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Amanda Foster talks to attendees of the Cimarron Conference.

Annual conference highlights OSU’s commitment to speech-language pathology education and training

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Media Contact: Elizabeth Gosney | CAS Marketing and Communications Manager | 405-744-7497 |

In the latest example of their decadeslong effort to provide speech-language pathology resources, Oklahoma State University hosted the annual Cimarron Conference on Communication Disorders (CCCD) on March 29.

“OSU’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders has been holding this conference for almost 30 years now and has a reputation of quality,” said Leslie Baldwin, CDIS undergraduate advisor and certified speech-language pathologist. “The goal of the CCCD is to bring education to current and future speech-pathologists and audiologists. It is our desire as a land-grant institution to provide relevant learning at an affordable rate for the state of Oklahoma and the community.”

This year’s conference featured guest speaker Amanda Foster, a certified lactation counselor, speech-language pathologist and professor who earned her master’s degree from Massachusetts General Hospital IHP in 2003. Her presentation was titled “Pediatric Dysphagia Across the Stages and Settings.”  

“The field of communication disorders is broad,” Baldwin said. “We work with populations of all ages and in all stages of communicating, literacy and feeding. Most people know us as the local school’s ‘speech teacher,’ but we are so much more.

"You can find us in home health, nursing homes, private practice, hospitals, universities, prisons and more. Our scope of practice is always evolving. The job outlook is promising, and this is a career that can change with your life priorities.”

Participants of the conference specifically learned about how pediatric dysphagia involves more than just the physical aspect of a child’s mouth; it necessitates acknowledging the child as a whole and recognizing the team of people needed to care for them — including the crucial role speech pathologists play.  

“We know continuing education is required for our profession and feel it is important to remain informed and up to date with best practices,” Baldwin said. “CDIS students benefit from this annual conference that complements their education in the program and provides talking points in their courses.

“As a land-grant institution, we at OSU are always thinking about our community and how we can give back. The Cimarron Conference reminds us that our duty is to use best practice and care for our clients, students and colleagues in an affordable and comprehensive manner.”

For more information about the Cimarron Conference on Communication Disorders, go to the website.

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