The experiences that are most relevant and applicable to my future career as a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist are my internship and volunteer work with the Aphasia Initiative, my research position at the Language, Assistive Technology, and Autism Lab, and my Year of Service Project at Bridgeway Academy.
This semester I have been lucky enough to be a part of the Language, Assistive Technology, and Autism Lab. Toward the end of fall semester last year, I was in the basement of Pressey Hall (the Department of Speech and Hearing Science) taking dishes from the Aphasia Initiative to the kitchen to be washed. I had walked down this hall a dozen times before but I had never paid much attention to the signs on the doors I was passing. That day, however, I did notice one sign in particular: The Autism and Child Language Learning Lab*. It was literally like a spotlight hit me and the angels started singing. I had known that I wanted to participate in some form of undergraduate research but was somewhat intimidated and didn’t even know where to start looking. And here I was, staring directly at a lab that focused on two of the most intriguing aspects of my field. As soon as I got home I did some googling and found the contact information for the head of the lab. I sat down and wrote an email to Dr. Bean expressing my most sincere interest in joining the lab. To my dismay, Dr. Bean responded that the lab did not need any new undergraduate assistants but that I should reach out again next semester to see if any seniors had graduated. When the end of spring semester rolled around I emailed again only to receive the same response I had gotten in the fall. Still determined to work for this lab rather than any of the others in the Department of Speech and Hearing, I channeled all the patience in my body and reached out again at the end of fall semester. Finally, there was an opening.** After stressing about my interview for the two weeks leading up to it, it ended up being extremely laid back and after speaking with Dr. Bean in person, I immediately knew that it was a perfect fit for both me and the lab. I have been actively working in the lab since then and have even been promoted to lead coder on the project I am working on right now!
*The Autism and Child Language Learning Lab has since been renamed the Language, Assistive Technology, and Autism Lab
**Fun Fact: I found this out on the same day that I found out that Beetle, the service dog in training I worked with all of last year, was paired with a kiddo and was going to graduate!!!
Although I feel that my first semester at college was a success, it was not a straight path to get there. I faced many challenges and encountered many new and unfamiliar experiences. I struggled significantly with my mental health and family issues. However, my ability to remain fcused on my academics despite the difficulties in front of me lead me finish the semester with a strong gpa.
I took Biology, English Writing Composition, Intro to Communication Disorders, Spanish, Mount Scholars Seminar and Freshman Survey. In addition to my academics, I have also become very involved on campus. I am a member of the Mount Leadership Society Scholars program which promotes service, scholarship, diversity, and inclusion. I am also a member of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) and a co-chair of the Literacy Committee which aims to tackle the low literacy rates in Columbus City Schools. Additionally, I am a puppy sitter for Service Dogs in Training through 4 Paws for Ability. I am also a fundraiser for BuckeyeThon, which raises money for pediatric cancer research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. So far, I have raised $2,001.
Personally, my key to success was to get so involved and engaged that I had no other option but to make the best use of free time, i.e. for homework and studying. Building a busy schedule forces time management and responsibility. In high school I did the same thing and also found it to be a helpful strategy back then. This semester, I plan to get even more involved on campus. In fact, I am also volunteering at the Aphasia Initiative for the OSU Speech and Hearing Clinic and will be a mentor for an elementary school student through College Mentors for Kids.
Both! Being a student at the college level is hard. It is difficult to keep up with demanding courseloads and it is difficult to narrow down your interests and decide the course of study that will dermine your future career. In my eyes, your major is the coursework that prepares you for your career or for graduate or professional school in the field. Minors, however, are an opportunity to focus on other subjects or areas that are not necessarily directly related to your major. Minors are a way to study subjects that interest you while also providing you with new knowledge and perspectives which can enhance your major studies and academic experience as a whole.
I have decided that I am going to minor in Spanish and Linguistics. I have already met with an advisor from the Spanish and Portuguese Department and declared the minor but I have not yet declared my Linguistics minors. Another exciting aspect of minors is the ability to concentrate in a specific area of the field. For example, my Spanish minor concentration will be Hispanic Linguistics and I will take classes that revolve around the linguistic aspect of the language. Additionally, my Linguistics minor concentration will be Neuroscience and I will take classes that explore the neurological and cognitive aspects of language and language development.
My hope is that by continuing my Spanish education, I will become fluent and able to freely communicate with native speakers, specifically clients and the families of clients that I will serve as a Speech-Language Pathologist. By engaging myself in the study of Linguistics, I will be learning about something that is truly fascinating to me and will gain new perspectives and information on all things language which will enhance my Speech and Hearing Science major curriculum. I believe that these courses of study will allow me to become a well rounded student, engage my curiosities, and make me an ideal candidate for graduate school and eventually employment as a Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist.
In middle school, I was involved in a STEM program at my school. Over these few years, we had many STEM professionals come to speak to us about different career opportunities in the various fields. In sixth grade, we got to hear from a Speech-Language Pathologist. I was fascinated. Though sixth graders don’t typically spend much time contemplating career options, from this presentation forward, I knew that this was the occupation for me. In my college search, I looked for schools with strong Speech Pathology programs and my decision came down to Ohio State or Duquesne University. Oddly enough, I made my decision while I was at Duquesne for a visitation day. I had just listened to a presentation from the head of the Speech-Language Pathology Department and was overly impressed with their program. Ohio State had always been my number one choice but I felt that Duquesne’s had a stronger Speech Pathology program. However, I realized that when it came down to it, all that mattered to me was becoming an SLP and helping children with communication disorders. I realized that I could have both: I could go to the school of my dreams and become a Pediatric Speech-Langauge Pathologist. It did not have to be the absolute best SLP program, it had to be the school where I knew I would thrive and be most successful. I could not be happier with my decision to come to Ohio State.
During one of my visits to Ohio State, I was given a massive handbook of all the student organizations on campus. As I paged through this overwhelming document, I found a few organizations that clearly stuck out to me. One of these was NSSLHA: the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association. Knowing that I wanted to get involved with this organization, I planned to track them down at the Involvement Fair. I anticipated the event to be very crowded and overwhelming; however, I had no idea just how challenging it would be to navigate the maze of tables and other excited students to find a specific organization. I literally spent almost an hour trying to locate the NSSLHA table. When I finally tracked them down, I felt a rush of excitement and pride. The girls running the table were extremely welcoming and friendly. I got a NSSLHA pin and proceeded to show it off to every one of my uninterested friends.
Though there have only been a few meetings so far, I am very excited to see what events and opportunities are in store. At the second meeting of the year, we played Jeopardy and my team won (see the picture below from the NSSLHA Facebook page!). Most recently, we were assigned “families” as a means of connecting you with other Speech and Hearing Science students. Overall, I am most excited for the opportunity to get to know other people who share my passion for Speech Pathology. I also look forward to connecting with Speech and Hearing Science faculty and preparing for grad school.
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[ “Year in Review” is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student. You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year. For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]
The main focal points of the Honors & Scholars program can be explained through the acronym G.O.A.L.S. This acronym stands for Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. It is important to keep these missions in mind while navigating your undergraduate degree at Ohio State in order to make the absolute most of your experience and serve as a citizen of the world.
- Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc.
- Original Inquiry: Honors & Scholars students understand the research process by engaging in experiences ranging from in-class scholarly endeavors to creative inquiry projects to independent experiences with top researchers across campus and in the global community. For example, consider research, creative productions or performances, advanced course work, etc.
- Academic Enrichment: Honors & Scholars students pursue academic excellence through rigorous curricular experiences beyond the university norm both in and out of the classroom.
- Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.
- Service Engagement: Honors & Scholars students commit to service to the community.
My personal G.O.A.L.S are as follows:
G – I hope to study abroad in either Costa Rica or Spain during my undergrad. I was hoping to complete a study abroad program in Costa Rica this May though STEP but I am no longer taking part in the program. There are multiple scholarships, such as the Wolfe Study Abroad Scholarship, that will help make this goal a reality for me.
O – This is probably the category that I am most excited and passionate about. This semester I have joined the Language, Assistive Technology, and Autism Lab within the Speech and Hearing Department as an undergraduate research assistant. This opportunity is something I have been working towards since I first learned about the lab at the end of fall semester last year. I have really enjoyed working in this lab and have met some wonderful people. Additionally, I have already been designated the lead coder on the project I am currently assigned to.
A – As a Speech and Hearing Science student, NSSLHA is a very important part of my extracurricular enrichment. Last year, I applied for and was accepted onto the exec board and have served as secretary this year. Elections for next year are coming up and I will be running for Vice President with the ultimate goal of being President as a senior. I have also thoroughly enjoyed my experiences with this group and the opportunities we have been able to create and offer to our members.
L – In addition to serving on the exec board for NSSLHA, I have also taken on a bigger role with in 4 Paws for Ability. This semester I decided to take on my own full time foster. This has been absolutely the most challenging yet rewarding experience of my life. Vita has been evaluated and selected for the 4 Paws breeding program so she will be a mother to future service dogs in training rather than being a service dog herself. However, this is actually a compliment/promotion because the staff at 4 Paws is so impressed with her temperament and obedience that they want to pass her traits on down to future SDiTs.
S – For my Year of Service Project, I volunteered at Bridgeway Academy, a school for children with autism and other developmental disabilities. This was also one of my highlights from my sophomore year. Additionally, I volunteered weekly at the Aphasia Initiative, a group therapy program for individuals with communication disorders due to stroke or TBI. I have been volunteering with the Aphasia Initiative since last spring and it has been such a gift to spend time with these wonderful individuals and help build up their communication skills and confidence.
Anna Evans is a first year undergraduate student studying Speech and Hearing Science in the College of Arts and Sciences at the Ohio State University. After completing her Bachelor’s degree, Anna plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She also plans to Minor in Spanish so that she can better cater to a clientele which is growing more and more diverse. Her academic interests include Communication Disorders, Anatomy, Linguistics, ASL, and Spanish. Anna’s ultimate goal is to work as a Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist in a clinical setting.
Anna is also a first year Mount Leadership Society Scholar. Her passion for community service and civic engagement align closely with the missions and goals of the Mount Leadership Society. Anna hopes to serve both the Ohio State community and the greater Columbus area. She also plans to become involved in the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, 4 Paws for Ability, and join University Admissions as a Student Ambassador.