Graduating with impact
Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences senior Grace Judin has always wanted to work with children. Since coming to The University of Texas at Austin from Dallas in 2020, she’s had the chance to gain that experience and much more.
Today, she serves as co-president of the University’s National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, which she has been involved with her entire time on the Forty Acres.
Judin said she enjoys helping her fellow Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences students feel more connected to the department. The organization hosts events throughout the year to provide resources to students on campus.
In her time at Moody College of Communication, Judin also has worked as a senior student associate in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, as well as other student positions. Department chair Raj Koul said her work has been an integral part of the department’s achievements.
“Students work in the labs, in the clinics, so our success is intimately related to the success of the students,” he said.
Koul’s research looks at how technology helps people with disabilities communicate. When not conducting research, he enjoys teaching the next generation of speech-language pathologists and audiologists to achieve their dreams.
“Teaching brings me the most satisfaction,” he said. “Getting students excited about the material is the goal. I really don’t care that much about what grade they get.”
Judin said she has been especially inspired during her time at Moody College while studying under Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences professor Courtney Byrd, who founded and directs the Arthur M. Blank Center for Stuttering Education and Research. She also has valued her time with professor Natalie Czimskey. Both professors have led workshops on applying to graduate school for UT’s NSSLHA members.
Judin worked directly with the Blank Center as part of its Camp Dream. Speak. Live. program, a summer camp that helps children who stutter. She said this past summer was life-changing because she spent a week helping the children have an immersive and positive experience.
“It was really an awesome experience just to watch how the children grew over the week,” Judin said. “I think the Blank Center and Camp Dream.Speak.Live is a super special opportunity that my friends at other colleges don’t have. We are receiving hands-on experiences during undergrad.”
As for what’s next in Judin’s life? She plans to go to graduate school. Along with completing a clinical fellowship and passing a national exam, speech-language pathologists must obtain a master’s degree to practice in their career field. Judin isn’t sure exactly what area of speech, language and hearing sciences she hopes to work in, but she knows she wants to work with children.
“I like that I don’t have to have a big-girl job yet,” she said. “I get two more years to figure it out.”