Speech Pathology Major in the Works at CSI

Linguistics Department Looks to Meet Student’s Demands

By Victoria Priola


A Speech Pathology program is in the works at CSI with help of sixty students and professors Jason Bishop and Christina Tortora.

When completed, CSI will be the only institution in Staten Island that offers it.

“Language is a window into how the brain works,” said Jason Bishop, Linguistics professor at CSI.

“It was not something that was invented. There is a science behind it.”

Creating Speech Pathology as a separate major has been an ongoing project for a year and a half, according to Bishop.

After discussions with the College, a linguistics lab was built in 2S near the Writing center this summer to give students necessary resources to enhance research.

The lab and it’s equipment cost roughly $60,000.

Although linguistics is the study of language, it is considered a science. There are currently 60 Linguistics majors at CSI, and the department hopes to hire their third and fourth professors within the next two years.

In the hopes that a separate major for speech students is in the near future, the Linguistics and Speech Sciences Club was created.

Speech student Steve Arriaga is the club’s president, and works with Julianne Millen as vice president, Juliana Colon as secretary, and Jessica Spensieri as treasurer.

For a career as a Speech Pathologist, Bishop says that a bachelor’s degree is not required. Those who want to pursue a career in speech must receive a Master’s degree and complete several certifications.

They can get a head start by having the option to take graduate school classes at the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan.

“With this club, we hope to inform the college community about what linguistics is in hopes of getting more students to major in linguistics.” said Arriaga in an interview with The Banner.

“We also plan to provide tutoring and study groups since linguistics courses are small in number and since we’re such a condensed group.”

During the summer, the department looked for volunteers to participate in lab research.

According to Bishop, the goal of the speech research is to identify differences in the general population.

They are interested in autism speech because it contains results that fall into many categories of diseases.

Their research will continue throughout the semester as will their need for help from students.

For students interested in helping, Bishop says the first step is to reach out.

“The [linguistics] department is helping me by letting me take the classes I need to get where I want in the future,” said Spensieri. “Without this program, I wouldn’t be doing any of that. It’s making my academic career more successful.”

The Linguistics and Speech Club’s information is unavailable at the moment and members are actively putting together a schedule set to be released soon.

They hope to be chartered by the end of this semester. Arriaga says the club will use their funding to have a speech pathologist visit the club to speak and take questions.

“If you ask questions, you learn how the world works,” said Bishop. “The goal is to teach students to approach the world curiously.”

For more information about the club , contact Jason Bishop at or Christina Tortora via email for more information.


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