#CHBSChats with Pamela Molnar

Read more about Pamela's time in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program


 

Series produced by: Morgan Bond
Creative Services Social Media Assistant

Pamela Molnar

What do you like most about being involved in the CSD major

I love getting to know so many people and all of the experiences that I have had.  I have gotten to conduct and participate in research, volunteer with speech-laguage pathologists, participated in and led service activities with the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA), gotten to know many professors, and made some great friends!  

How has the learning environment in the CSD program helped you become more successful? 

The professors in our department are some of the best professors I have had throughout college. They are so willing to help and will always make time to meet with you.  They not only try to get to know you professionally, but also make an effort to get to know you as a person, which is really awesome!

What has been your most rewarding experience in your major so far? 

I think one of my favorite experiences is working in the research labs.  I have been a part of the team in the speech acoustics lab since my sophomore year.  I am now working on my honors thesis in the lab and am spearheading a new project in the lab.  While my project is a lot of work, it is extremely rewarding knowing that I am helping to contribute to the body of knowledge in the field of speech-language pathology.

Tell us what NSSLHA is about and why you wanted to get involved. 

The National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association is a preprofessional organization that helps students who want to be either speech-language pathologists or audiologists learn more about our field.  It also helps connect students with professors and other professionals in the field.  I first got involved as a freshman because I thought it would be good to be in in a club that could help me learn more about my major.  I really enjoyed being a part of NSSLHA, so I decided to run for an executive position to be able to give back and help us get more involved in the community and the CSD department.

Tell us about your leadership position of president for NSSLHA and what your different duties are. 

As the President of NSSLHA I work with a board of seven other officers to plan meetings and events and make sure things run smoothly.  This year as President, I am implementing a new program with the help of my executive board.  The Professor of the Month program helps our members get to know faculty more and learn about their specific interests.  This program features a different faculty member from the CSD Department each month.  The professor has three obligations for the month: 1) They speak at a meeting, 2) They go on a coffee date with four students sponsored by NSSLHA, 3) They bring a group of six to eight students to their lab to show/talk to them about their research.  This year my goal was to increase the engagement of our members and bring us closer to the faculty.  This program helps to do this.

Have you had any opportunities outside of JMU that have helped you succeed even more in your major? 

Yes! I have volunteered in schools with SLPs and in a hospital.  My favorite and most rewarding experience though happened this past summer when I got to work as a speech and communication skills specialist at a sleepaway camp for 110 kids with special needs.  I had 23 campers on my caseload.  I had to write goals, make lessons, meet with parents, and write a progress report at the end of the summer for each of the campers that were assigned to me for speech and communication skills lessons.  In addition to working on speech and communication skills, I was paired with a cabin and helped them with daily living skills in the mornings, at meal times, and in the evenings. I got to meet so many people and learned so many things this summer. This experience also helped to affirm that I had chosen the right career!

What future goals have you established for yourself related to your major? 

Right now I am in the process of applying to graduate school to become a speech-language pathologist.  I am very interested in working with students with disabilities, especially those with autism spectrum disorders.  After I get my masters, I hope to work as a speech-language pathologist for a few years and then get my PhD. I have really enjoyed my time doing research at JMU and would like to eventually become a professor and researcher at a university.

VISIT THE CSD WEBSITE

Just for fun...

  • Best place to study on campus?
    The long curvy tables with the rolling chairs are by far my favorite place! I feel like I get the most done there.

  • Top Dog or Dukes?
    Definitely Top Dog! I lived in Hillside as a freshman and just ate too much Dukes. I barely ever eat there now.

  • Favorite thing to do in Harrisonburg?
    I love to go to all the different restaurants with my friends.  We love trying new food and drinks!

  • Favorite junk food?
    Chocolate and ice cream! I definitely have a sweet tooth!

  • Best piece of advice.
    Get to know your professors early.  Many professors really want to know you, but it’s hard for them to know everyone in a large class. Go to office hours, ask questions, and speak up in class.  Also, don’t just talk about class with them.  Get to know their interests and share yours too.  This will really help in the long run, especially if you need a recommendation in the future!

Published: Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Last Updated: Thursday, November 30, 2017

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