Misericordia University junior speech-language pathology major Danielle Spagnuolo of Wyoming recently was awarded the Northeastern Speech-Language-Hearing Association of Pennsylvania's (NESHAP) Undergraduate Scholarship Award at the spring workshop in Fogelsville.
NESHAP is a professional organization of speech-language pathologists, audiologists, educators of the hearing impaired, and speech, language and hearing scientists in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The professional organization's mission is to "promote the interests of and provide the highest quality services for professionals in the field, and advocate for people with communication disorders.''
The competitive scholarship award is open to students attending Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg, Marywood and Misericordia universities. Students were required to submit two letters of recommendation, an essay that addresses one of three subjects, and various information related to the field of study.
"The importance of this profession (speech-language pathology) runs deeper than any person who has never experienced it can imagine,'' Spagnuolo wrote in her essay. "Not only can we help individuals of all ages learn how to produce sounds correctly and allow those with swallowing difficulties learn how to safely swallow among so many other things, but speech-language pathologists provide clients and patients with the ability to enjoy their daily lives again.''
Spagnuolo also was writing about her own personal experience with the profession and the impact it has had on her young life. A lifelong articulation disorder made her mispronounce words with the "r'' sound. "It was a shocking realization that – even if my mind and ideas were correct – I might not be taken seriously,'' she wrote.
Today, Spagnuolo can manage her articulation disorder after being in speech therapy for more than one year. "What I took from my experience was so much more than just learning the tongue and lip placement of the 'r' sound,'' she wrote. "The clinicians who worked with me targeted everything that I needed to start me on the road to getting my confidence to the point where I would talk on the telephone again or get up in front of my class and give a presentation.
"Without this profession, I do not think I would have had the confidence or strength to stand at a register and order food, let alone present research that I invested my heart and soul in at state, national and international conferences, Spagnuolo added.For more information about the speech-language pathology program at Misericordia University, please call (570) 674-6400 or log on to www.misericordia.edu/slp