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Volunteer Projects & Research

Throughout my graduate study, I have actively sought out opportunities to further my knowledge and experience in the field of speech pathology beyond my studies and clinical experiences at San Francisco State University.  Below I have expanded and reflected on some of the most meaningful projects.  Please see my resume for a complete list of volunteer experiences.

AAC Research

Research has always been a passion of mine as I have pursued it through my undergraduate and graduate years.  During my second year of graduate study at San Francisco State University, I had the opportunity to be a research assistant for Patti Solomon-Rice, Ph.D, CCC-SLP while she completed her doctoral dissertation on "Enhancing the Language Skills of Toddlers with Severe Communication Difficulties Who Benefit from AAC: A Comparison of Two Language Intervention Approaches."  During this experience, my belief that evidence-based practice should guide my assessment and therapy was further validated.  I saw firsthand how important it is to base our treatment decisions on strategies that have been proved effective and efficacious.  Being able to be a part of this new research which will help bring about more effective strategies for teaching language to children who use AAC was extraordinarily meaningful and exciting!

Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford

During the summer of 2010, I independently sought out the opportunity to volunteer at the Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford (LPCH).  I was interested in inpatient pediatric care and this experience gave me the chance to observe and interact with speech pathologists working in this setting, as well as the outpatient setting.  I learned the importance of collaboration between professionals such as doctors, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and more.  The care team at LPCH effectively worked together to provide the best care for each child.  It was not only a wonderful example that I aim to follow, it was inspiring to see how much each team member was needed and appreciated by the child, the family, and the other professionals!

La Jolla YMCA Gymnastics

I began coaching at the La Jolla YMCA in 2004.  I quickly became involved in not just my work, but in the lives of the competitive gymnasts I coached.  I helped take the team to competitions, theme parks, pumpkin patches, sleepovers, and more.  We even went to Austria as a team to represent the USA at the World Gymnaestrada.  Upon moving away to pursue my dream of becoming a speech pathologist, I left a piece of myself there and was sad I had to leave.  Luckily, I have been fortunate enough to continue going to all of their competitions, and will be accompanying them to Switzerland this summer for the World Gymnaestrada again!  The gymnastics team has taught me that I love working with children.  Over the past seven years, I went above and beyond the duties of being a coach, and I'd like to think I became their mentor, role model, and friend.  This experience taught me how to look at the "whole child" and this is something I think about every time I am assessing or treating a child for a communication disorder.  I feel blessed to have been able to watch my gymnasts grow up, and I am excited to watch the children I will help through speech therapy grow up and be successful!

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