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portrait of Jennifer McKenzie

Jennifer McKenzie

Speech Language Pathologist For Fox C-6

Communication Disorders

Graduated in 2007

Explain your career path

I work as a school speech language pathologist and have experience working with pre-k- high school students. I currently work four days at a middle school and one day at an elementary. I enjoy working with students with varying abilities. Communication is a key skill so I have the opportunity to see progress and growth in my students.

What was your major at Southeast and what led you to that?

Communication Disorders I began as an education major but quickly changed when teaching and revising language arts papers wasn’t my thing. I literally looked through the entire catalog and realized that it would be neat to pursue a career as a speech therapist since I required speech therapist services from age 3-grade 4 to improve my production of sounds. I remembered my frustrations as a young child with an articulation disorder and knew I wanted to help others.

Why did you choose to attend Southeast?

My older sister attended southeast and it was roughly 1.5 hours from my home. It was far enough the live on campus to gain a college experience but close enough to visit home if needed. Likewise, I was offered more scholarship funds compared to other universities.

Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?

I would say my sister, my Tri Sigma sorority sisters, and professor names Dr. Drummond who was the department chair for Communication Disorders. She was a hard teacher but pushed her students to their limits to achieve success.

Share your best college memory.

My best college memory would include intramurals with my sorority sisters and meeting/dating my now husband. Secondly I enjoyed being a part of Emerging Leaders and taking a volunteer alternative spring break trip to North Carolina helping with Habitat for Humanity. Lastly life long memories were made as the president of Sigma Sigma Sigma and National Panhellenic Council.

What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?

The experiences with working with all types of people was very beneficial. I learned that I had a passion for people with disabilities and had an opportunity to work with adults with disabilities at Horizons Center. I received a great foundation of communication disorders and how to diagnose and treat my current students. Lifelong bonds were made and the networking continues to be beneficial in my professional life.

Describe Southeast in three words.

Education, family, memories

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

Being recognized as a Masterpiece Award Nominee in our district, being my Alumnae Chapter President (Sigma Sigma Sigma Greater St Louis area alumnae)

How did your education at Southeast prepare you for what you are doing today?

Provided multiple experiences and internships to learn about a variety of students and indivials with communication need. Helped me learn priorities, work ethic and purpose.

What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?

It is difficult but stick with it. It is a rewarding and flexible field that allows you to specialize and use your strengths.

What do you wish you had known before graduating and entering the "real world"?

How to manage student loans, how to supplement my degree with minor and adding additional educational certifications


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