How long have your worked at Buffalo State College and if applicable what other areas have you worked/positions have you served in at Buffalo State College?
I had the good fortune of coming to SUNY Buffalo State in October of 2013. I have actually been a member of SUNY since 1996, serving as a clinical supervisor and instructor of speech-language pathology at three SUNY colleges (UB, Fredonia, and Buffalo State). My colleagues know how much I value being a member of the Buffalo State community. I am surrounded by caring and talented professionals in the Speech-Language Pathology Department, who have inspired me as I continue to grow as a clinician and instructor. When I first came to this campus in 2013, I immediately took note of how friendly and welcoming this campus was and is, especially to a newcomer. I am grateful to be here and honored to be considered a Caring Bengal.
What motivates you to provide excellent services for your colleagues, students, and supervisor?
When I was a senior in high school, my English teacher said to us, “Whatever you decide to do in life, do it with passion!” That statement resonated with me when I chose my career path, and I am lucky to say that I am truly passionate about speech-language pathology, the clients we serve, and the future of our field (our undergraduate and graduate students). It is easy to remain motivated in my work setting, as I am surrounded by supportive colleagues, an encouraging clinic director and chair, and enthusiastic students, all of whom go above and beyond for our shared purpose. We work with individuals who have the goal of becoming effective communicators. I consider it a privilege to assist in that pursuit.
What personal philosophy about working with others guides your day-to-day work?
In regard to my philosophy, I keep it simple: be kind, be thoughtful, make good decisions, and take responsibility. Additionally, enjoy what you do and foster positive working relationships so that working is a pleasure, not a chore. I do try to follow the lead of my mother who makes a point of saying something kind and genuine each day, specifically in an attempt to lift someone’s spirits. Finally, if there is a problem, I like to be part of the solution. I always appreciate a good challenge, especially when creative problem-solving and teamwork can be applied.
What do you do when you are not working?
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I’m looking forward to the time when we can travel freely again to visit loved ones out of state. Walking and biking are two of my favorite active pastimes. I also enjoy creative outlets and nostalgic hobbies such as digitizing family photos and creating video slideshows. I like to catch a show at Shea’s Performing Art Center, and I make a point of watching the Bills on Sunday. I dedicate my volunteer time to Bornhava Early Childhood Center, where I also sit on the board.
Terri Cinotti has served two populations at Buffalo State with selfless acts of kindness. In her role as a clinical supervisor for the Speech-Language, Hearing Clinic at Buffalo State, she demonstrates humane and empathetic conduct in her professional obligations to clients and their families. She brings that same willing and open demeanor to her role as the Secretary of the Teacher Education Council, where I am the TEU Unit Head. She takes minutes without complaint, distributes them and through her selfless dedication to detail and correctness, gives us all an excellent record of our work and framework for future action. This kindness is a thankless job she has taken on for two years now (she is in her third year).
In her role as a clinical supervisor for the Speech-Language, Hearing Clinic, Terri must create a caring environment where her novice SLPs may practice their clinical skills without fear, but with expert guidance. Her presence is calming and professionally competent without being intimidating. Being able to interact with faculty, staff, students and external clientele is a true demonstration of this quality. Buffalo State could not afford to have any other "outward facing" image of professional competence but one that is kind, service-oriented and compassionate.
Terri served as the lead in the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic's transition to teletherapy and increased hours from simulated instruction. She investigated HIPAA-compliant platforms, discussed technological needs, provided online therapy resources and analyzed utility of each system. Moreover, Terri serves as the department liaison for simulated instruction using Simucase, a recognized platform for speech-language simulation, by coordinating cases, determining hours, establishing a procedure in order to count hours consistent with ASHA and CFCC requirements and using Blackboard more robustly as a clinical faculty.
Terri proved instrumental to transitioning to simulated instruction and telepractice services, affording clients the services that they needed as well as graduate students the requisite experiences and hours necessary in order to graduate. Her flexibility and positive response to challenges made said transition seamless. I thank her for routinely going above and beyond in the interest of fostering student learning and growth in addition to assisting her colleagues in exploring and implementing new methods to supervise and educate.
Terri is one of the most collegial and helpful members of the SLP faculty. She is always ready to answer questions that a colleague (or student ) may have, particularly in the area of technology. If someone sends out an email requesting information about an issue they are having with, for example, Blackboard, it is her that responds first with clear instructions and an offer to help further if needed. When positive news about a colleague is reported, Terri is often the first person to respond with a warm and sincere "congratulations" message. Although these examples may seem "small," I feel they reflect the day-to-day events that help to create a supportive and comfortable environment within our Department. I have never heard her utter an unkind word about a colleague or a student. I can honestly say that she is one of the most morally grounded and positive colleagues with whom I have worked in my approximately 30 years as a faculty member.
During this time of uncertainty, Teri has never complained about her increasing work-load. Our clinical program has taken quite a hit during this pandemic, transitioning from a traditional service delivery model to telepractice. Moreover, because of an unexpected retirement, the Clinic is operating short staffed. Rather than bemoaning these challenges, she rolled up her sleeves and got to work on mitigating them. Throughout this time of transition, she retained her sense of humor and increased her availability to others. She truly is a model of professionalism.
Terri is highly engaged at the department, college, community, state and national levels. Within the Speech-Language Pathology Department, she sits on the Clinic Committee, the Scholarship Committee, records faculty meeting minutes, leads all technology issues in the clinic, organizes all aspects of the very well received annual SLP Graduate Pre-Commencement Reception for graduate students and families, and directs the off-campus St. Joseph University School program and the annual Summer Intensive Language Literacy and Auditory Processing Clinic. Terri sits on the TEU and records minutes for those meetings and has presented at the Fall Research and Creativity Event. She regularly presents locally, most recently to Bornhava and the Buffalo Public School SLP group. Terri recently presented virtually for the New York State Speech-Language Pathology Association and has presented nationally at the annual American Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology convention. Having co-presented with her both locally and nationally, I can attest that she represents our SLP Department and Buffalo State College with passion and pride.
Terri has clearly "embraced change" since she began working at Buffalo State. Initially she was asked to teach academic courses and supervise in the clinic, as some academic courses needed coverage. Terri's job then shifted to teaching a clinical course and supervision in the clinic. Soon after, she was asked to take over an off-site program and co-direct one of the summer intensive clinics. During all of these job changes, she took the lead on many projects in the clinic, including form updates, transition of paperwork to technology and student in-services.
Terri adapted easily and efficiently and did so with passion. Perhaps the best example of her adaptability happened in spring 2020. When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down our clinic affecting our first year graduate students and forced our second graduate students to abandon their field placements, she led our transition to online teaching and online teletherapy. This was an amazing feat and included many moving parts: student training, peer training, client training, creation of new forms, and learning/ implementing new national regulations. The pressure was on, knowing that second year graduate students needed to fulfill a mandatory 400 clinical hour requirement in order to graduate in May. Terri embraced the change, adapted and led the way with grace and calm. Her leadership was essential to our success. Teri truly "embraces change".
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