Speech-language pathology student uses classroom knowledge abroad

Carley Vincke, a second-year speech-language pathology graduate student at Wayne State University, recently had the unique opportunity to visit Kumasi, Ghana, for an 11-day mission trip.

There, Vincke was able to apply the techniques she learned in her studies with several families affected by disability.

"In Ghana, I was with a team of five Americans, three of whom were volunteers familiar with working with people with disabilities, two physical therapists, and me, a soon-to-be speech pathologist."

It's clear that Vincke has a passion for both speech pathology and working with children. While abroad, she was able to assess a young girl with aspiration pneumonia and show her mother how to feed her without harming her.

"I was able to implement the strategies I learned from a dysphagia class I took at WSU. Showing her mother proper feeding techniques and how to position her child made such a difference!" If not for Vincke's intervention, the young girl's aspiration pneumonia would have most likely progressed, which could have led to death.

"I wanted the people who were affected by these disabilities to know they are loved and that they do have a purpose, that they are not mistakes and that their disability does not define them. Speech pathology is one way for me to do this."

Vincke is currently getting clinical experience at Detroit Receiving Hospital, where she is learning more about swallowing techniques and speech pathology. Next semester, she will complete her last internship at Children's Hospital of Michigan, where she will continue to learn more about disabilities and how speech-language pathology can help others. After graduation, Vincke hopes to work with children in a clinical setting and possibly start her own mission to help more people the way she did in Ghana.

"All the professors in the speech pathology department are incredibly understanding and knowledgeable. I think Wayne State provides the best clinical experience there is for graduate school."

Christiana Castillo, CLAS public relations associate

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