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Speechie Spotlight!

July 13, 2012

Mary Gibson
1. Hometown: Dartmouth, NS
2. Undergrad Degree: Joint Honours Degree is Psychology and Linguistics
3. Interests and Hobbies: travelling to new places, reading, hanging out with friends, cooking and baking, dancing
4. Where were you when you found out you were accepted?: I was in my Human Sexuality undergraduate class in the evening. We wern’t supposed to use computers or cell phones in class, and the classroom had no cell service anyways, but I just quickly checked my email in class, and found one from the University of Alberta. I checked it, and was so excited! I was in class so I couldn’t get excited or text anyone, but I showed my friend beside me and we both got excited. During the break, I went and called my parents and texted my boyfriend. I was holding back the tears, it was just so exciting!
5. Your favorite part of the program: All of my fellow classmates and the great profs and clients we get to meet!
6. The hardest part of the program: Remembering that you deserve to be here, and that even if it’s tough, they picked you because they knew you could do it!
7. One piece of advice you would give to incoming students: Take it one day at a time, and prioritize what you have to do and do what’s most important first. Some things are useful, but may not be essential right now.

Meara Brown 

1. Hometown: Smithers, BC
2. Undergrad Degree: BA in Modern Languages, minor in Philosophy from Mount Allison University.
3. Interests and Hobbies: I feel no shame about my abiding love for reading trashy romance novels; I can read a whole novel in half a day. You need a mindless relaxing read? Come to me. I’ll hook you up. (I also love hiking in the BC mountains, and travelling around the world with very little money and a pair of flip-flops.)
4. Where were you when you found out you were accepted: I was sitting at home in my parents’ living room just before dinner when I got the email congratulating me on my acceptance. I must have made an odd strangled shriek, because my mum came out of the kitchen and asked me if I had choked on something. I told her I got into U of A and her response was, “This time it’s real, right?” (I had been one of those poor souls who “got in” to University of Toronto the year before, only to find out 4 days later that they made a clerical error and I wasn’t really accepted. It was heartbreaking!) We made plans to call the department the next day to confirm. THAT was a funny phone conversation…
5. Your favorite part of the program: Did I mention I love reading? And that I’m super fast at it? I think I’m the only person in this program that’s read most of the assigned readings. Did I also mention that I’m a super nerd? I love learning this stuff!
6. The hardest part of the program: The crazy amount of extra reading they expect us to do! Not even I can keep up!
7. One piece of advice you would give to incoming students: Have fun whenever you can. Our program is intense and everyone expects a lot out of you. Give yourself the time to laugh, cry, and dance. School is not the be-all, end-all of life and it’s hard to remember that sometimes!

Ashley Reimer
1. Hometown: Lethbridge, Alberta
2. Undergrad Degree: Major in General Science, Minor in French from the University of Lethbridge
3. Interests/Hobbies: Travelling, photography, going to movies, playing tennis
4. Where were you when you found out you were accepted: I was at my aunt and uncle’s house who I worked for at the time, when I decided to check my email.  I noticed I had a new email from the U of A which said Congratulations in the subject line!  I read it then told my aunt right away and she was super excited for me.  I then proceeded to make a few phone calls because I had to tell others too!  Needless to say, it was very hard to get any work done after that!
5. Your favorite part of the program: Meeting all of the great people!  Summer clinic has also been really cool being able to actually put into practice what we have learned!
6. The hardest part of the program: Keeping up with the workload!  Also switching my brain from school and student mode to being a student clinician for clinic and lesson planning.
7. Your favourite part of living in Edmonton: There are so many things to do, especially in the summer!
8. One piece of advice you would give to incoming students: Make sure to balance school and other recreational activities.  It’s easy to get stressed out and overwhelmed, but RELAX. There are so many people to help you and encourage you along the way.

Kathryn Sirard 
1. Hometown: Pickering, Ontario
2. Undergrad Degree: Speech and Language Sciences from Brock University
3. Interests and Hobbies: baking muffins, napping, watching Sons of Anarchy
4. A story about when you found out you were accepted!: A few minutes after I got my acceptance email (and had calmed down enough to think coherently) I emailed my aunt, who knew all about my application stress. She responded in a few minutes, and one of the very first things she said was “I will buy you a thick winter coat. You’ll need it!”
5. Your favorite part of the program: One of my favourite things was meeting all the new people, and how quickly we became a cohesive group. The profs are really passionate about the areas they teach, and I really felt like they cared about us. Also, the cadaver labs turned out to be super cool!
6. The hardest part of the program: The hardest part was managing everything. Assignments and work take as long as you let them take, which was definitely a lesson I learned. There are a few weeks when I forgot what fresh air felt like, but getting through those weeks was a wonderful feeling.
7. Your favourite/least favourite part of living in Edmonton: This is cheesy, but living this far away from my family and friends made me realize how much I love them.
8. One piece of advice you would give to incoming students: Always take time for breaks. The program starts to get intense pretty quickly, and you can easily be overwhelmed with the workload. Don’t forget about the non-speech parts of your life! And if you’re really stressed, a 10 minute dance party in your living room can make a huge difference.

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