Alumna Andrea Rosales (’19) is set to graduate with her master’s degree in Speech Pathology at Biola University in Spring 2021 and start her career as a speech pathologist. Rosales started her graduate degree immediately after completing her bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders.
“My personal experience combined with my love of working alongside elementary and middle school-aged students made a perfect combination that led me to pursue the field of speech-language pathology,” said Rosales.
Rosales has a couple personal connections with speech pathology, as she grew up receiving speech therapy in elementary school and credits her home-life for giving her eyes to see beauty in differences. Rosales is currently in an externship position at a private practice, working with clients of different ages and of different needs.
“I have already worked alongside clients who are between the ages of 2 1/2 and 65 years old who all have either acquired or congenital communication disorders,” said Rosales. “It has been sweet to learn more about my client's stories, collaborate with their families and other professionals, and ultimately be a support/advocate for them and their communication and functional needs.”
As Rosales continues to gain experience in the profession, she is becoming aware of the uniqueness of the position, noting that she sees clients as part of a wide spectrum of age and life stages.
“I love learning about the varying populations speech-language pathologists have the opportunity to work alongside,” said Rosales. “It is unique to catch clients in all stages of their lives and serve them alongside their families.”
Noting her parents as models of accepting and celebrating differences, Rosales brings this vision into working with clients.
“I witnessed my parents not only love other’s differences but also found value in them,” said Rosales. “Entering a field that works alongside a vast range of abilities, voices, and cultures, I aspire to see worth in those who are different than me.”
Rosales also views Biola as a place where she learned about herself and her own Hispanic culture. Through gaining a better understanding of her culture through activities and groups she was involved in, Rosales has a new view on the importance of sharing her culture with others. She hopes that Biola continues to grow in grace and understanding toward people of different cultures.
“Biola University has served me well in providing me hands-on opportunities to learn more about myself, my culture, and those around me. Through classes, studying abroad, Mock Rock, and SOS [now known as New Student Orientation], I have seen the importance and necessity of collaboration, discussion, and teamwork,” said Rosales. “These avenues have allowed me to critically think alongside those with differing cultures. I have been encouraged to enter conversations with compassion and a desire to understand. I would encourage the Biola community to continue to step out in confidence and ask questions to those who are different than themselves.”
Due to her experience at Biola allowing her to grow in her own cultural identity, Rosales desires to celebrate others’ stories in her profession.
“Biola has cultivated a healthy space to celebrate my culture with those who were/are culturally different from me. That space has allowed me to have conversations about diversity, share between cultures, and therefore celebrate others and their stories,” said Rosales. “In a field that has the potential to be full of grief, anger, and disappointment, I believe I can share and embody Christ’s hope by valuing them as individuals, reminding them that they are fully and uniquely human and that they are created with a purpose.”
Written by Sarah Dougher, media relations assistant. For more information, contact email@example.com.