Why Students Choose COSD

A Highlander is not afraid to stand up and say 'I can do this'."

Hannah Tuttle '20

Communication Sciences and Disorders major with a minor in Psychology

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Past Student Spotlights:


Joshua Tuggle '21 Communication Sciences and Disorders major with a minor in Special Education

Joshua is a senior in the COSD program and was elected our NSSLHA Chapter President for the 2020-2021 year. He became interested in COSD because it was the perfect mixture between becoming a teacher and working in the medical field. Joshua is passionate about working with kids and would like to learn how his role as a SLP could help kids expand their literacy skills. He loves socializing and collaborating with others and would like to put his strengths towards helping children communicate for the first time. During his free time, he likes to spend time with his friends and watch supernatural shows. Joshua sees himself working in a school or private practice in the next 5 years and potentially pursuing a Ph.D. program afterwards.

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Jenna is 2nd year graduate student. She received speech therapy services in elementary school and her experience drove her to pursue a career in speech-language pathology. Jenna wants to work with adults and is interested in adult neurogenic communication disorders. She knows firsthand how much of an emotional toll certain experiences can have after speaking with a stroke survivor. She loves the profession because while she helps others communicate, she also gets to build up their confidence while helping them grow in other abilities. In her free time, she enjoys running, playing the violin, spending time with her family, and ending the day with ice cream and an episode of The Office. Jenna sees herself working with adults in a long-term care facility or an inpatient rehab setting within the next 5 years.


Jenna Abrahamsen '21

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Alannah Wilson Pre-Communication Sciences and Disorders major

Alannah is a freshman Pre-COSD major. She chose COSD because she had been exposed to speech-language pathology since a young age. She received speech services as a child and her mother works as a physical therapy assistant. People, especially those with disabilities, have a special place in Alannah’s heart and she wants to make people’s lives better. She enjoys working with both children and senior citizens and sees herself working either in a special education classroom or in a group home for adults. She belives a career in speech-language pathology would be fulfilling because she describes herself as a people person who wants to make an impact on her patients. Alannah has a genetic disorder called Classic Galactosemia. This condition causes difficulty with digesting dairy but can affect patients in other ways. Her twin sister also has Classic Galactosemia and her family noticed how Alannah has a softer and breathier voice while her twin sister has a louder voice. She therefore wants to research whether Classic Galactosemia plays a role in these vocal differences and whether the condition can affect other speech patterns. She likes to hang out with her friends and family, play with her service dog Mimi, and write and sing her own songs. In the next 5-10 years, Alannah sees herself finishing up undergrad and attending Radford for graduate school where she can eventually find a good job and change people’s lives for the better. 

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Kevin is a first-year graduate student in COSD. When asked what drove him to choose a career in speech-language pathology, he said: “My grandfather, Dr. Otis Simmons is one of my heroes. I loved listening to his stories because they were all filled with wisdom and he always quoted famous philosophers. I remember one of his favorite quotes was: "Find a job you love, and you'll never work a day in your life." – Confucius. A career in speech-language pathology allows me to do what I love (listen and share stories with others). It was God's provision in my life and my grandfather's values that were instilled in me that were driving forces to choose a career in speech language pathology. We're in a field of work where we can make a huge impact in an individual's life as well as their family. That right there is so rewarding to me.” He sees himself working in the school setting with the pediatric population and he is interested in fluency research. In his free time, he likes to listen to Justin Bieber, draw, and eat great food. In the next 5-10 years, he sees himself opening a private practice, The Singing SLP, and partnering with ASHA to foster the recruitment of people of color for speech-language pathology.

COSD Professor Dr. Diane Millar had this to say about Kevin: “The world is a better place because of individuals like Kevin. He’s gracious, generous, thoughtful, and compassionate. Every day, I see the people around him change because of his positivity, and whenever anyone mentions him by name, their smile gets a little bigger and their voice a little softer. Thank you, Kevin, for all that you do and all that you inspire!”


Kevin Simmons '22

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Past Faculty Spotlights:


Amy Hammond

Amy has worked as an adjunct clinical supervisor in the COSD program for 7 years. She attended the University of Tennessee for her undergraduate career and graduated with her M.S. in 2002 from Western Kentucky University. She first worked with children and adults at a private practice that had contracts with hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and home health agencies. She later worked with children in an outpatient setting and eventually found herself working for Pulaski County Schools. Working in the school system was one of the best decisions she ever made where she had the opportunity to treat and diagnose children of all ages. She enjoys seeing the “lightbulb” moment that kids have when they get something right for the first time and finds it rewarding when kids are having fun in speech therapy without realizing that they’re working towards a goal. In our clinic, Amy knows how nervous grad students can be when working with patients and strives to help them feel comfortable and confident in their learning process. During her free time, Amy loves reading, traveling, painting, and being with family and friends.

Current 2nd year Sara Bobbitt is currently working with Ms. Hammond in the field and she had this to say: “Ms. Hammond has been an amazing clinical supervisor. I have learned so much from her! She is always available to answer questions and has a super go with the flow attitude. She has worked so hard through this COVID craziness to help me feel competent and get my clock hours.”

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Past Alumni Spotlights:

Shannon is a Radford University alum who graduated with her Master's, in COSD, in 2014. Before coming to Radford, she completed her undergrad at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been an SLP for 6 years and is the owner of Speechy Musings. Speechy Musings is a blog and store tailored to helping SLPs be effective clinicians and provides insight for growth in their career. Shannon has had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings throughout her career and she loves the variety. She first worked in a multidisciplinary outpatient clinic and then transitioned into a school setting. She worked with elementary and preschoolers and eventually saw herself working with middle school students. She currently works per diem at a variety of pediatric settings. She enjoys being an SLP because she loves the children she’s been able to work with and enjoys the fast-paced nature of the job. She never finds herself bored and feels like there is always more to learn to continue growing as a professional. In her free time Shannon enjoys being outside and traveling. She hikes several times a week and uses every opportunity she can to travel somewhere new. 


Shannon Werbeckes '14