Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMUoHP) is pleased to announce the appointment of Sandra Shigetomi-Toyama, ClinScD, CCC-SLP, as Program Director of the Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology (SLPD) program. Shigetomi-Toyama, who has served as the Assistant Program Director since January 1, 2021, has been promoted following the announcement of the retirement of Kenneth Simpson, PhD, CCC-SLP, who has held the program director position since the program’s founding in 2014.
Shigetomi-Toyama graduated from the RMUoHP speech-language pathology clinical doctorate program, then called a Doctor of Clinical Science in Speech-Language Pathology. She returned to RMUoHP as an educator and eventually started working as an administrator. As she prepares to oversee the program, she looks back on her previous experiences with RMUoHP and how they will influence her role as SLPD program director.
“As an alumna of the clinical doctoral program in speech-language pathology, I bring a level of understanding about the challenges students face and a commitment to the program–a program that I appreciate and love,” said Shigetomi-Toyama.
Since she started working as an employee of RMUoHP, Shigetomi-Toyama has made significant contributions to the university, demonstrating the caliber of both her work ethic and dedication.
RMUoHP Rehabilitative Sciences College Dean Jeff Lau, PT, DPT, PhD, CMPT, described the contributions Shigetomi-Toyama has already made to the SLPD program as incredibly impactful and beneficial to the program.
“Dr. Shigetomi-Toyama has partnered with the program director, staff, and faculty to create one of the top SLPD programs in the country,” said Lau. “In her roles as assistant program director and Capstone Coordinator, she has helped elevate the reputation of RMUoHP in the speech-language pathology profession.”
As the future program director, Shigetomi-Toyama also hopes to be able to fulfill the needs of her students, faculty, and administration by accomplishing a set of goals. “I like to think of ‘hopes’ as expectations about what can be accomplished,” said Shigetomi-Toyama. “I do not expect I can fill Dr. Simpson’s shoes but I can hope to fill the shoes of my expectations.”
Some of the goals that Shigetomi-Toyama hopes to achieve while serving in this position include:
- supporting faculty in reaching their goals in teaching
- supporting students as they become online learners and lifelong learners
- supporting administrators in reaching their goals
- increasing access to higher education nationally and internationally
Shigetomi-Toyama also hopes to continue the work and legacy of Simpson by continuing the following:
- lead the SLPD program with integrity and in a transparent manner
- lead the SLPD program in a manner that reflects RMU’s core values
- grow the program while not diminishing the quality and academic rigor
Shigetomi-Toyama expressed her desire to continue supervising the program in a manner that will both benefit the program and respect the legacy of Simpson. “Having been a student, faculty member, and administrator in the SLPD program,” said Shigetomi-Toyama, “I greatly want to see the program continue to advance knowledge and healthcare and carry on the vision of Dr. Simpson.”
The future of the program looks to be in good hands, according to Lau. “Dr. Shigetomi-Toyama has been well prepared to assume leadership of the SLPD program and will continue to enhance the program,” said Lau.