Learn more about the experience of Lauren Olsen B.S. '14, M.S. '15 as a scholarship recipient at Marywood and how life has been after college.
Describe your Marywood Experience
I first visited Marywood my junior year of high school. I was in search of a small school in a safe area with a strong program for speech-language pathology. I am originally from Long Island, NY and had attended a small, catholic high school. I needed a college that would satisfy my need to live in a new area and meet new people, while still feeling like home. After finding Marywood through an online college search, I quickly discovered that Marywood excelled in all aspects that were most important to me. I loved the campus. It was in a safe and beautiful area. It was also warm and inviting, much like the many people that I met during my first tour. The professors were personable and genuinely supportive of student’s academic success. The speech-language pathology program was led by knowledgeable professionals in the field, who challenged students to become exceptional therapists. I knew this was a place I could call home.
Tell us about two or three key memories from your time as a Marywood student
I have many fond memories of Marywood, it is hard to select just one. I loved my memories of the Christmas tree lighting. It is such a great community event, and it is wonderful to see students, alumni, and professors all come together to celebrate Christmas in such a meaningful way. I also loved my experiences in campus ministry. As a Maxis Gillet Service Scholar, I was able to be part of such wonderful service opportunities on our campus, in our community, and beyond. I was able to meet people who had strong values and believed in serving others. Finally, one of my greatest memories at Marywood was Commencement 2014 at the Mohegan Sun Arena. It was a culmination of all of our hard work over the past 4 years. It seemed like yesterday we were meeting one another at orientation and now, we were all together to start this new chapter in our lives.
What was your favorite course? Why was it your favorite?
One of my favorite courses was Clinical Methods which was in my major, Communication Sciences and Disorders. After accumulating much knowledge over 3 years, my classmates and I were finally ready to take our last preparation course before having our first clinical experiences. It was a difficult course, but it was amazing to see all of our abstract knowledge suddenly become concrete. It was a very rewarding experience.
How did your Marywood education shape you as a person?
I have grown and evolved as a person at Marywood. I walked in as a shy and timid freshman and walked out as a leader with a Masters degree, ready to start my career as a speech therapist. Marywood instilled in me the importance of service to others. My professors and peers saw potential in me, which helped me gain confidence and grow as a leader.
Is there a relationship in your Marywood years that launched you--helped you to become the person you are today?
I am very grateful for my relationship with the students I met in my major program, Speech-Language Pathology. It is a small, specialized program in which students are accepted their freshman year, and continue at Marywood for 5 years, when they ultimately earn their Masters degree. We were able to grow together as a unit, but thrive individually as well. We received support from one another, as well as our professors. As we continued to our clinical assignments in graduate school, we helped one another grow as clinicians, and as people. It was incredible to spend 5 years with a group of men and women who were all actively working together to become speech therapists who would ultimately give a voice to children and adults throughout the world who are struggling to communicate. These experiences have helped me grow and become the speech-language therapist that I am today.
What do you do now?
I moved to Pennsylvania and currently work as a speech language pathologist at a center for children with developmental disabilities. I always dreamed of working with children in early intervention where I could support children and their families during a critical time in their language development. I am grateful to have a job where I can advocate for children with communicative difficulties every single day. I also recently became a volunteer for events in my local community, which has been a very rewarding experience. I am still best friends with my college roommates and we often reminisce of some of the great memories we had at Marywood.