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Student Profiles, 2010

Current PhD candidate

Elena Patten, PhD candidate in Speech & Hearing Sciences, discusses why she chose to pursue a PhD and her research interests and experience at UNC

Research interest:
Communication in children with autism.
The speech-language pathologist (SLP) has a special relation in the life of the child. Usually the doctor only sees the child for a short time and teachers often don’t have as strong a relation with parents, but the SLP has an intense relation both with the child and the family and sees the whole child. The SLP celebrates even the tiniest steps of progress with the family, because they are a big deal.”

MS-SLP student

Enetta Grindstaff, student in the Master’s program in Speech & Hearing Sciences, working with her language-delayed child, Alanna, at home and discussing assessment and progress

Special interests:
Acute Care – NICU/PICU feeding and swallowing; school system
”My daughter Alanna was born at 24 weeks and weighed 1 lb. 7 oz. She was in the UNC NICU for an extended period, and we were told she would likely be blind, deaf, and learning disabled. She has worked with speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and special resources teachers, and she is progressing well and only has a mild language delay. Her situation inspired me to pursue speech and hearing as a profession. As a bonus, I am also able to apply the skills I have learned in the program in helping both Alanna and her 1-year-old brother Joey develop their literacy skills, such as how to read a book, ask questions, and parse words.”
Kaitlyn Wilson

Photo: Robert Ladd 

Kaitlyn Wilson, PhD student in Speech & Hearing Sciences, talks about her research in autism and about speech and hearing sciences as a career.

PhD student

Research interest: 
Autism – intervention in the classroom and at home

“What I would tell someone thinking of going into speech and hearing is that helping people communicate is a noble thing to do. Interacting with kids and families is the most rewarding aspect; it reminds you why you are doing it. There is a high demand and a high need for speech and hearing professionals.”

Transcript of audio

Lucia Mendez

Photo: Robert Ladd 

Lucia Mendez, a PhD candidate in Speech & Hearing Sciences, describes her research interest in bilingual language development and literacy

Lucia Mendez, a PhD candidate in Speech & Hearing Sciences, describes the speech & hearing profession

Research interest: 
Early bilingual language development and literacy

"A strength of the UNC program is the availability of many disciplines. There is high-quality research being done and excellent training in research methodology and grant writing. The size of the program allows you to tailor it to your personal interests. It is a rigorous program, but you truly get dividends from your time investment.”

Transcript of audio concerning bilingual language development.

Transcript of audio concerning the profession.