Discipline: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Faculty Mentor: Alan Kurtz, M.Ed.
I attended the University of Maine in Orono, ME, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a Minor in Psychology. I am currently a first-year graduate student at the University of Maine, pursing a Master’s Degree in the same discipline with the intent of future certification in Speech-Language Pathology. I chose this area of study because I have always been drawn to both healthcare and education. While a student at the University of Maine, I had an opportunity to work as a special education Para-professional in an Extended School Year (ESY) program at Golden Brook Elementary School in Windham, New Hampshire. In this program I supported students with autism, Down Syndrome, and specific learning disabilities. I worked closely with the speech pathologist to focus on improving communication skills as articulated in Individual Education Plans (IEP’s). Parent involvement and communication were key components of the program. I found this work to be extremely rewarding and personally satisfying. During my junior and senior years at the University of Maine, I worked in a research lab as a research assistant, where our work was focused on measuring the cognitive abilities of patients with Parkinson’s disease. I utilized Functional Near-Infrared Optical Brain Imaging, to collect and analyze test data. At this time, I am seeking to identify my passions and strengths as a graduate student and eventually an active member of my profession. I am extremely passionate about working in service to others. This includes individuals with various disabilities, neurogenic disorders, and health related needs. I am also committed to working effectively with the families who support these individuals and in informing and educating the communities in which they live. Ultimately, I want to make a difference!