I have been in the field of speech-language pathology for
several decades now, after having received my Masters of Health Sciences degree from
Governors State University. While I have
had the good fortune to work in a variety of clinical settings, my clinical
expertise and the bulk of my professional career has been devoted to working
with infants and toddlers (and their family members) who exhibit feeding and swallowing disorders.
Although my professional
experiences have no doubt been rewarding, over the past several years I have found
a new passion working in higher education.
My desire to have a positive impact and assist in the clinical education
of our future professionals has led me full circle to my current administrative
position as Director of Clinical Education in the Department of Communication
Disorders, a position I have held since February, 2010.
Students entering the field of speech-language pathology are
required to obtain clinical experiences working with individuals exhibiting a
variety of communication disorders during their graduate program. Graduate students in the Department of
Communication Disorders enter a three practicum sequence during the last three
semesters of their graduate work. The
three assignments include working with special populations, in the medical setting,
and in the public school. Throughout
their sequence, students obtain the experiences and clinical hours needed in the
identification and treatment of both children and adults exhibiting
communication disorders. What I find
most exciting about my present position at GSU has been my instrumental role in
developing supplemental clinical experiences for our students outside of the established
Since my time at GSU, our Department has adopted some very
positive additions to our clinical program — one being in the area of prevention.Our national organization, the American
Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), has long promoted the prevention of
communication disorders as one of our profession's primary responsibilities. Students
are now required to obtain hours in the area of prevention as part of their
clinical experiences at GSU. One way of
obtaining these hours is through Department-organized opportunities to provide community-based
speech-language and hearing screenings. These screenings have proven to be equally
beneficial to the students providing the service, as well as to the community members receiving the services.
Our prevention program has blossomed since its inception in
the Fall semester of 2011. With the help of our clinical team and faculty, plans
are in the works not only to enhance and further develop our prevention
program, but also to provide other types of opportunities to enrich the
clinical experiences of our students at Governors State University.