of Mimi in the opera La Boheme at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia this spring, plans to work with those who have voice concerns.   

One of the key components of the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department is its renowned Speech and Hearing Clinic. Founded in 1923, the Clinic was one of the first in the U.S. Today, it offers free, full diagnostic evaluations for children and adults suspected of having speech, language or hearing disorders. Treatment is offered in both individual and group settings and bilingual Spanish-English evaluations and treatment are available.

“The history and work of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is extraordinary,” says Dean of the College of Health Sciences Scott Heinerichs. “Providing a longstanding service to the community, the Department continues to help numerous citizens who benefit greatly from the professional expertise provided. The College of Health Sciences and the entire West Chester University community is especially proud of our students, faculty and staff for their commitment to the field of communication sciences and disorders, as well as to their clients.”

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders’ Centennial Celebration will continue throughout 2023 with numerous events, including an upcoming Centennial Banquet featuring Speech and Hearing Clinic Tours, faculty and student presentations at the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association Conference, and much more.


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