Q: What made you choose the College of Education & Human Development to earn your graduate degree?
A: “I chose the College of Education & Human Development to earn my graduate degree because of their mission to inspire and equip students with the finest education, tools and resources to improve their quality of life. This mission aligns with my own personal and academic goals, as I strive to become an exceptional clinician.”
Q: What has been your favorite moment during your graduate program (in class, in an internship/experience in your field, etc.)?
A: “My favorite moment during my graduate program has been my clinical practicum. I am thankful to be given real-life experiences where I can apply the concepts I have learned in my courses to my clients. This has helped me in understanding the therapeutic process and different treatment methods/techniques. Also, it is extremely rewarding to know that as a graduate student, I am having an impact on someone else’s life. Each time I see a client, I place myself in their shoes, which helps me ensure they receive the most optimal therapy session by combining the client’s perspectives, my clinical judgment and scientific evidence.”
Q: What is one interesting fact/detail you’ve learned about the field of communication sciences and disorders?
A: “Communication sciences and disorders are so broad and can be integrated into almost anything! As I began discovering my own interests in the field and researching what I can do with speech pathology, I stumbled on the impact of cognitive-communication disorders in minority youth involved within the criminal justice system. This area is not widely studied or given much attention. I was immediately drawn into this specialty because it is imperative that youth who demonstrate what is perceived to be ‘behavioral problems’ receive appropriate supports and interventions to prevent them from ending up in prison.”
Q: How do you plan to move lives forward after you complete your degree?
A: “After I complete my degree, I have plans of serving and educating the refugee population in DeKalb County, Ga., where speech-language pathology is not widely recognized and accepted. While doing this, I also want to continue my current project, Project Cleft Lip and Palate (CLP), in my native country, Ethiopia. Through this project, I will collaborate with surgeons, speech-pathologists and other healthcare professionals in servicing individuals with cleft lips and/or cleft palates and their families with the necessary tools and resources at Yekatit 12 Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Because Yekatit 12 Hospital is the only speech and language facility in the country, I hope to assist in their growth and knowledge in the field of speech-language pathology.”
Q: What’s one fun fact about yourself you’d like to share?
A: “When I was in undergrad, I began my own makeup business to express my artistic side. Originally, I became involved in makeup simply as a hobby until a family member saw my work and encouraged me to start a business from it. I ran my business for about three years and received a wide variety of clientele. Without realizing it, I built rapport with my clients all while demonstrating my creative skills.”
This story is one in a series on College of Education & Human Development graduate students.