Adrienne Murray is from Atlanta. She is set to graduate in December of 2019 with an M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She first earned her bachelor’s from Boston University.
What made you choose Georgia State University and the College of Education & Human Development over other schools in the area/country?
Atlanta is such a vibrant, diverse, interesting city with so much to offer. Having grown up in Atlanta, I have watched Georgia State’s reputation grow from “commuter school” to a prestigious university in its own right. I’m extremely proud to be a Georgia State student. The Communication Sciences and Disorders program at Georgia State has a strong reputation in the field, thanks to the dedication of the faculty and the talents of the alumni.
Why do you want to become a speech-language pathologist?
Returning to graduate school after working in education has been an invigorating experience for me. Initially, I was fascinated by the development of language in young children and their eventual acquisition of literacy skills. Now, I feel truly in awe of the human brain and other complex systems that must work together to create communication. The field of speech-language pathology provides so many avenues of thought and employment opportunities that I don’t think I will ever be bored!
What fascinates you about research? Or not?
All of our professors and clinic supervisors have made connections to research an integral part of the program. For our field, staying current on best practices is key to being an effective clinician.
How do you explain what you’re doing in school to your grandmother?
When I talk to strangers, I typically try to find a connection point. Many people have older family members who have experienced strokes or have degenerative conditions that speech-language therapists (SLPs) treat. Or they know a child with autism or another condition that may impact communication. Often, most people do not know that SLPs assess and treat swallowing disorders. I end up explaining the breadth of the field, particularly because I am not sure of my career path at this point (somehow, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up!).
What tips can you give a student just starting to help them be successful?
Use this time wisely. While it may feel overwhelming, graduate school is a short season in life overall. Try to enjoy the opportunity to think deeply about the academic subjects in great detail. Not everyone gets such an precious opportunity!
What do you like best about the Communication Sciences and Disorders program?
The academic program plan is thoughtful and well-organized. The clinical experiences are varied and applicable. The relationships that the program has cultivated with professionals and institutions in the Atlanta community seem very strong!
Do you have a favorite place downtown to eat? Study? Hang out?
I love to study on the silent floor of the library (5th floor… great windows!). I enjoy the eggs and plantains at Buenos Dias!
Give us either a favorite quote, a song lyric or poem, or music you listen to when you’re stressed.
To ground me: “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” —Thornton Wilder
And to guide me: “Nothing without joy!” —Loris Malaguzzi