CSD Grad Students Take Over Internships Across the Country

Keyara Newkirk outside her internship in Mason, Michigan
Erica Meissner interning in Troy, Michigan
Delaney Hurst working at the Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio
Jennifer Herrema at the rehabilitation center in Hart, Michigan
Olivia Sowa at the outpatient clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah

CSD graduate students spread far and wide across the state of Michigan this past summer to fulfill their second clinical practicum requirement. A handful of students traveled to neighboring states for internships as well, and one student completed her internship in Utah. These practicum experiences are designed for students to further their knowledge and skills in the field of Speech-Language Pathology via hands-on learning. Traumatic brain injury centers, skilled nursing facilities, three separate children’s hospitals, outpatient clinics and various rehabilitation centers are a few of the different types of facilities that hosted our students. Please read below for a few highlights from a few of the members of the CSD MA, 2018 cohort.

Keyara Newkirk had an internship with Origami Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center, in Mason, Michigan. When we asked her about her experience at Origami, Keyara was filled with enthusiasm, and would absolutely recommend other students to look at having an internship with Origami.

“One of my favorite things about this internship is how we use seemingly simple activities to address a multitude of deficits in a way that makes therapy fun, engaging, and inclusive," said Newkirk. "Working with the adult population has been life changing and has cemented the thought that this is where I’m meant to work, and these are the people I’m meant to work with.”

Erica Meissner interned in the suburbs of Detroit at Halpin & Associates Speech and Language Therapy in Troy, Michigan. Halpin & Associates uses play-based therapy, and Erica said learning about this approach to therapy as well as running a private practice were definitely extra bonuses to this internship.

“I loved this internship," said Meissner. "It was a great experience being in a private practice and seeing all of the things that need to be done besides therapy, like insurance billing and running the office. This gave me tons of experience in different areas in addition to the clinical piece. Halpin & Associates uses play-based therapy, and I was able to see how this approach to therapy benefits an age-range of pediatric clients, most being under the age of ten. I was able to see clients from ages 3-22, all with a different focus, in one day.”

Delaney Hurst spent the summer working at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio. Delaney’s internship was a busy one, with a different schedule almost every day. On Tuesdays, she was in the Voice Lab at the main hospital, and Wednesdays and Thursdays were spent in the TIP Preschool Program at the hospital, for children at risk from various degrees of trauma.

“In addition to exposing me to a wide range of clinical diagnoses and therapy techniques, this placement has taught me patience and flexibility," said Hurst. "The frequent schedule changes due to cancellations, and jumping from supervisor to supervisor kept me on my toes!  Even learning to lesson plan for an entire day in less than 20 minutes has been super beneficial to my ability to think on my feet and truly apply my knowledge under pressure.”

Jennifer Herrema was at Lakeside Comprehensive Rehabilitation in Hart, Michigan for the summer. Jennifer was thankful she got to work with a diverse range of patients, and a warm and welcoming staff.

“This internship has provided me with experience in the areas of speech and language development, voice, traumatic brain injury, dysphagia, dysarthria, and apraxia, in addition to seeing patients with cerebral palsy, autism and the rare brain disease called Moyamoya Disease," said Herrema. "I have been able to work with culturally and linguistically diverse clients as well as those who are learning to communicate through sign language. I have gained an incredibly diverse amount of clinical knowledge and experience in the outpatient setting and I absolutely love the range of clients I got to see each day.”

Olivia Sowa traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah to complete an internship with ENT Specialists, an outpatient clinic. Olivia found this opportunity through a connection with a faculty member here at Communicative Science & Disorders, Dr. Eric Hunter, and pursued it because they offered expertise in the area of voice and the treatment of voice disorders, an area of CSD she is particularly interested in.

“I absolutely loved this internship, especially since it’s where my passion in speech-language pathology lies," said Sowa. "I have always dreamed of working in a clinic that serves patients with voice disorders. Watching a patient’s journey in learning how to ‘get their voice back’ is an amazing process that I loved being a part of.”

By Alex Love