Passionate Iona Students Advocate for Themselves and Others

Student Achievements, Service, Advocacy, Iona Students Learn Outside The Lines

Allison Lopez, Julie Stohr and Nicole Genser pose with the capital building in the background.

From Left: Allison Lopez ’20, Julie Stohr ’21 and Nicole Genser ’21.

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - On October 24, three passionate Iona College Communication Science and Disorder (CSD) Students traveled to Capitol Hill to advocate for issues concerning Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology professionals and their clients.

Julie Stohr ’21, Nicole Genser ’21, and Allison Lopez ’20, all Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology majors, represented New York and New Jersey with the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association (ASHA) at Capitol Hill for National Advocacy Day. Lopez, Iona College’s National Student Speech Language Hearing Association president said, “Each of us had the opportunity to sit down and talk to our state legislators on issues such as the re-authorization of the Higher Education Act and the promotion of workforce diversity. This was definitely an unforgettable opportunity in which we were able to speak up, feel empowered and Move the World.”

Nicole Genser ’21 added, “I spoke with congressional staff of my New Jersey state legislators about public policy related to access to higher education and increasing and expanding access to audiology services. These issues are important to me as someone with hearing loss and as an aspiring doctor of audiology.”

According to ASHA’s website, the organization’s mission is to “empower and support audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists through: advancing science, setting standards, fostering excellence in professional practice, and advocating for members and those they serve.” Student Advocacy Day is a chance for CSD students to make their voices heard and advocate for themselves as future audiologists and speech-language pathologists, as well as for their clients.

“I think that one of the most important parts about committing yourself to a field is to educate yourself on all aspects of it, including the political issues,” said Stohr. “When I went to D.C., I mainly advocated for the reauthorization of the higher education act to continue Pell Grants in graduate education and to incorporate more FASFA. I also talked about workplace diversity and the importance of promoting bilingual speech pathology among my fellow speech majors. This experience was extremely empowering and enlightening for me and my peers.”

Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of over 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is accredited by AACSB International, a prestigious recognition awarded to just five percent of business schools worldwide. The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2023.” Iona University also recently launched a new, fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona University and NewYork-Presbyterian announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, to be principally located on the University’s new campus in Bronxville, N.Y. Supported by a $20 million gift from NewYork-Presbyterian, the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences offers a new vision for collaborative health care education, modern workforce development, and community care. On July 1, 2022, Iona officially changed its status from College to University, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.