Speech-Language Pathology SLP

| 13 May 2024

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Spotlighting Assistant Professor Robyn Martin: A Leading Influence in Speech-Language Pathology

R. Martin presentation at 2024 TSHA Convention

In the ever-evolving landscape of speech-language pathology (SLP), there are shining stars that illuminate the path forward with their expertise, dedication and compassion. Among these luminaries stands Robyn Martin, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-SCF, Director, SLP Clinical Instruction and assistant professor of the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (MS-SLP) program at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences(USAHS) Dallas campus.

Strategic Advancement

Martin is instrumental in advancing SLP as one of only ten speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in Texas who is a board-certified specialist in stuttering, cluttering and fluency disorders (BCS-SCF). She is also a former President of the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association (TSHA) and served on the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association (ASHA) committee on nominations and elections and ASHA’s committee on leadership cultivation. She is a past vice president of educational and scientific affairs and past chair of the leadership academy of the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing (TSH) Foundation.

With a career spanning various domains of speech-language pathology, from public schools to hospital settings to pediatric clinics, Martin’s wealth of experience is matched only by her unwavering passion for making a difference.

Martin says, “I love the field of speech pathology – I’ll talk all day about how amazing it is.”

She is empathetic toward people who stutter and understands the profound influence it can have on them. She acknowledges that many individuals who stutter have not experienced trauma like an accident or stroke. They are simply navigating their everyday routines. Martin observes the consequence of communication barriers, stating, “It prevents individuals from doing things they should be able to do.”

Ashley Bourque Meaux, PhD, CCC-SLP, Director, SLP Clinical Placement Coordination, MS-SLP Program at USAHS, says about Martin, “Her amazing contributions to TSHA and the stuttering community cannot be overlooked.”

R. Martin with two fellow past presidents of TSHA

Imparting Insights

What sets Martin apart is her ability to share her knowledge and expertise. Whether mentoring graduate students or providing training sessions for SLPs, her enthusiasm knows no bounds. Even before her tenure at USAHS, Martin worked alongside SLPs in school districts, leaving an indelible mark on the field.

“I saw SLPs struggle to support individuals who stutter, which fueled my passion. I work to help other SLPs, graduate students and people who stutter,” she says.

Becoming board-certified took five years but granted her respect from her peers. “Through the associations I work with, I advocate for and strengthen SLPs and audiologists.”

As a professor, she appreciates the ability to shape future practitioners. “Some students reach out to me post-graduation to talk through a case. I love influencing the future of our field,” she says.

R. Martin with two fellow Texas SCF Specialists

Active Engagement

Martin’s impact extends far beyond the confines of the classroom. As a former TSHA President (2022-23) and part of ASHA’s executive board, she has spearheaded initiatives that continue to reshape the field.

After the COVID pandemic, Martin led the effort to guide TSHA in reshaping its identity and identifying ways it could assist SLPs and audiologists.

TSHA’s 2022-23 accomplishments under Martin’s leadership include:

  • Returned to an in-person annual convention
  • Developed a 2023-25 strategic plan
  • Streamlined its on-demand learning experience
  • Launched a new and improved website
  • Enhanced its social media presence on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Actively participated in legislative affairs and advocacy
  • Offered quality, low-cost continuing education (CE) credit to Texas SLPs and audiologists through TSHA Tuesdays and Webinar Wednesdays
  • Fostered member connections with events like the Three-City Medical Committee Social

In addition, Martin attends Council of State Speech-Language-Hearing Association Presidents (CSAP) meetings bi-annually. She appreciates the opportunity to network with other states and facilitate a resource for USAHS MS-SLP students.

“I’ve learned some leadership skills that I apply to training aspiring SLPs. It’s helpful to see what’s happening in the field across the country and to learn from different situations and challenges,” she says.

Martin played a key role in creating the Texas Leadership Academy, showing how much she cares about the future of speech therapy. The academy offers leadership training and awards scholarships to current graduate students in Texas. It invests in SLPs and audiologists – for school, research or loan repayment.

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Industry Influence

Through Martin’s involvement with organizations like TSHA, ASHA and the stuttering community, she continues to champion the field while providing invaluable support to students and fellow SLPs.

Martin shares insights into the latest advancements in stuttering treatment and intervention. While she explains that there is no cure for a complex disorder like stuttering, SLPs can help an individual become a more effective communicator. She emphasizes the importance of individualized approaches and highlights the role of rapport-building in helping those who stutter achieve their speech goals.

With a spirit of curiosity and lifelong learning, she believes that staying current with evidence-based practices is critical to serving diverse populations effectively.

Her advice to aspiring SLP professionals navigating the current healthcare landscape is practical:

“You truly make an impact on individual lives. You are a person who they will remember, so make that a positive experience for them,” she says.

She urges aspiring SLPs to prioritize self-care and explore various roles within the field. “If you’re not happy, consider working with a different population or in a different setting. That is the beauty of our field. You can take continuing education classes and advance in a specialty area,” she says.

Martin urges students to get involved early and join industry organizations. “The networking that can happen is huge – you will create connections, learn critical skills and influence our field,” she says.

Martin’s contributions highlight the power of communication and the ability of one individual to inspire an entire profession. With her guidance, the future of speech-language pathology shines brighter than before.

Check out a previous USAHS blog post about Martin’s work.


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