Dr. Pamela Dominguez (University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health) as had the unique opportunity of attaining an array of clinical experiences as a high school and community college student. Growing up in a suburb north of Baltimore, Maryland, Ms. Dominguez first gained exposure to the nursing field – working as a nursing assistant in hospitals, public schools and home health.
“I love the healthcare field and knew I belonged there,” she says. “After gaining so much experience, I found out that there are more diverse occupations in the field than just doctors and nurses. Speech-language pathology stole my heart almost instantly once I learned more about it.”
After graduating from Harford Community College, Ms. Dominguez enrolled in a bachelor’s in hearing and speech sciences program at the University of Maryland. It was there that she met professor, Dr. Nan Bernstein Ratner, who helped the first-generation college student navigate her transfer and integration into the university setting and the field of communication sciences and disorders (COMD). Under Dr. Ratner’s mentorship, Ms. Dominguez won a PROmoting the next GENeration of Researchers (PROGENY) Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
Dr. Ratner also introduced Ms. Dominguez to Arnold School COMD professor, Dr. Julius Fridriksson, whose research focuses on understanding and treating aphasia, a communication disorder following stroke or other brain injury that may impact the individual’s ability to read, write, speak or understand language. This introduction, coupled with an on-campus visit to the COMD department and its Montgomery Speech, Hearing, and Language Clinic, helped Ms. Dominguez make her final decision when choosing a graduate program.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on October 11