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Communicative Disorders Student Association (COMDSA) wins prestigious campus-wide award

May 17, 2021

The Communicative Disorders Student Association (COMDSA) was recognized for their contributions to NIU and the community as winners of the 2021 Kevin D. Knight Outstanding Student Organization Award.

The Kevin D. Knight Awards are presented annually and commemorate the life of Knight, an NIU alumnus who embodied what it means to be a student leader. For the Outstanding Student Organization Award, groups are evaluated on their ability to work as a team and accomplish tasks, their creativity, initiative and the range of their programming.

Allison Gladfelter, professor in the School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders and COMDSA faculty advisor, said she has been consistently inspired by COMDSA’s “exceptional leadership and commitment to serving others,” especially during this tumultuous year.

“I am inspired by their collaborative approach to teamwork which reflects the compassionate spirit demonstrated by the Executive Board,” Gladfelter said. “Their camaraderie permeates throughout the organization, where individual members are encouraged to take on leadership roles in a variety of capacities.”

Gladfelter said the twofold professional-and-social approach to all of their events has been vital to the well-being of student members and the communities they serve.

“During this difficult and isolating year, COMDSA has remained a beacon of togetherness, advocacy, professionalism, and inclusivity, thanks to its dedicated leadership,” Gladfelter said.

COMDSA president and NIU senior, Madelynn Parrott, said while COMDSA is generally a service-based student organization that focuses on creating volunteer opportunities to engage students in the field of communicative disorders, this year it offered so much more.

“COMDSA prioritized uplifting and strengthening the social connection and peer camaraderie lost due to this year’s virtual format,” Parrott said. “The organization intertwined it with our dedication to the professional advancement of our members and diversity-focused initiatives.”

This is COMDSA’s third win since 2015.

Congratulations to COMDSA members!