In Focus: Michelle Frankino '13
Tell us about your path to Hofstra University.
In high school I always wanted to be a teacher. I loved to work with kids but I didn’t know if I wanted to work with a whole class. At that time, my two-year old cousin received speech services and I was able to observe some of the sessions. I thought it was amazing how he gained language skills so fast and I was intrigued by the methods that the speech pathologist used. That is when I began to look into speech pathology as a career. I attended Geneseo for my undergraduate degree and received a B.S. in Speech and Hearing Handicapped. My education at Geneseo provided me with a clinical foundation and research experience. I was very interested in research so Hofstra’s strong research component attracted me. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in December of 2009 and then worked in a school for six months prior to applying to graduate school. I chose to apply to Hofstra because I wanted to be on Long Island and compared to other schools in the area, Hofstra’s curriculum, research opportunities, and clinical opportunities stood out. I chose my major of speech-language pathology because I was very passionate about my undergraduate work and wanted to continue in that path.
What opportunities have you taken advantage of at Hofstra?
At Hofstra, I was able to gain experience in the Saltzman Center on-campus clinic where I worked during my first semester and over the summer. That opportunity allowed me to have a long-term clinical experience with one client and really follow through with that person.
I was also able to gain hospital experience with both veterans and children. It was a great experience especially since I know that it can be challenging to be able to work in medical settings.
I worked as a graduate assistant for Dr. Scott and Dr. Roberts during which I organized data for an ongoing study. I also had the opportunity to assist at orientations and welcome new students to our program.
As a student who was asked to provide program and university information to prospective students, I was able to reflect on how much I have learned here at Hofstra and really appreciate my Hofstra experience.
Have you found mentors among any of the faculty here?
I have found several mentors among both faculty and clinical supervisors. I still stay in contact with them and feel very comfortable e-mailing them with a current question or to share news.
How has your experience prepared you for your future job search?
Everything I’ve learned here has contributed to my employment search. Guest speakers provided information on resume building. All of the supervisors were willing to talk about the realities of getting a job. There are so many different aspects of speech to go into that jobs vary. I currently work in two schools in the Bronx. I felt extremely prepared and never hesitated to ask questions when needed.
What advice would you give to others looking attend Hofstra?
I would say that you should look at curriculum, scheduling, and consider all aspects of the program. Hofstra has a great program. The Hofstra professors and supervisors are very nurturing. It is apparent that they want you to succeed. At Hofstra you get to really know the other students because it’s a close knit program. We work in cohorts so there’s never a feeling of competition with others and the professors and supervisors encourage cooperation. It is very obvious that the faculty is passionate about what it does and the courses taught.
How were you able to finance your education at Hofstra?
I received the Ellen Parker Annual Scholarship for Clinical Excellence and Compassion in my second year. It was based on my clinical experience at the Saltzman Center. Hofstra has a wide range of clientele at the Saltzman Center. The supervisors at the clinic and the coordinator, Melissa, work with student preferences and are flexible with schedules. I had the opportunity to work with an Early Intervention (EI) group, an individual adult client and an individual preschool client. There were also opportunities to work with the Autism Clinic for additional experience.
What are your goals for the future?
Based on my experience at Hofstra, I plan to look into pursuing a Ph.D. Having the experiences that I have had has been incredible - it’s inspiring. I love so many different things about speech-language pathology and I love being around kids. Hofstra helped me to grow as a person, clinician, and helped to guide me to where I am today. I feel there are lots of opportunities and I am looking forward to seeing what the next three or four years brings.