Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a Minnesota native and I first attended the University of Minnesota to obtain my BA in Psychology. Following my (first) graduation, I worked with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for several years. My experiences working with this population led me back to the University of Minnesota to pursue a Masters in Speech-Language Pathology. My goal is to combine practical, academic, and clinical experiences in order to best provide a voice to the ASD community.
What did you major in as an undergraduate?
Since my undergraduate degree was in Psychology and not Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, I was initially unsure how prepared I would be to begin graduate work in this field. The advising provided to me by my professors and peers could not have made preparing and participating in graduate studies easier. In spite of my unique path to SLHS, I was entirely supported throughout my program.
What practicum setting has been your favorite so far? Why?
So far, my favorite practicum experience was the week I spent with the University of Minnesota Kids Who Stutter Camp. The children who participated in the camp were some of the most inspiring and insightful people I have ever met. It’s difficult for me to estimate who learned more: me or the campers! In my opinion, this placement provides an ideal practicum experience, in which the people both providing and receiving the intervention can learn and grow. And I got to be a dinosaur.
What do you feel sets our department and the University of Minnesota apart?
The SLHS program at the University of Minnesota is both cozy and well positioned for engagement within a large and diverse educational community. It’s a large campus within a (relatively) large city, but the Speech-Language-Hearing Science department is a close-knit community. We have our own building, so it’s easy to recognize and know everyone in the program within a few weeks of starting. Having our own space is helpful for not only collaborating and studying, but also for decompressing and procrastinating (should anyone ever need to do so). Being part of a larger university also provides students with opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary learning. For example, this year I applied for and received admittance into the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program, which is an interdisciplinary leadership training program working to change the lives of Minnesota children and families with ASDs and other neurodevelopmental disabilities.
To learn more about the University of Minnesota Kids Who Stutter Camp, please visit the Julia M. Davis Speech-Language-Hearing Center website: http://cla.umn.edu/davis-center/stuttering-services/kids-who-stutter. To learn more about the LEND Program, please visit their website: https://lend.umn.edu/index.asp.