Daniel DeWitt is an M.S. Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate. Originally from Lawrenceville, he received a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Georgia.
What made you choose the College of Education & Human Development?
When I started school, my wife was enrolled in Mercer University’s Pharmacy program, so we weren’t in a position to move. Georgia State was the closest university with a speech-language pathology (SLP) program. It also happened to be the best program! There are so many opportunities in Atlanta for observing great SLPs at work and great opportunities for internships as well. The quality of teaching at Georgia State was also a draw. Our professors really know their stuff.
What are your research interests and career goals?
I’ve done some work with Eva van Leer, Ph.D. related to patient adherence in voice therapy. It’s an area that is currently under-researched and one that’s vitally important. I’d love to be involved in furthering our understanding of what we can do to engage with our patients and help them help themselves.
I became interested in speech-language pathology through my background as a musician. I love to sing and I love singers. That passion led to an interest in voice disorders and voice therapy. It’s a career in which I can help people get their voices back would be a dream for me.
Who has had the biggest influence on your academic and/or career trajectory and why?
My advisor, Colleen O’Rourke, Ph.D. has been so supportive from even before I began my coursework. She helped me get organized with my course load and gave me the opportunity to be successful.
What clubs, activities or hobbies do you have outside of the classroom?
I sing, play guitar, and record my own music. I also lead worship at Veritas Church in Decatur. Music is my first love and is a lifelong pursuit for me. I also have twin daughters. My wife and I love to go on walks together with them and our dog.
What do you like best about attending a downtown university?
I feel like I know the city a little bit better. I’ve enjoyed getting to experience MARTA. There’s something therapeutic about walking in a city with headphones in your ears listening to a great song.
From an educational standpoint though, being in the city means we are close to hospitals where I have been able to observe some great speech pathologists.
What has been the biggest challenge in your work as a student?
Balancing my school load with my family life has been the most difficult. That balance is a constantly moving target, so it has required me to be vigilant in guarding both parts of my life. I’ve had to be diligent and disciplined in my studies to ensure I wasn’t neglecting my wife (and my kids). It’s been a challenge and I certainly haven’t been perfect. But it’s been an empowering experience to realize that I am capable of maintaining so many things (though I don’t think I could do it for much longer!).
What is your favorite quote?
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” — James 1:27