Construction on Betsey Brodahl Building begins

Anh Cao

Augustana College is preparing to offer a master’s program in communication sciences and disorders (CSD), and expansions to the department’s academic building, the Betsey Brodahl Building has begun.

Dr. Kathy Jakielski, CSD department chair and full-time professor, said, “The Brodahl building now is CSD only. When we start our master’s program, we have 20 new students a year. It’s a two-year program, so we’re gonna end up having 40 more students in the building. [Right now], the building doesn’t fit 40 more students. We needed to expand. To the north of us will be the expansion part.”

Jakielski said, “The new building will be built next to us; that will be all faculty and staff offices. It will have some research labs, and it will be the new two-story clinic. The basement and first floor will be the new center for speech language and hearing. The second floor will be all the faculty offices.

“Hopefully next December we will all move into the new spaces. The current spaces they are going to renovate into research labs, and two new classrooms. When those are finished, hopefully in February, the two will be physically connected, and we will be able to use the whole new space. We hope to start the masters program in June of 2020.”

With this new program, the CSD department will hire two new tenure track professors, three new clinical faculty members and two new support staff members. Seven people in total will be hired including staff, academic faculty and clinical faculty, according to Jakielski.

One of the junior CSD majors, Jessica Gallagher, who is in the first class to be eligible for the master’s program, said in an email, “The beginning of the master’s program is extremely important not only because it might allow some current undergrad students to continue their education at Augustana, but also because it will create competent, driven and empathetic speech-language pathologists during a time of high demand and need for such professionals.

“I am most excited for the expansion of our center for speech, language, and hearing. It is so exciting to imagine the doubling of resources for students here. I look forward to seeing the completed renovations and hearing about the expanding program,” Gallagher said.

Laura Neswold, a senior majoring in CSD, said, “The designs for the building expansion look amazing and I’m so jealous of everyone who will get to utilize this new space in the future.”

“The expansion part is just over one and a half times larger than the current building,” Jakielski said.

“It’s exciting. We’re really excited to see everything come together now in the new building. When you’ve been working on the policy aspect of it for two years, to actually see a physical manifestation of what you’ve been working on is really exciting.”