Alumna and Founder of Speech Disorder Association to Address Rangos Grads

Graduates from Duquesne’s Rangos School of Health Sciences Class of 2016 will receive their diplomas during the school’s commencement ceremony on August 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Sharon Gretz

The keynote speaker for this year’s Rangos School commencement is Sharon Gretz, founder and executive officer of Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA). Founded in 2000 in Pittsburgh, CASANA is a nonprofit organization that offers a wide array of programs in support of children with apraxia, a motor disorder that can impair movement and speech.

Gretz was inspired to establish CASANA by her youngest son, after he was diagnosed with a rare, severe motor speech disorder.  After finding little educational information about apraxis for herself or her child, Gretz decided to set up her own support system of web discussion boards and online newsletters with other families afflicted with apraxis, and this work eventually led to the founding of CASANA.

CASANA has received international acclaim and respect for its unique and effective practices of educating, informing and supporting parents, speech-language pathologists, and researchers striving to understand more about the causes of apraxia and most effective treatments for children.

Gretz herself has received numerous professional awards and accolades, including the Distinguished Service Award from the National Council on Communicative Disorders, and the Community Hero Award from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She earned her master’s degree in counselor education from Duquesne.

During the ceremony, 135 students will earn degrees from these Rangos School programs: Bachelor of Science in Health Management Systems, Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, Master of Physician Assistant Studies, Master of Physical Therapy, Master of Science in Rehabilitation Science, Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology and Doctor of Physical Therapy.