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Speechie Spotlight!

July 3, 2012

Tawnya Schmidt

1. Hometown: Swift Current, Saskatchewan
2. Undergrad Degree: B.A. Major: Linguistics, Minor: Women’s and Gender Studies – University of Saskatchewan
3. Interests and Hobbies: Random shopping trips to Staples for a selection of fun school supplies, watching a variety Romantic Comedies on Netflix (and sometimes other genres), reading books (for fun…), and most of all – baking and cooking (for SLP bake-sales, dinner parties with friends, study party cupcakes – also known as procrasti-baking).
4. Where were you when you found out you were accepted?: I was in my undergrad cognitive psychology class, and my phone rang with an Alberta number (it was on silent and just sitting on my desk – I promise I was paying attention) – so I quickly grabbed it and slipped out the side door to answer it. Please note, that I usually would not take a call during class, however, I had been anxiously waiting for news  and I just had one of those gut feelings that this call would be it! So I answered, and was told I got in. It was one of those rare speechless moments, I could barely form coherent responses and asked for an email (because I was positive I would remember nothing about the call, except for the fact that I got in). I quickly left messages for both my parents with the news and then snuck back into class shaking with excitement and relief (I was also probably tearing up) – honestly, that was one of my favourite moments ever.
5. Your favourite part of the program: Being surrounded by such amazing and brilliant classmates – I really underestimated the amount and depth of friendship I would gain in this program and that aspect has exceeded all my expectations. It’s such a supportive and exciting environment – everyone is so genuinely passionate about what we’re doing and why we’re here – from the professors to the administration staff to each of the students.
6. The hardest part of the program: Fitting everything in – the workload can be overwhelming, so finding a good balance between school work and life outside the program can be a challenge (your agenda becomes your best friend – if it isn’t already).
7. Your favourite part of living in Edmonton:  I love everything about Edmonton, particularly: Whyte Avenue (tea at Steeps, bull-dogs at Julio’s, going out Saturday nights, Sunday afternoon shopping), Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market, the tree-lined streets around the University, how big it is (there is an Ikea – coming from Saskatchewan that pretty much sums it up) and how much there is to do!
8. One piece of advice you would give to incoming students: It can be an intense (and exciting) program, but it’s important to remember that you and 57 others are all in the same boat – so just enjoy the experience (stress and all). There is a lot to learn, but I promise you can do it. Do lots of social things outside of Corbett – celebratory post-finals beverages, a night out dancing, movie dates, pot-lucks, curling bonspiels, ski trips, skyping with your family and board-game nights. Just enjoy it and make some time for fun!

Emily Hill

1. Hometown: Sherwood Park (just east of Edmonton)
2. Undergrad Degree: B.Ed. (Secondary Education)
3. Interests and Hobbies: Speed Skating and other sports; Visual Arts (especially sculpture)
4. Where were you when you found out you were accepted: I came home from university and walked in to greet my parents. My dad was on the phone and my mom was trying to grab it away from him. She saw me walk in and said in a panic, “It’s the U of A Speech Pathology department, and your dad is telling them you don’t want to be in the program!”   AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!  Yes, that’s how I found out I got in the program. I spent the next while explaining to the department that I really did want to be in the program, and my dad only said that I didn’t because he wanted me to be a teacher. Long story short, I’m in the program and loving it. And even my dad thinks it’s pretty awesome.
5. Your favorite part of the program: My new 57 friends and the very interesting material we get to learn about.
6. The hardest part of the program: The workload.
7. One piece of advice you would give to incoming students: Enjoy your time in the program and have fun outside of school with your new friends. Take a break from time to time. When things get hectic or stressful, just remember that others have survived before you, and the department has hand selected you because they know you can do it! If they believe in you, you should believe in you too.

Abbey Massar

Hometown: Anten Mills, ON (outside of Barrie)
Undergraduate Degree: Speech and Language Sciences
Interests & Hobbies: Gymnastics, cheerleading, rock climbing, soccer, watching movies, reading (for fun), going to the beach, hanging out with friends!
How did you find out you were accepted: I was with a client working out at the YMCA. We had just finished and were going to get some ice cream. I had to go back to my car to get some money and saw that I had missed a call from U of A (I had programmed it into my phone just in case).  When I was working with clients I wasn’t allowed to be on my phone so I had to wait until the end of my shift to check my voicemail. By that time, I had received an email saying that I had been accepted. I started jumping up and down crying in the middle of the YMCA parking lot to celebrate! A stranger actually came up to me to ask if I was okay!
Your favourite part of the program: Getting to know all the other OUTSTANDING individuals I am lucky enough to call my classmates (colleagues soon enough!)
The hardest part of the program: Managing the workload.
Your favourite part about living in Edmonton: The long days in the summer! Seriously, it is light until almost 11pm! Love it!
One piece of advice you would give the incoming students: Realize right from the start, that you are not in competition with your classmates anymore! You are there to learn from each other and help each other out. It will make your 2 years much less stressful!

Stephanie Peddle

1. Hometown: St. John’s, Newfoundland
2. Undergrad Degree: B.A., Major in French, Minor in Linguistics
3. Interests and Hobbies: board games, going to movies, reading (for enjoyment, NOT textbooks), jazz music, dancing, swimming, road trips, drinking tea with friends =)
4. Where were you when you found out you were accepted?: The time in Newfoundland is a bit ahead of Alberta (3.5 hours to be exact), so I was doing a casual check of my e-mail around 9pm one night, not expecting any news. I already knew that I was on the wait list for U of A, as well as UBC, and it had been a looooong wait. My hopes were dwindling. I saw the first few lines of e-mail next to the subject heading, “Dear Stephanie, Congratulations!…” My heart stopped as I clicked on the e-mail to read more. I read as far as “Our department would like to offer you a position in our program for Fall 2011″ and I jumped up from my chair and hopped around my room (quietly yelling as my 11 year old brother was asleep next door). Like I said, my brother was asleep, so I couldn’t tell him, my parents were on vacation in a severely different time zone so I couldn’t call them, I called my boyfriend and got no answer… So I called a friend from class, Marlena, who I knew had already been accepted to U of A. She screamed happily for me, as did her mom, whom I had never met, in the background.
5. Your favorite part of the program: The friends I’ve made. The people in our class are outstanding. I couldn’t have picked a better class to be a part of. I never thought I’d have made as many great friends as I have. Also, it’s great learning from some outstanding profs and clinicians.
6. The hardest part of the program: The stress and time-managing (a.k.a. the 11 group projects you’ll have in 2nd term). I can honestly say I’ve never been so stressed before in my life. I’ve also learned a whole lot on how to deal with it, though.
7. Your favourite part of living in Edmonton: There’s so many beautiful trees and greenery everywhere! You guys also have an efficient bus and LRT system. Back home the buses come and go as they please. Whyte Ave is also a cool place.
8. One piece of advice you would give to incoming students: Okay, this is going to be hard guys. But you worked SO hard to get here and you deserve to be here. When you feel like you’ve reached your limit (this may have happened to me 8 times so far), talk to the people you love. Talk to your friends in class because, sure enough, they’re feeling it too. Take some time for yourself, have fun and enjoy doing non-speech things. Also, we needed incredible marks to get here, but throw that out the window now. Instead, you can just put the main focus on learning to learn for our careers and not for a 95% (but hey, celebrate it if you get it!!!).

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