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Communication Disorders
The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) raised money for 135 Cleft lip and palate surgeries.

Courtney Johnson: Positive competition provides the greatest motivation
There are many reasons to love Minot State University. From the small class sizes and one-on-one availability of faculty and staff, to the facilities and resources open to all students; all combined to make Minot State an exciting and unique experience for Minot native Courtney Johnson.

"Having graduated, it's easy to look back and contemplate all the ways MSU helped me succeed as a student. As a freshman, I was a little lost at first. I wasn't sure what to do or where to go, but the high energy and committed engagement of my advisor, Leslie Magnus, made everything less intimidating and helped me transition and succeed. MSU truly set me up to find my own academic path and allowed me to be independent in my experience."

Johnson is a former Miss Norsk Høstfest, as well as a past student president of the MSU chapter of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association. Despite her dedicated work as a communication disorders student, MSU's wide spectrum of opportunities celebrated Johnson's varied talents and interests.

"Camaraderie and competition at MSU was inspirational for me. The competitive spirit of my peers really pushed me to do my best, whether that was in my field of study or taking advantage of the diverse opportunities at MSU, like theatre and music or Summer Theatre," Johnson said. "These activities helped me to broaden the scope of how I see the world around me and kept my studies riveting and exciting."

Like many students, Johnson found that MSU is more than just an academic experience.

"One of the most exciting things about attending MSU is the support and involvement I found within the community. Through my course of study I found myself working closely with an eager community which was equally committed to the causes for which I advocate," Johnson said. "For example, through NSSHA, we raised money for over 130 cleft palate surgeries, exceeding our goal of 100 (Power of 100 challenge). I am tremendously proud of the community's generosity and the joint commitment between MSU and NSSHA to make this happen."

Johnson graduated from Minot State in May 2014 with her undergraduate degree in communication disorders. She will be returning to MSU in pursuit of her master's degree and dreams of one day following in the footsteps of her professors and favorite advisor by returning to her alma mater to become an instructor.

Communication Disorders News

Annual Miles for Smiles Fundraiser comes to MSU April 30, 2016

Join MSU students and faculty in their anuual Miles for Smiles fundraiser to support Operation Smiles. Operation Smiles is a children's medical charity that performs safe, effective cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries and delivers postoperative and ongoing medical therapies to children in low and middle income countries.The funds raised from this walk will go to a child in need of a cleft lip or cleft palate surgery. A surgery costs approximately $240.00, so you can play a huge part in helping support these children by joining our walk.

The fundraiser will be hosted:
Saturday, April 30th at Minot State University
Registration is open at 10:00 AM in MSU Dome lobby
Walk starts at 10:30 am
Registration costs $25

Miles for Smiles Regsitration form

Operation Smiles website link (for additional information about the charity)


1. Supportive, professional, dedicated, informed, and good-looking colleagues
2. Spacious, contemporary facilities
3. International reputation for excellence
4. Close-knit campus with tradition of faculty governance
5. Multiple opportunities to provide experiential learning
6. Paid travel to national and state conferences
7. Faculty development funding opportunities
8. Support for flexible course delivery options
9. Opportunities for collaboration and grant writing with the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities, a renowned Center of Excellence
10. Interprofessional collaboration with multidisciplinary teams on and off campus
+1. Opportunities for research and clinical work with diverse populations

Contact us today to learn more about opportunities awaiting you at Minot State University!

Thomas Froelich, Department Chairperson: 701-858-3057

SMILE100 unveil total funds raised

To be part of the Power of 100 Centennial service challenge, the Department of Communication Disorders took on a big challenge by adopting SMILE100 (Smile to the power of 100). Students, faculty and staff in the department set their sights on raising enough funds to pay for 100 cleft lip and palate surgeries for children in developing countries. This put them in the throes of raising $24,000.

Recently, the Department of Communication Disorders students, faculty and staff unveiled the Smile Tracker, revealing how many surgeries have been funded to date. They exceeded their goal of 100, raising funds for more than 135 surgeries, a total of $32,460.

"When we were trying to think of a service project, someone suggested we raise enough money for 100 surgeries," said Lesley Magnus, associate professor of communication disorders. "We started asking 'Can we get the students involved? Can we get the faculty involved? Can we get the staff involved? Can we get the university involved?’ Everybody got really excited, so we said ‘Let’s go for it!'"

For Immediate Release:                                                                                     Date: March 20, 2013

Continuing a tradition of supporting Minot State University speech and hearing efforts, the Minot Sertoma Club contributed $36,000 today (March 20) to the MSU Development Foundation. The donation will fund the purchase of new voice lab equipment for the Department of Communication Disorders and enhance the Minot Sertoma Club Scholarship fund.

“The digital equipment donated by the Minot Sertoma Club offers MSU students high-quality, advanced technology for comprehensive vocal assessment,” said Lisa Roteliuk, communication disorders instructor. “The equipment offers a recording system which will enhance clinical efficiency and reporting of findings. The equipment will be utilized for student learning, in-clinic patient assessments and research purposes.”

In 1989, the Minot Sertoma Club established the Minot Sertoma Club Scholarship to assist MSU communication disorders students. Twenty years ago, the local service club purchased voice lab evaluation equipment for the department. State-of-the-art technology then was analog, today it is digital. With today’s donation, the club’s total donation to MSU is approximately $175,000.

“We are extremely grateful for Sertoma's support of our speech-language pathology program. This generous donation will allow us to once again have the latest technology available to train students and to serve clients in our on-campus clinic,” said Leisa Harmon, communication disorders department chair.

“With this $20,000 gift, we are pleased to enhance the Minot Sertoma Club Scholarship fund that is dedicated to assisting students advancing their education towards speech and hearing careers.  This contribution brings the endowment to over $90,000 from which annual scholarships are awarded,” said Connie Feist, Minot Sertoma Club president. “We are also proud to announce an additional $16,000 gift, which will be used to purchase voice lab equipment used within the communication disorders department.  This will upgrade equipment that is used as learning tools and benefits the entire speech-and-hearing community.”

The Minot Sertoma Club has a 53-year history of Service to Mankind in the Minot area. It has a mission of supporting speech and hearing projects, youth-related projects and national heritage efforts. Its primary fundraisers are a Høstfest car raffle, Beer Fest and Christmas in the Park, an annual light display in Oak Park from Black Friday through Dec.. 31.



For Immediate Release: Date: Aug. 17, 2012


The Minot State University Department of Communication Disorders’ speech-language pathology graduate program recently received reaccreditation through Feb. 29, 2020, by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.

“We are pleased that the CAA recognized the strength of our program by granting us continued accreditation for the next eight years,” said Leisa Harmon, chair of the Department of Communication Disorders.

CAA holds six standards as essential to quality education in the audiology and speech-language professions: administrative structure and governance, faculty, curriculum (academic and clinical education), students, assessment and program resources. CAA site visitors spent two days at MSU in February. They reviewed the program, examined the facilities and on-site Communication Disorders Clinic and interviewed faculty, staff, students, alumni, employers and consumers. MSU’s master’s degree program in speech-language pathology was found to be in complete compliance with all standards.

To document MSU’s due diligence in continuing compliance, the communication disorders department will submit its next annual report by Feb. 1, 2013. The university’s next on-site visit is scheduled in eight years.

“I am grateful to all faculty and staff who helped prepare for the CAA visit,” Harmon said.

CAA, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s accrediting body, is the only accrediting agency for audiology and speech-language pathology education programs recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and U.S. Department of Education.