Communication Disorders Foundation of Virginia

Winter 2018

Verbalina Retires, Successor to be Unveiled: Get ready!  Verbalina, the straw doll first introduced to SHAV Conference goers by Rita Purcell-Robertson at the CDF auction in 2003, has decided to retire.  As you likely know, Verbalina has been a hard worker, dedicating her time and energy to our field, always doing her part in raising funds for CDF scholarships and awards.  Understandably, the rigorous demands of this important work have taken their toll.  After devoting so much of her career visiting and networking with those who were fortunate enough to offer the winning bid for a year’s worth of her delightful company, Verbalina looks forward to this well-deserved time of rest.  She is quite tired, even a bit worn out.  And so it is that she plans to step down from her ambassadorial role and take it easy.  Please join us on the CDF Board in wishing her well.

This retirement, of course, leads to the inevitable question:  Is there someone waiting in the wings to take Verbalina’s place?  Well, yes, there is.  For now, though, we are keeping the identity of this individual a well-guarded secret!  Here are a few clues:  she’s a she; she’s a doll; she’s cute and soft and cuddly; she’s loveable; and she’s younger than her predecessor.  That’s it for now!  To find out her name and actually see her in person, be sure to attend the CDF Live Auction at the 2018 Sixtieth Anniversary SHAV Conference.  And, while you’re there, please offer your bid on this brand new representative of the next generation.

—Judy Rassi, CDF Contributor

Writing Thank-you Notes: I think it’s like saying “yes ma’am,” “no sir,” and holding the door for older folks and women—they’re social behaviors fading into obscurity. It occurred to me recently when a college student at Gallaudet held the door open for me, and I said and signed “THANK YOU” to his back, he didn’t catch it. Maybe he didn’t need to be thanked, but I wish I had been more visible in letting him know I appreciated it. People do so many kind things just because they’re part of daily routines, without requirements for formal thank-yous.

The CDF Trustees are always asking SHAV members for their kindly contributions to support the CDF by giving—to the annual auction, to the scholarship funds, to nominate colleagues so we can give awards. In past years, we have thanked you by listing your names in the winter SAG. This year, Judy Rassi directs your attention to our CDF website, for an acknowledgement of your gifts and our thanks. She also “thanks” Verbalina as she retires, for giving tirelessly to so many of us SHAV-goers over the years. And I’m adding a literal and “figurative” gesture here [signing, saying, and writing THANK YOU] to the CDF Trustees, to the SHAV Board, and to the management firm, for all that you give without ever expecting a formal thank-you.

—Brenda Seal, President, CDF of Virginia

Fall 2017

Who/what/where are we? And why are we?

The Communication Disorders Foundation began in 1985 and became official in 1986 as a nonprofit organization of volunteers supporting speech-language pathology and audiology through fundraising for scholarships to graduate students in Virginia’s communication sciences and disorders programs, and supporting achievement and honoring excellence in student and colleague accomplishments. Over 32 years, 51 different individuals have served on the CDF Board of Trustees. Our posts are generally for three years, although we welcome longer stays of hard workers. We also welcome new applicants, particularly if you’re good at fundraising, because that’s what we’re about—raising money and awarding scholarships to students like Elizabeth Rainville (ODU) and Victoria Thomas (UVA) honored in this issue’s Foundation Facts. We also sponsor an auction at the annual SHAV Conference as our primary fundraiser, and we give $1000 to students for outstanding posters at the Conference. We award our peers with special recognition (the Martha Mullins Callender Award, Friends of the Foundation Award) each year. We’re separate from SHAV, yet we work closely with the SHAV Board and SHAV’s management firm as allies and colleagues.  

We don’t have a home, but we do have a mailbox in Charlottesville, a website ( with links to each Virginia CSD Program, and we have a PayPal account that will gladly take credit or dollarsJ. Although homeless, we have an investment account that we’re trying to grow to offer bigger scholarships. We are givers, benefactors! And we ask you to join us with your contributions—big, small, or in-between.  

We also need your nominations. Think about your own supervision experiences in grad school (on and off-campus), in your Clinical Fellowship, or perhaps in your early or current career. Is there someone who made/makes a difference for you? Martha Mullins-Callender was an extraordinary clinical educator at ODU, a woman for all times who made a difference for so many students, colleagues, clients, and friends. Is there someone from Hampton, ODU, Longwood, UVA, Radford, or JMU who cared especially about you when you were a grad student? Or a CF supervisor who went the extra mile? Maybe a first boss or a professional friend who’s a member of SHAV? Please go to our website ( or contact one of us on the Board for details. Please help us honor this special person!                                                                                                                                                                                               —Brenda Seal, CDF President