Anna Ortigara is a senior, focusing on speech-language pathology.
What are you general impressions of your studies and SHS as a whole?
I love the Speech and Hearing Science Department! Every year I become more involved in the major and discover new, interesting aspects about the field. My impression of my fellow students is that they are extremely resourceful, capable, inquisitive, and organized. The Speech and Hearing Science Department is so skilled at using resources on campus to improve the lives of individuals in the community and beyond. I appreciate how inter-disciplinary the department is and what an impact the department makes in so many different ways. My professors are so excellent at teaching and the clinicians at the clinic are so interesting and great, too! A major aspect of the department is on communication, and as every person communicates, I love how what I study reflects so much that I see in my daily life!
What has been your most interesting experience at the University of Illinois?
My most interesting experience at Illinois has been working in the Discourse Analysis Lab of Dr. Julie Hengst in the Speech and Hearing Science Department. In lab I have analyzed and coded video data of experimental therapy sessions between an individual with severe non-fluent aphasia and a graduate student clinician. Watching and analyzing these sessions has completely shaped my view of the field, particularly the importance of clinician-client relationships on the outcome of speech and language therapy.
What are your post-graduation plans?
I hope to attend graduate school for Speech-Language Pathology!
What extracurricular activities/student organizations are you involved with?
I am involved with NSSHLA, the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, at our University’s level as well as Convopartners, an organization run with the Intensive English Institute (IEI) on campus. I am also a Speech and Hearing Science Ambassador for the College of Applied Health Sciences (AHS) Student council and a member of I-LEAP, the Mannie L. Jackson Illinois Academic Enrichment and Leadership Program. I also love participating in events with the Deaf community in the Champaign-Urbana area.
What do you like to do for fun?
For fun I like to watch movies, play card games, dance, and read things that were not assigned for class.
Why would you recommend SHS and the College of Applied Health Sciences to others?
The college of Applied Health Sciences welcomed me so well my first year here when I was overwhelmed by the size of the University. Each year as my perspective and needs change as a student, the college’s role has changed with mine. AHS is such a great college and I recommend it to prospective students because the individuals are so kind and interesting and the courses, research, and programs offered through the college are so extraordinary and exciting. It is just a great fit for so many students! And SHS is just a really special department. The work being done in the department really improves so many people’s lives. I could not be in a better college or department.