What's going on in the College of Health and Human Services? Plenty. Stay tuned to this page for highlights of both future and past events across the college.

The weather couldn't have been lovelier for the College of Health and Human Services' (CHHS) Run, Walk, Stroll, Roll held as part of GSU's Family and Friends Weekend recently. Greeting the walkers are (above, left to right) Dr. Rupert Evans, Chair of the Department of Health Administration; CHHS Dean Elizabeth Cada, and Dr. Catherine Brady, Interim Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy.  

 Friends and Family Walk2

All set to walk (and roll!) with her children at GSU's Family and Friends Weekend recently is Mrs. Shavron Henry and family, from Hammond, IN. Mrs. Henry's children (from left to right) include Madison Henry, Jr., Chloe Henry and Ashlynn Henry.

Friends and Family cropped copy
The College of Health and Human Services held a Reception and Open House as part of the Family and Friends Weekend.  As part of the Open House, Members of the Communication Disorders (CDIS) Department set up informational displays about stroke awareness, hearing conservation and stuttering awareness. Pictured above (left to right) are Dr. Ravi Nigam, Associate Professor of CDIS; Lidia Huerta, Senior University Lecturer in CDIS; Katie Scarlett, Communication Disorders Graduate Student; Dr. Jessica Bonner, Associate Professor of CDIS; and Dr. Eileen Brann, Assistant Professor of CDIS.    


  • Teens: Sex and Healthy Choices Summit -- November 7, 2014


    SSFWA logoPrevention logoBremen logo   Mental Health America logoAunt Martha's logo TASC logo

    Teens:  Sex and Healthy Choices Summit

    Underage drinking, tobacco and other drug use/abuse are putting South Cook County teens at greater risk of teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

    The South Suburban Family Wellness Alliance (SSFWA), in collaboration with The Prevention Partnership, Inc., TASC, Aunt Martha's Youth Service Center, Bremen Youth Services and Mental Health America of Illinois, is sponsoring a Southland Call to Action Summit on Friday, November 7, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the E Lounge (Room 1571) of Governors State University. This half-day summit will focus on the prevention of teen pregnancy and HIV/AIDS/STIs among teens in South Cook County.

    The goals of the Summit include:

    • Educate sectors of the community about the rising numbers of teen pregnancies, HIV/AIDS/STIs among young people in the south suburbs;
    • Identify gaps in services and resources for teens and their families;
    • Develop agreements between providers and south suburban community sectors to actively participate in the development and implementation of a Regional 12-month Strategic Action Plan aimed at the prevention of teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS/STIs among young people in the south suburbs;
    • Prevent underage drinking and other drug use, teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS/STIs and mental health issues by building relationships among community sectors/stakeholders and by promoting positive family dynamics.

    Although teen pregnancy rates are decreasing, the personal and public costs of teen pregnancy, childbearing, substance use and STIs can have many adverse consequences for teens, their children and their community. This call to action for these preventable outcomes will help to create community awareness and provide opportunities for dialogue and future planning among stakeholders. 

    Click on the link below for a schedule of events and a registration form for the Summit.

  • Dr. William Yacullo Named Professor Emeritus


    Bill YaculloThe GSU Board of Trustees has conferred Professor Emeritus status on William S. Yacullo, Ph.D., CCC-A, who recently retired as tenured professor in the Department of Communication Disorders in the College of Health and Human Services at GSU. 

    Dr. Yacullo joined GSU in 1984, and served as Communication Disorders Department Chair from 2008 through 2013. In his role as chair, Dr. Yacullo was responsible for maintaining national (Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, CAA) and state (Illinois State Board of Education, ISBE) accreditation for the graduate program in Communication Disorders. He received three Faculty Excellence Awards over the course of his 30-year teaching career at GSU.

    Dr. Yacullo has published extensively on the topic of clinical masking (including a sole-authored textbook). Most recently, he completed a revision of his book chapter on clinical masking for the seventh edition of Katz’s Handbook of Clinical Audiology, the premier edited textbook in the field of audiology, which will be published in 2015. Dr. Yacullo also has been recognized nationally for his research and service as an editorial consultant by receiving two Editor’s Awards, one from The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the other from the American Academy of Audiology (AAA).

    Prior to his appointment at GSU, Dr. Yacullo served as assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology/Bronchoesophagology at Rush-Presbyterian-St.Luke's Medical Center, Chicago.

    Dr. Yacullo holds a Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Iowa at Iowa City, as well as an M.A. in Audiology from Northwestern University in Evanston. He earned a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

  • Physical Therapy Associate Professor Earns Faculty Excellence Award


    Dale SchuitCongratulations to Dr. Dale Schuit, PT, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, who received a Faculty Excellence Award recently at GSU's Convocation, held in the Center for Performing Arts.

    Excellence Award winners are chosen by a committee made up of previous winners and other representatives from tenured/tenure track faculty, university/senior lecturers and academic support professionals across the university. The committee submits recommendations to GSU President Elaine P. Maimon in April and the winners are announced at Convocation.

    "Dr. Dale Schuit is a physical therapist, so helping others comes naturally," said President Maimon. Dr. Schuit is doing collaborative research to analyze the biomechanics and positioning of neck structures. Preliminary results were presented to an international spine conference in Great Britain.

    Dr. Shuit's colleagues praise him for being a committed teacher and mentor. He co-chairs the University's Institutional Review Board, the group that ensures that faculty research meets or exceeds federal standards. With his co-chair, Dr. David Rhea, he has increased the expectations and clarity of the IRB process.

    "Dale's work helps to bring GSU to a new level in the integration of teaching and research," President Maimon added. 

    Dr. Schuit treats students, faculty and staff with great dignity and kindness in his quest to help each achieve his or her own unique potential.

    Congratulations, Dr. Schuit!


  • Addictions Studies Professor Honored for Innovation


    If asked to write an essay on “What I Did This Summer,” Raven James, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Addictions Studies and Behavioral Health, would have a lot to write about.

    First, there is the 2014 First Tracks Award for Innovation in Sexology that she received from Honest Exchange, a sexuality education consulting firm based in New Jersey. James was honored for her cutting-edge research and her commitment to making a difference in the lives of people challenged by substance abuse.

    Then she would have to write about her keynote address before more than 250 professionals at the Midwest Conference on Problem Gambling and Substance Abuse, held in June in Kansas City, MO. She would also have to tell about the week-long “Sexuality and Addiction” class she taught in July at Rutgers Summer School of Addiction Studies, at their New Brunswick, New Jersey campus.

    Dr. James has been addressing the connection between sexual health esteem issues and addictions for more than 20 years, first as a clinician and then as a researcher.  She joined GSU’s Department of Addictions Studies and Behavioral Health in 2008. She is a 2012 recipient of GSU’s Faculty Excellence Award and author of Sexuality and Addiction: Making Connections, Enhancing Recovery  (Praeger, 2012).

    Both graduate and undergraduate students interested in enrolling in James’ brand new Sex, Drugs, Rock and Recovery class (ADDS 6869 / GNSX 4849) this fall still have time to register! For more information, email rjames@govst.edu

    Raven James and Dean CadaPictured, left and right, are College of Health and Human Services Dean Elizabeth Cada, Ed.D., OTR/L, FAOTA and Raven James, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Addictions Studies and Behavioral Health at GSU, and a recent award winner.

  • CDIS Graduate Elected Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association


    Regina GoingsA 1981 graduate of the Master of Health Science in Communication Disorders program, offered through GSU's College of Health and Human Services, was recently elected a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

    Regina Goings of Las Vegas, NV, will be formally recognized with a presentation at the ASHA awards ceremony on November 21, 2014, at the ASHA Convention in Orlando, FL.

    “I’m delighted to know that a GSU alumna received such well-deserved professional recognition,” noted Jay Lubinsky, Ph.D., CCC-A/SLP, ASHA Fellow, Professor Emeritus and former Chairperson of the Department of Communication Disorders at Governors State University. “Regina exemplifies the seriousness of CDIS’s students and, as GSU alumni, their ongoing excellence as speech-language pathologists.” Dr. Lubinsky was Goings’ nominating sponsor.

    Since 2008, Goings has served as Director of Speech-Language Therapy and Audiology Services for the Clark County (Nevada) school district — the fifth largest school district in the country.

    Being named an ASHA Fellow is quite an honor, Lubinsky pointed out. “ASHA has more than 173,000 members; this year only 39 people received Fellowship. The nomination and selection processes are quite rigorous. Members selected as Fellows must display evidence of sustained excellence in three categories; in Goings’ case, it is clinical service, administration and service to professional organizations other than ASHA.”

    Recalling her years in the CDIS program at GSU, Goings noted, “The quality of education, by far, was excellent. The professors were knowledgeable, passionate about their areas of expertise, and accessible to and supportive of the students,” she said. “We had a strong knowledge base which made us well prepared for the ASHA exam; many of us were able to pass it on the first attempt.”

    Perseverance Pays

    Upon first enrolling, Going remembers feeling “somewhat overwhelmed. I was not a stellar undergraduate student, but I knew that this was the profession where I would do well.” She persevered, remaining focused and committed.

    Goings credits Professor Emeritus Lubinsky with making Audiology “less intimidating. He set high standards for his students, yet he provided support when we needed it. After more than 30 years of practice, I still rely on the knowledge that I obtained under his tutelage,” Goings said.

    Following graduation from GSU, Goings career path began in the Chicago Public Schools system, where she worked with children with severe-to-profound intellectual disabilities and autism. But that path moved westward once her husband was transferred to Las Vegas.

    As the Director of Speech-Language Therapy and Audiology Services for Nevada’s Clark County School District, “it is imperative that I remain knowledgeable of current trends and developments,” Goings said, “especially as technology continues to drive the profession. Dr. Lubinsky provided that foundation and helped to ease the intimidation.”

    In addition to her responsibilities to the school district, Goings serves as a member of ASHA’s School Finance Committee. She is also the Southern Nevada representative for the Coalition to Address Critical Labor Shortages in Special Education, which is an ad hoc committee of the Nevada Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSHA). As a member of the Nevada Medicaid Committee, Goings is responsible for reviewing and providing recommendations that support Medicaid billing for related services in Nevada schools.

    “We in the College of Health and Human Services are justly proud of Ms. Goings’ accomplishments.  She sets an excellent example and serves as a role model for all our students,” said Elizabeth Cada, Ed.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, Dean of the College of Health and Human Services.


  • Physical Therapy Students Raise Awareness for Brain Injury Association of Illinois


    Run4Rehab Volunteers (2014 Run4Rehab Volunteers)

    The day dawned sunny and beautiful for this year’s 4th Annual 2014 Run4Rehab 5k run/2-mile walk/roll, sponsored by GSU’s Physical Therapy Student Association and held May 31 on the GSU campus.

    The event served as an awareness- and fund-raiser for the Brain Injury Association of Illinois (BIA of IL).  The Executive Director of the BIA of IL, Philicia Deckard, LSW, CBIST, matched up each runner to a BIA of IL member with a brain injury, so that each participant was able to run for a specific cause. Over 40 participants ran and walked to show their support for this overlooked population.

    “With the interest generated this year and positive vibes we've already received, next year's race will only be better,” said Kelly Cooke, a third-year Doctor of Physical Therapy student. Cooke served as main organizer for this year’s event, and was assisted by fellow Physical Therapy students, including Maria Wondra, and GSU Physical Therapy staff members, including Joyce Sligar, Senior University Lecturer and Co-Director of Clinical Education, as well as faculty sponsor for the PTSA.

    The Brain Injury Association of Illinois is a not-for-profit, statewide membership organization comprised of people with brain injuries, their family members, friends and other health professionals. BIA of IL is part of a network of brain injury associations across the United States, and is a subsidiary of the 34-year-old national Brain Injury Association, Inc.  Dedicated to providing information, advocacy and support, the BIA of IL is the only organization in Illinois serving individuals with traumatic brain injury, their family members and professionals who treat them.

     Run4Rehab Start


  • CDIS Students Raise Funds for Autism Speaks


      Autism Fundraiser(Pictured, left to right, are Communication Disorders students Jill Carlson,
    Barbara Czarnik and Niveen Atieh.)

    Communication Disorders students — members of GSU’s Chapter of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association — recently hosted an event that raised both fun and funds for Autism Speaks, the world’s leading research and advocacy organization for autism prevention and awareness.  

    The students hosted an event for children (some of whom had autism) and their families at the Silver Ice Skate rink in Woodbridge, with all proceeds going to Autism Speaks.

    “We raised approximately $4000 — that’s a 20% increase from the money raised last year,” said Kristy Hendershott, President of NSSLHA (GSU Chapter).

    Thousands of American children have autism spectrum disorder. Children with ASD have difficulty with social communication and demonstrate repetitive behaviors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in 68 children has been identified with ASD; boys are more susceptible than girls. Contemporary research suggests that no one cause can be identified. Scientists have identified more than 100 genes and mutations that can increase the risk of autism in combination with environmental factors.

    “Beliefs purported by some celebrities that vaccinations are the cause of autism are unfounded and have no scientific evidence. Early detection and intervention focusing on improving functional communication skills is extremely important,” said Dr. Ravi Nigam, Associate Professor of Communication Disorders at GSU. 

    For more information on autism, visit Autism Speaks (www.autismspeaks.org) or American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) website at http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/autism/.  

  • National Stuttering Association Support Group to Meet Nov. 11, 2014


    National Stuttering Association logoA new chapter of the National Stuttering Association (NSA) Support Group now meets under the sponsorship of GSU’s Department of Communication Disorders.

    The support group is open to adults who stutter, as well as their family members.

    The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 7 p.m. in the Department of Communication Disorders conference room, located in the F wing, F1405. Several adults who have experience attending NSA meetings will be in attendance at this meeting.

    The group meets on the second Tuesday of every month.

    For directions to the meeting or additional information, please contact Dr. Eileen Brann, Assistant Professor in GSU’s Department of Communication Disorders, at ebrann@govst.edu or 708.534.4594.

    Stuttering Support Group

  • CHHS Hosts Annual Recognition Night


    Each spring the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) hosts a Recognition Night to honor the Outstanding Students from each of the College's seven departments, as well as the Outstanding Supervisors, Preceptors and Field Instructors who work with the CHHS students.

    This year's Outstanding Students include the following:

    Outstanding Students

    Addictions Studies & Behavioral Health — Outstanding Graduate Student:
    Sherwin Miles     

    Community Health — Outstanding Undergraduate Student:
    Sarah Jasso

    Communication Disorders — Outstanding Undergraduate Student:
    Pamela Ortiz

    Communication Disorders — Outstanding Graduate Student:
    Annmarie Altosino

    Health Administration — Outstanding Undergraduate Student:
    John M. Trobi

    Health Administration — Outstanding Graduate Student:
    Farah Ahmed

    Nursing — Outstanding Graduate Student:
    Jennifer Margaret Panning

    Nursing — Outstanding Doctoral Student:
    Liberty Erfe

    Occupational Therapy — Outstanding Graduate Student
    Mathew Medley

    Occupational Therapy — Outstanding Doctoral Student
    Gail A. LoCure, DrOT, OTR/L

    Physical Therapy — Outstanding Doctoral Student
    Erin Galligan

    Social Work — Outstanding Undergraduate Student
    Edward K. Moore

    Social Work — Outstanding Graduate Student
    Gwendolyn Renise Maxwell

    2014 CHHS Recognition Night2

     Pictured, left to right, are Sherwin Miles, Outstanding Graduate Student in the Addictions Studies and Behavioral Health Department; Dr. Cheryl Mejta, Chair of the Addictions Studies and Behavioral Health Department; and Sarah Jasso, Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Community Health.

    CHHS Recognition Night 3

     Pictured, left and right, are Dr. Gerri Outlaw, Chair of the Social Work Department, and Gwendolyn Renise Maxwell, Outstanding Graduate Student in the Social Work Department.

    Outstanding Supervisors, Preceptors and Field Instructors


     Addictions Studies and Behavioral Heath
    John F. Breslin, M.Div., ICAC-II, NCAC-II, LSW, CAC
    Communication Disorders
    Kathleen Maida-Cantone, M.S., CCC-SLP 

    Community Health
    Elizabeth Bilotta, LEHP, Master of Science 

    Health Administration
    Eric Conley, MHA 

    Omar Garcia, M.D., MPH

    Occupational Therapy
    Monika Robinson, DrOT, OTR/L

    Physical Therapy
    Amy Zoch,

    Social Work (BSW Program)
    Laura Von Borstel, MSW

    Social Work (MSW Program)
    Dawn Walker, MA

    2014 CHHS Recognition Night 
    CHHS Dean Elizabeth A. Cada and Eric Conley, MHA, Vice President for Operations at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, and the 2014 Preceptor of the Year for GSU's Health Administration Department.


  • Generating Hope Support Network


    Stay tuned for information regarding the next meeting of the Generating Hope Support Network.

    Sponsored by the GSU Social Work Department, the Generating Hope Support Network is designed to provide support, mentoring, networking, information and resource linkage for the formerly incarcerated, their families and friends. The group is free and open to the public, and meets in Room D34012.

    For additional information about Generating Hope, contact Dr. Lorri Glass at 708.534.4919, or lglass@govst.edu 

  • Nursing Graduate Appointed Chief Nurse Executive for Chicago Hospital


    Dr. Jacquelyn WhittenA GSU Nursing graduate has just been appointed Chief Nurse Executive for Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago, which is part of Advocate Health Care ─ one of the largest health care systems in metropolitan Chicago and in the United States.

    Dr. Jacquelyn Whitten earned her Master’s and Doctoral nursing degrees from GSU. She also holds a certificate in project management from the Harvard School of Public Health Project and recently completed a Nursing Executive leadership course at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Effective January 12, 2014, Whitten will assume her new position as chief nurse executive for Advocate Trinity, which serves more than 90,000 patients each year, providing a full range of services from obstetrics and emergency care to medical, surgical, cardiology, diabetes and cancer care.

    GSU Nursing Department Chair Dr. Nancy MacMullen stated that “Dr. Whitten is a wonderful example of the type of nurse we graduate from our DNP program. She’s extremely dedicated and clinically expert, as well as a fine team leader. We’re all extremely proud of her recent accomplishment.”

    In an email note to GSU Nursing professors Dr. MacMullen, Dr. Pat Martin and Dr. Catherine Tymkow, Whitten wrote: “I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you all for your mentorship and guidance from a wonderful university. It gives me great pleasure to represent our University! This could not have been done without all of you. Thank you all and please pass it on to the other professors.”

    Incoming Advocate Trinity Hospital President and former Chief Nurse Executive Michelle Gaskill stated: “Jackie is a dynamic leader with a passionate and energetic leadership style. Her background positions her well to influence change and drive continuous improvement in nursing care and quality.”

    Whitten brings more than 15 years of nursing leadership experience to this position. She joined Trinity in 2009 and has had a variety of roles in the emergency and critical care departments, maternal/child services, admission center and the stroke program. She has led the implementation of new hospital programs and successful designation as a Level II Plus nursery.

    Prior to joining Advocate, Whitten held a number of leadership roles at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey and served in the United States Army.

    A resident of Lansing, Whitten is an active volunteer and is recognized as a leader in her church community. 

  • Health Administration Students Are Semi-finalists at National Competition


    Health Admin StudentsCongratulations to Nisha Mehta, Uzma Saleha and Josephine Anetekhai, second year Master of Health Administration students. They represented GSU and the College of Health and Human Services’ Health Administration program at the National Association of Health Services Executives’ Annual Everett V. Fox Student Case Analysis and Presentation Competition. This year’s competition was held October 15-18 in Miami, during NAHSE’s 28th Annual Educational Conference.

    Graduate students from 21 university Health Care Management programs from across the United States competed in this event.

    Our team represented GSU well, progressing in the competition all the way to the semi-final round. This meant our team was ahead of more than half of all the other teams, winning each of our team members a monetary award. Three of the Illinois teams placed in the competition: UIC finished in fifth place and Rush in first place.

    Serving as “coach” for the GSU MHA students was Dr. Rupert M. Evans, Sr., DHA, MPA, FACHE, Associate Professor, Chair and Program Director for GSU’s Department of Health Administration.

    The Case Competition is a scholarship program that utilizes the case study methodology of teaching to provide graduate students with an educational experience that enhances their problem analysis and presentation skills. Team members are given a unique case study and are charged with applying their knowledge and experience to analyze the diverse and real situations facing the healthcare organization featured in the case. The teams are given the specific facts and raw data related to the case, from which they are expected to reach decisions as outlined in the case assignment. The team then presents its case findings and recommendations before a panel of judges representing leaders in the healthcare field.

    Past cases have been modeled after organizations such as Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, Catholic Health Initiatives, Trinity Health System, University of Maryland Medical System, HCA, UnitedHealth Group and most recently, G.E. Healthcare. This year Kaiser Permanente was the sponsor of the case. 

    (Pictured, left to right, are Dr. Rupert M. Evans, Sr., and MHS students Uzma Saleha, Josephine Anetekhai and Nisha Mehta.)