Education:Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, Idaho State University, 2008
Bachelor of Science with minor in Spanish, Idaho State University, 2006
Certification for Spanish Medical Interpreting, 2003
Profession: Bilingual Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist at St. Luke's Elks Rehab in the Boise Valley; in charge of all continuing education for St. Luke's Elks Rehab; member on the area's Cleft Lip and Palate Team; assist in putting on one of the only augmentative communication camps (AAC Camp) in the country for children who have severe communication challenges caused by autism, cerebral palsy or other delays in development.
Interests/Hobbies: I enjoy playing with my 2-year-old son and spending time with my family. I also enjoy whitewater rafting, camping/backpacking, swimming, basketball, woodworking, Web development and creating multimedia presentations.
Latest Accomplishment: I built a really cool toy chest for all of my son's stuff . and, thanks to his grandmothers, he already needs another one!
In February 2011, I accepted a position on the Cleft Lip and Palate Team at St. Luke's Children's Hospital. I also taught myself the Web development application Dreamweaver and began helping with the Idaho State Speech Language Hearing Association's website.
Why I Do What I Do: I had a patient once who had never said any word before. A few sessions into treatment, he looked at his mother and said "mama" and ran and hugged her. She started crying and said he had never said that before. The look in her eyes and the importance of that little bit of communication is why I do what I do.
I also love speaking Spanish and being one of the very few bilingual speech-language pathologists. It is a great opportunity to help underserved children and families.
Words of Wisdom: Take advantage of opportunities to learn in every aspect of life. Don't just learn the answers to the test, learn to create the test. You would be surprised how often something I learned in a supposedly "unrelated" class or boring lecture comes back to help me with a patient, on the computer or in some other area. You can only get out of life what you put in. Also, take the time to learn another language.
ISU Recollection: I remember a day when I had spoken to one of my professors, Dr. Tony Seikel, and had noticed that he was particularly stressed (which he rarely showed to anyone). Five minutes later. I was sitting in class and in he walks with a huge smile, as if it was the best day ever: "Good morning, sports fans! We have so much to get to today!" he said. He taught every day and every subject as if it was the most exciting information you could possibly be receiving. That combined with the hemi-heads in his trunk (for our brain labs) and the classic bumper stickers plastered all over his little Honda, made for lots of good memories.
ISU Experience: I had the advantage of attending school on both the Pocatello and Boise (now located in Meridian) campuses and I liked both for different reasons. Being in the Treasure Valley gave me great opportunities for placements, diversity, and jobs, including my current one.
Beyond my training in my profession, which has opened many career doors, my experiences at ISU continue to help me in other ways. I had the opportunity to work for the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the Instructional Technology Resource Center which gave me experience with Web development, computer information systems, and a variety of computer software. Those experiences have made me a more effective therapist and given me tools that continue to help me in many areas of my life. Thanks to Dr. Seikel and ITRC's Randy Stamm for all their wisdom!