What are you most passionate about professionally? Personally?
I picked the field I I’m in because of the overlap between my personal and professional passions. I have always had a passion for helping others, especially children with a variety of developmental disabilities. Throughout my various volunteer opportunities in my high school and collegiate years, I found a profession that allows me to work closely with the populations I am passionate about. My personal passions have expanded in my professional career to incorporate advocating for my clients. Whether on a small or large scale, I always advocate for my clients and their families to try to create awareness about the challenges they deal with on a daily basis.
What would you do even if you didnʼt get paid to do?
Photography! Iʼm not necessarily good It it, but I love the art of capturing special moments, as well as gorgeous scenery, through everlasting photographs.
What are you surprisingly good at?
Professionally, I am surprisingly good at keeping an extremely calm and neutral face when necessary, despite my otherwise “wear your heart on your sleeve” personality. Personally, I am surprisingly good at being a “tomboy,” including catching crayfish!
Whatʼs the biggest proof that youʼre good at what you do?
As mentioned previously, my personal and professional passions overlap in more ways than one. I think that is the biggest proof that Iʼm not only passionate about what I do, but that Iʼm good at what I do as well. While I piece of being successful within your career is possessing the necessary skills, I bigger piece is your passion for your field, and a passion to continually learn and grow. My passion for this field pushes me to continue to learn, grow, and challenge myself, which, in turn, only makes me better at what I do.
How long have you been working in your field?
What problems do you consistently solve for your clients?
I love working closely with my clients, their families, and other professionals to determine the most important, yet functional, skills to work on. While a child may need to work on a variety of skills, I love teasing out the most pertinent skill to that childʼs life and building up from there. Although it may be easy to determine what skills need improvement, it is more important to determine the most relevant skills to help that child function as independently as possible.
What are you complimented on most in your work?
I am most complimented on my ability to be a team player and go above and beyond to get the job done. I love to problem-solve as I team and support each other in every way possible, even if that means working extra to ultimately help out the child and their family. They say “it takes a village,” and I love being a part of and working closely with that “village” for my clients and their families.
Whatʼs your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment is following my professional instinct. There have been times in my career where my recommendations have seemed like a step backwards for the child, and Iʼve had to defend my professional decisions. However, sticking to my professional instinct and following through with my recommendations allowed the child to make tremendous progress with their communication skills.
How does your education connect to your professional career? What about personally?
Education builds the foundational skills necessary to succeed within your professional career. I have had wonderful opportunities throughout my undergraduate and graduIte schooling at the University of Cincinnati and Case Western Reserve University to learn from excellent professors, and further develop my passion for this field. I was able to participate in research about pre-literacy skills at the University of Cincinnati, and obtain a certificate in Early Intervention while at Case Western. Each of these opportunities helped shape my specific interests within the field of Speech-Language Pathology. In addition to my education, I have personal experience working with children with developmental disabilities. Having two cousins with different developmental disabilities, I have been exposed to the challenges they face throughout my entire life. Seeing their struggles, but continued bright and happy personalities helped me develop a passion for helping children with disabilities. These experiences, both academically and personally, allow me to connect with this field on a personal level.