Service oriented

Graduate student Megan Andrews receives Frances Laven Award

By Amber Stark ’99

Giving back to the community is something that comes naturally to Megan Andrews. Her service to a Boys and Girls Club summer camp, Head Start, AmeriCorps and, most recently, the Cocoon Shelter in Bowling Green is just a small part of how she contributes to the lives of others.

The Bowling Green State University speech-language pathology graduate student was recently honored for this service with the 2016 Frances Laven Award from the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

CAPCSD is dedicated to promoting academic excellence, visionary leadership and collaboration among communication sciences and disorders academic programs. Each program in the country can nominate only one student for the Laven scholarship, which recognizes exemplary student service.

“I was shocked to receive the award because it’s a national award,” Andrews said. “I didn’t anticipate receiving it and was honored just to be nominated.”

Andrews is the first student from BGSU to win this award.

"Megan possesses many qualities that suggest she will be a phenomenal addition to the clinical world as well as an active member of the professional community," said Dr. Virginia Dubasik, assistant professor, communication sciences and disorders. "She is an exceptionally strong student who demonstrates a high level of motivation and commitment to not only her education, the community and the field, but also humanity."

Originally from Colorado, Andrews received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Hendrix College in Arkansas. She worked for a few years, including two years in Miami and Little Rock with the AmeriCorps City Year program, which bridges the gap between the support schools provide and that students need in high-poverty communities, before coming to Ohio.

“I enjoy service,” Andrews said. “I wanted to give back to the community and get professional experience.”

Her service continues at BGSU, where she works in the dual language lab and the Speech and Hearing Clinic. She also had placements at the DaZy Aphasia Centre and Grace Speaks, a nonprofit organization in Findlay that provides private speech therapy for children.

“BGSU was a good match for me,” she said. “The faculty and staff are really caring and committed to developing us as professionals. They are really motivated, which adds to the learning environment.”

A graduate degree in speech-language pathology will allow Andrews to continue giving back to the community in a more focused way.

“Speech-language pathology allows you to interact with people and give them a skill that will make a big impact on their life,” she said, adding that she is interested in working with the bilingual population. “It is a super needed specialty and I want to help children get the services that they need.”

Andrews will pursue this career in Colorado, where her family lives. She’ll begin that experience in the spring when she completes a full-time placement in Denver, where there is a large bilingual population. Andrews is fluent in Spanish and spent a year in Chile as an undergrad.

She said these moves, from Colorado to Arkansas to Chile to Florida to Ohio, will help her relate with clients.

“Each part of the country is different,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know new areas and the people in those areas and now I have professional connections in a lot of different places.”

Andrews will graduate in May 2017.