Speech Language Therapy Personal Statement

Communication starts at the moment of birth. The first time an infant cries he is communicating with his mother. Imagine that as this child grows his ability to communicate is hindered by cleft lip and cleft palate. I have experienced this with my younger cousin. I have seen his frustration as the people around him cannot understand what he is trying to say. As we age we take the ability to communicate for granted. We communicate every day without giving it a second thought. Imagine that a women's ability to communicate is suddenly lost following a stroke. I have seen my grandmother endure this struggle. After her stroke, my grandmother struggled to communicate with her loved ones. If it were not for the hard work and dedication of speech-language pathologists, my cousin and grandmother would not be communicating so effectively today. These experiences with my family have guided me to find my passion for speech and language.

Through out my time as an undergraduate student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program, I have gained qualities that make me an excellent candidate for the graduate program at ____________. I have gained research experience through my senior honors capstone project. During my senior honors capstone project I have been working with Dr. Ying Guo on her literacy research. In all of my years as an undergraduate student, I have been a working student. I have been able to achieve a 3.85 GPA while also working an average of 25 hours per week. My time as a working student has taught me the time management skills which will be essential in graduate school. I have learned the importance of service through my volunteer work at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). While volunteering at CCHMC I worked closely with speech pathologists in the speech language pathology department. I have also participated in various volunteer opportunities through my involvement in the National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA).

In 2008, I spent eight days in Santa Avelina, Guatemala for a service trip. It was during this trip that I realized just what little access these people had to health care. When I returned home from Guatemala, I knew that I wanted to continue doing service abroad. This trip sparked my interest in serving abroad as well as bilingualism and Spanish. In my final semester as an undergraduate student, I will be fueling this interest by traveling to Granada, Nicaragua with the University of Cincinnati College of Allied Health Sciences for a service learning trip. While in Nicaragua, we will provide healthcare services to local children.

After I receive my master's degree in speech-language pathology, I plan to work with children in a clinical setting. I also hope to provide services abroad to people in underprivileged nations such as Guatemala. There is a great need for speech-language pathologists who are able to work with Spanish-speaking children. While I was unable to complete a minor in Spanish as an undergraduate student, I plan to earn my certification in Spanish after I earn my master's degree. I plan to use my certification in Spanish to provide services to children learning English as a second language as well as children abroad.

My undergraduate studies in Communication Sciences and Disorders, personal experiences and service experiences have given me the necessary qualities to succeed as a graduate student. They have also awakened in me a passion for service, speech and language. I appreciate your consideration in advanced and thank you for the opportunity to share my passion with you.

Females dominate the world of Speech and Language Pathology. And yet, men are represented online to a large degree.

Erica Lester, M.S., CCC-SLP

Erica Lester is the owner and clinical director of speech language pathology programs at Talk Time, Speech Language Therapy and has a passion for helping others. Her enthusiasm for working with young children as a Speech-Language Pathologist serves as the foundation of Talk Time’s core values and standards.

Lester’s determination and steadfast desire to change the delivery of speech-language therapy into a delightful experience for children and their parents has been proven to be successful and is the goal for every child’s treatment program.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Indiana University-Bloomington and a Master of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology from Seton Hall University.

Lester has extensive experience in various areas of the speech, language and hearing disorders/mechanisms including Apraxia, Articulation, Attention Deficit, Auditory Processing, Augmentative Communication, Developmental Delays, Neurogenic Disorders, and Sensory, Social and Behavioral Deficiencies.

Her special interests include treating children with disabilities, autism and autistic like behaviors as well as working with children that have language and learning disabilities, expressive and receptive language delays, articulation concerns, auditory processing issues, phonological disorders and limited social skills.

Lester’s proven clinical experience is a result from working in private schools, public schools, early intervention and private practice settings.

In addition, she has taught as an adjunct professor for the Department of Speech Language Pathology at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. Lester developed and instructed an introductory course to communication disorders for prospective speech pathology graduate students where she formulated and integrated curriculum as well as mentored and advised undergraduate learners.

She is proud of the dedicated and highly qualified speech-language pathologists who work for her. She enjoys teaching and collaborating with them along with learning from them.

Jill Tate, MS CCC-SLP

Jill Tate received her Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders from the University of Oregon in 2001, and completed her Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Emerson College, Boston in 2003.

Tate returned to Portland for her Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY) at Child Development Rehabilitation Center (CDRC) and has worked in a variety of clinic environments to date. Jill was introduced to speech and language disorders at the age of 7 when she participated in her brother’s speech therapy sessions with Dr. Robert (Bob) Buckendorf.

This experience sparked a desire within her to help children communicate. Tate is passionate about connecting with and engaging each child in a manner that supports their individual needs.

She has expertise working with children who have speech disorders including phonological and articulation disorders (especially remediation of R), childhood apraxia of speech, dysarthria, fluency/stuttering and craniofacial disorders.

Tate also enjoys working with the pediatric population in areas including early language development. In 2013, she became an independent consultant for Complete Speech and more recently joined their advisory board.

The Smart Palate is a therapy tool that Tate proudly uses and shares with others. Tate is the owner of Jill Tate Speech Therapy and currently provides speech and language services in NE Portland and Lake Oswego.

Shelagh Davies

Shelagh Davies has a Master of Science degree in Speech and Audiological Sciences from the University of British Columbia, an Honors BA in English and Drama from Queen’s University at Kingston, and two diplomas in Speech Arts, from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto and the Mount Royal Conservatory in Calgary, Alberta.

Davies is also certified to administer the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment Program – a speech/voice treatment program specifically designed for people with Parkinson ’s disease.

For the past 25 years, Davies has been in private practice, specializing in the care of the voice. She has lectured nationally and internationally, including seminars and workshops in locations as diverse as Singapore and Crete, and is also a frequent presenter in schools, universities, colleges and voice training programs throughout British Columbia.

Davies is Clinical Associate Professor and clinical researcher in the School of Speech and Audiological Sciences at the University of British Columbia. She provides speech and voice training to transsexual women through the Transgender Health Information Program of British Columbia.

Prior to establishing her own practice, Davies worked in hospitals with people who had suffered strokes, neurological disorders, brain injury and throat cancer. Davies developed the speech-language services program at Lions Gate Hospital and Burnaby General Hospital, and has worked in a number of other acute care, rehabilitation and long-term care settings.

Davies’ connections to the scientific and artistic worlds of voice include:

  • Registered member, College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of British Columbia
  • Member, BC Association of Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Certified member, Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists
  • Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
  • Certification in the administration of the LSVT program, a speech/voice training program specifically designed for people with Parkinson’s Disease
  • Member, National Association of Teachers of Singing
  • Member, Voice and Speech Trainers Association
  • Member, Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health

These women are building a career for themselves in this interesting and challenging field. Are you planning to join them? If so, please let us know how we can support you.

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