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October 1, 2003

ULM Students Volunteer For C.A.B.L.E. Conference

For the seventh consecutive year, nearly forty seniors and graduate students from the University of Louisiana at Monroe Department of Communicative Disorders (CODI) volunteered their time at the annual C.A.B.L.E. (Communities Acting to Benefit Louisiana's Elderly) conference in West Monroe. This year there were more than 500 participants.

C.A.B.L.E. is an organization of professionals in the community who work in some capacity with the elderly. Members volunteer their time with various C.A.B.L.E.-sponsored activities, one of which is the Conference on Aging.

CODI students and Dr. Judy Fellows, professor of communicative disorders at ULM, representing C.A.B.L.E. and the ULM Department of Communicative Disorders, chaired C.A.B.L.E registration and provided vital assistance throughout the day. CODI students were given the opportunity to practice professional responsibility and good citizenship while giving something back to their community.

"This conference just couldn't happen without ULM CODI students," said Dianne Guillot, C.A.B.L.E. member and exhibitor. "For students to arrive at 6:45 a.m. and give up an entire Friday to volunteer at a conference for seniors, is indicative of the caliber of students and faculty that are in the CODI program."

"CODI students and faculty are to be congratulated for their commitment to helping C.A.B.L.E. and senior citizens for the past seven years," said Dr. Paxton Oliver, head of the ULM CODI Department. "The CODI Department stands ready to continue the tradition for as long as we are needed."

"Each year these students 'make' the conference. Their joyful and professional interactions with the seniors are most gratifying to observe. This year they were called upon for additional duties as more people participated than expected. The students did what needed to be done. CODI is to be commended for involving their students in such a worthwhile project. We look forward to their participation for many years to come," said Kelly Farmer, President of C.A.B.L.E.

Some of the comments made by students included: "Volunteering at the conference really helped break me out of my self-centered bubbleI underestimated the value of our presence.This was true community service and I loved itMy perception about seniors changed last Friday when I participated in the conferenceI went into the day with an open attitude and gained a wonderful experience that I never would have gotten to receiveI think this was a great experience for me as a CODI undergraduate studentI respect the elderly people more now after being able to work with them and understand their livesIt was nice that the CODI students had the honor of waiting on the senior citizensThe C.A.B.L.E. conference was a lot of hard work, but it was also funI look forward to participating next year."

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