“Keep Calm and Lead On”

As a first year speech and hearing science major I am always looking for ways to best prepare myself for my future career goals and further my education outside of the classroom. As a member of Ohio State’s National Student Speech Language Association, I had the opportunity to not only attend the 2017 Ohio NSSLHA Conference, but help make this amazing event happen as well. I was on the administrative committee for the conference. I planned the logistics of the conference, helped purchase the necessary materials to put on the event, as well as assembled gifts and lanyards prior to the conference. In addition to my role on the administrative committee, I was also a conference group leader, leading my group of future speech language pathologists and audiologist from colleges across the state to each panel.

I not only helped put the conference on, but I also had the pleasure of attending the event and participating in all the wonderful opportunities it offered. The conference’s theme, “Keep Calm and Lead On,” emphasized the idea of career development, but also taking care of oneself. Guest speakers spoke on topics such as life and work balance as well as how to foster social intelligence for better collaboration. The event also consisted of three workshops. One of which focused on service learning and the incorporation of service dogs into therapy. The second breakout secession highlighted the importance of professionalism, especially in the face of today’s social media trends. The final session, my personal favorite, gave students the opportunity to ask a panel of graduate students question, enabling me to get insights on everything from GREs to graduate school applications, better preparing me for my future endeavors.

The NSSLHA conference was a once in a lifetime experience, and the fact that I was able to help my school host such an event was incredibly rewarding. In addition to experiencing the hard work it takes to put on a state conference, I learned more about my career goals and how to best set myself up for success. I was able to spend the day interacting with students who share the same passion as me, as well as network with professionals in the field. But more than anything, it sparked my inspiration, making me more excited than ever to pursue a career as a speech language pathologist.

ACES Mentor

          

Through my scholars group here at Ohio State, Advocates for Communities and Education, I have had the amazing opportunity to take place in a mentor-mentee program. Through this program, I was paired with a second year student in ACES. While many college students are given an upper classman to help them transition into college, my experience with my mentor was unique from the start. The unusual circumstances started at the beginning of the semester when I got a knock at my dorm room. I opened the door to an unfamiliar girl, explaining that she lived in this very room last year. Little did I know that a few weeks later this random girl who slept in the very bed I sleep in now would become my ACES mentor, Grace.

Grace and I truly connected right from the start. As participants of the mentorship program, we were required to meet up once the first semester, and go on one off campus excursion. What sets us apart from other mentor-mentee pairings is that we have never once treated our relationship like some sort of assignment. Although we were only required to get together once, we have gotten lunch nearly every Thursday since we met. Thursdays have now become synonymous with “lunching” with Grace as we say. This is a part of my week that I always look forward to. It is a time to unwind and just relax, forgetting about the stresses of the day. When it was time for her to interview me, another one of our assignments, she felt like she did not even need to, for we had gotten to know each other so well over the semester. Yes, Grace is a wonderful resource for any questions I may have about my new life in college. But more than that she is one of the kindness people I have ever met, and I am constantly inspired by her dedication and ambition.

Recently I had the pleasure to explore Columbus with Grace. Living well over two hours away from Columbus, I was not very familiar with the city, making for an exciting activity for me. We deiced to go to the German Village, a historic Columbus neighborhood I had always wanted to visit. When we arrived, I immediately feel in love with the brick paved streets and beautiful houses. While we were exploring we ventured into the mazes of bookshelves in the Book Loft. As an avid reader the endless rooms packed to the brim with literature was my kind of outing. We ended our wonderful fall day exploring the city I now call home with a late lunch of delicious cinnamon pancakes and hot chocolate.

I feel so lucky to have been partnered with a person as incredible as Grace. I no longer simply consider Grace my mentor or a fellow room 548 resident, but someone I can truly call my friend.

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Service Engagement

As cliché as it sounds, I firmly believe that everyone should play a role in improving their community. Service is not only fulfilling for oneself, but has the potential to make a huge difference in people’s lives, even through the smallest act. Through service I have found the inspiration for the career I wish to pursue as a speech language pathologist. It is my hope that I have made a positive impact on the populations I serve just as they have impacted me.

For multiple summers I have volunteered at a local hospital’s pediatric summer therapy camps for children with autism spectrum disorders. In all honesty the first time I volunteered at such a camp I was incredibly nervous. I had never before closely interacted with those with autism spectrum disorders, so I did not know what to expect. However, I have since fallen in love with working with this population. I am inspired by their enthusiasm and joy. Since then I have volunteered much of my time in this way, including camps at Fisher Titus Medical Center in Norwalk, Ohio, and Firelands Regional Medical Center in Sandusky, Ohio. The later focused specifically on communication disorders in young children, inspiring me to purse a career as a pediatric speech language pathologist. I was able to interact with the campers, leading them through group activities. This allowed me the amazing opportunity to observe a speech language pathologist as well as to receive some hands on insight into what my future job could look like. These experiences have only strengthened my interest in speech language pathology.

As of more recently, I have had the pleasure of devoting my time to the Columbus Speech and Hearing Center’s “Halloween Hop,” a free event offering kids a safer alternative to traditional trick or treating. As a member of NSSLHA I was introduced to this service event and could not have had a better time. I was also able to talk with and learn from multiple SLPs working at the center. Previously having only imagined myself working in a hospital, this opened my eyes to the many environments I could potentially work in such as clinics, or the schools and homes the therapists of the Speech and Hearing Center also travel to.

Although I have focused much of my volunteer hours on topics and populations that are relevant to my career interests, OSU has provided some incredible opportunities for me to step out of my comfort zone. For instance, something I would have never imagined myself doing was collecting trash on the side of the road during the campus wide Community Commitment day. It ended up being a rewarding experience, opening my eyes to all the waste a college campus produces on a daily basis. Another instance of an area of service I have never before explored was handing out bread and water to the homeless through H2O church. I had the chance to walk the streets of downtown Columbus, hearing the stories of the homeless and doing what I could to help them.

In this way, OSU has much to offer me in the form of volunteering, as I have much to offer the community. I plan on continuing my involvement with local hospitals as well as pursuing other organizations in the future here at OSU such as College Mentors for Kids or volunteering at the Columbus Metropolitan Libraries. In addition, I am excited to continue to seek out service opportunities that allowed me to explore aspects of service I have never before experienced, opening my eyes to the social issues of the area.

Year in Review

[ “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 information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

Academic Enrichment

Academic enrichment, the “pursuit of academic excellence,” is the most important aspect of the Honors and Scholars G.O.A.L.S to me personally. Academic excellence has always been something I have sought with an absolute dedication. This is an objective I will undoubtedly continue to commit myself to throughout college, for I pride myself on always working hard and doing my best as evident by my grades and rigor of classes. However, the aspect of academic enrichment that resonates the most with me now that I am in college is seeking out an education that is “beyond the university norm.”

I have never been someone who is passionate about exclusively one single field of study. This has been both a blessing and a curse for me. I excel at many subjects, but this has made it that much harder to pick one academic path to follow. Consequently, I am not following one narrow path, but diversifying my education to encompasses my wide variety of interests, something that is very much possible with Ohio State’s myriad of excellent classes. At the core of my education is my major, speech and hearing science, which I picked with these ideals in mind, for it emphasizes my interest in everything from biology to language. Such a major will prepare me for graduate school and my prospective career as a speech language pathologist. In addition, GE classes are an integral part of my education, and something I have thoroughly enjoyed picking out based on my interests. This includes phycology, something I have always been interested in and also relates back to my major. I am also greatly looking forward to taking a drawing class next semester, as it has always been a passion of mine and a subject I was very involved in prior to college.

Building off of this love of art, my diverse education is most apparent though my decision to pursue a minor in the history of art, something that arguably has little to nothing to do with speech language pathology, but I could not be more excited. If the information I learn from this minor could be applicable in my future endeavors, that would be phenomenal, but at a more basic level art history is simply something I truly enjoy. In addition, such classes will help me build my own unique education that is personal to me.

As I continue to build this individualized education, I look forward to taking more diverse classes that will further prepare me for my career. This includes a second minor, disabilities studies, for I am interested in working with those with autism spectrum disorders. In this way, I am creating a foundation of knowledge that not only will benefit my future, but that I am passionate about, allowing me to achieve academic enrichment.

Career

[“Career” is where you can collect information about your experiences and skills that will apply to your future career.  Like your resume, this is information that will evolve over time and should be continually updated.   For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

About Me

 

I, Elizabeth Mills, am from the small town of Huron, Ohio. This sheltered Lake Erie town has a total population smaller than my graduating class at Ohio State. One might say that life in Columbus is going to be quite the adjustment for someone like me. They would be correct. However, despite some due nervousness about going from a high school with precisely two hallways, to the massive campus of OSU, I am not daunted by this new chapter in my life. Words cannot express how elated I am to take full advantage of all the new opportunities. In doing so, I hope to achieve my ultimate goal of discovering my passion.

One of the biggest draws to The Ohio State University for me is the chance to explore my many interests. I want to take classes that have nothing to do with my major. I want to join clubs and volunteer. I want to connect with professors. I want to seek out research possibilities. And in this way, I want to find my passion in life, a path I can pursue with an absolute zeal. Over my high school career I have enjoyed being involved with an array of extracurricular actives including tennis, teen library council, art club, and National Honor Society in addition to being enrolled in numerous AP and CCP classes. As a lover of everything from analyzing a classic piece of literature, memorizing the bones of the human body, or creating my next piece of art work, I could see myself falling down many different career paths. In reality, how can one truly be certain of where the journey of college will take them?

In my quest to find what career I am most passionate about, I have decided to start the journey in the College of Arts and Sciences as a speech and hearing science major, as well as a scholar in Advocates for Communities and Education. I am thrilled to be considering the possibility of becoming a speech language pathologist, with a focus on children with autism spectrum disorders. These past three summers, I volunteered at pediatric therapy camps at local hospitals, where I worked alongside speech language pathologists. Through these experiences, I have developed a great excitement for the possibility of making this my career. It incorporates my interest in detail-oriented biology, as well as psychology and the study of language. In addition, a career as a speech language pathologist has the potential to offer me hands on interactions with patients, allowing me to utilize my compassion and desire to help others. This could very well end up being my chosen career, but I am also exited to see where the endless opportunities and experiences of Ohio State end up taking this small town girl, because one never knows what the future has in store.

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