Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences In Focus: Kelly M. Glynn, MA, CCC-SLP
Congratulations on being featured in the January 2014 “The ASHA Leader." Tell us about your role as a speech-language pathologist at South Shore Center for Speech, Language, and Swallowing Disorders.
Thank you! It is a true honor to be published in such a well-respected publication such as “The ASHA Leader.”
My role as a speech-language pathologist is to help my clients achieve their goals in the most individualized and memorable way possible. I feel as if it is my responsibility as a speech-language pathologist to ensure that my client is as engaged as possible, regardless of their age. Whether they are 4 years old and obsessed with the newest Disney cartoon or 84 years old and obsessed with Fox News – it is my job to add in elements from their personal interests to keep them as engrossed as possible and motivated to achieve their specific speech and/or language goals. I currently treat clients ranging from birth to geriatric, in a variety of settings. Every day is different for me and nothing is the same. Some days I start in my office seeing a variety of clients back to back, and other days I begin my day doing therapy at my two year old client’s home on their living room floor with a child who is so excited to see what’s in my giant bag of toys and tricks to use for their session. Two evenings a week I work at the United Cerebral Palsy Association mainly performing swallowing therapy with an adult population. This is one of the many amazing advantages of working in a private practice – you get to see so much. My role as a speech-language pathologist is one that is always changing depending on what my schedule is and what my clients’ goals/personal interests are. It is extremely important to not get completely lost in the goals, the data and the paperwork because it is my biggest priority as a speech-language pathologist to always remember my clients are people who have interests that should be incorporated into their therapy as best as possible.
How did your experience at Hofstra University prepare you for your job search?
My experience at Hofstra University literally set me on my path to my current job. It all started with my professors and clinical supervisors who always made sure to create strong working relationships with me. This made me realize that it was important for me to do that with my internship supervisors as well. I had three internship placements, and I am fortunate enough to remain in contact with all three supervisors. I am also fortunate enough to call one of them, Steven Asofsky, my boss. It was through my internship and keeping in contact with someone I deemed an important resource that I was able to obtain a position in a well-regarded private practice. It was during that internship that I learned how important it is to make your time count and make an impression on your supervisors while you are interning, as you never know where that relationship with each of them will take you. Prior to my job at South Shore Center for Speech, I completed my Clinical Fellowship Year at Developmental Disabilities Institute - another one of my previous internship locations. Again, this was an opportunity I was able to seize due to a strong working relationship with my supervisor. It is pretty amazing how it all works out - Hofstra gives you the opportunity to network with people in the field by giving you internships but at the end of the day, it is up to you to make the most out of those opportunities!
What led you to be interested in speech-language-hearing pathology?
In my senior year of high school, I decided to take American Sign Language as my foreign language class. I became fascinated with Deaf Culture and all there was to it. I became intrigued by the idea of people having to communicate differently than the mainstream. I wondered who helped these people learn the skills necessary to communicate more effectively if they wished to do so. It was at that moment that I began thinking about communication, and did a search on Google. The first search result that came up was an article on the American Speech Language Hearing Association website about speech-language pathologists. I began reading the article, and I was hooked. I knew this was what I had to do. It wasn’t until I was well into my undergraduate career that I realized the variety of clients a speech-language pathologist worked with. I became further interested in the field when my Grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and began to lose his ability to communication as the disease unfortunately progressed. As his battle with Parkinson’s worsened, he was often in the hospital, and I saw that he was treated as if he was incompetent because the people caring for him had difficulty understanding his speech. As a future speech-language pathologist, this was infuriating to me. This gave me the gentle push I needed to completely plunge into the field headfirst.
What attracted you to Hofstra’s speech-language-hearing pathology program?
I was honestly drawn to Hofstra’s speech program after attending a graduate open house. I had attended many open house events at surrounding colleges, but I felt that Hofstra had the most welcoming staff. At the open house event, the professor I spoke with was so interested in learning about me and what I saw in my future. It felt like a personal experience, something very few schools offer. That is something I can say from my own experience is 100% true of Hofstra’s program – it is truly a personal experience. Each professor that I encountered at Hofstra was eager to push me in the direction that I wanted to go.
Describe your experience working and studying with faculty within the department.
Truth be told, the curriculum at Hofstra University was some of the most challenging material I’ve had the opportunity to study. It took a great deal of effort and help from some of the most supportive faculty I’ve had the privilege to learn from to get through the program. It is the combination of amazing faculty and memorable experiences in the classroom and in the field that helped make me the pathologist I am today. I learned from Dr. Bloom to always take everything in stride, and not to sweat the small stuff; tomorrow’s another day. I learned from Wendy Silverman to always be proud of my ability to think outside of the box and to use every available resource, no matter how farfetched. I learned from Melissa Fitzgerald to be a well-rounded therapist who is never afraid to try something new and to always give my clients my best work. It’s these lessons, that one can only get at Hofstra University, that gave me the confidence and skill to be the best speech-language pathologist that I can be.
What advice would you give others considering the program at Hofstra?
Stay focused – keep your eyes on the prize! There are going to be times when you feel completely overwhelmed with your coursework and internships but you need to remember the reason why you got into this field. Work as hard as you can and remain dedicated. Take a moment to enjoy each opportunity given to you and try to never turn down anything. Most importantly, don’t take creating relationships with the faculty for granted. These are men and women who have numerous years of experience in the field and have been in your shoes. Don’t forget that while you are at Hofstra they may be your mentors, but once you graduate, they become some of the best colleagues you’ll ever have.