Firstly, welcome to Northeastern! We are so excited to have you join our Department this year.
Tell us about yourself and your journey to Northeastern: As a school-based Speech-Language Pathologist for almost 20 years, I often felt not enough time was spent discussing relevant issues, especially around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In 2016 I started a business to support and lecture on transgender health, which at the time was a minimally discussed topic. I think I always was looking for a larger audience to help advance the dialogue in healthcare and educational spaces in DEI culturally responsive practices for all individuals who fall outside of what we’re trained to consider society’s standard mold.
I did a lot of research and writing and found that I wanted to support transgender and gender non-conforming voice patients. My drive to work with transgender health care was fueled when anti-trans rights became more prevalent. There is a lot of trauma in this population and I feel most comfortable treating within this familiar group, because I’m part of it. There is a mutual spark, when a trans provider is working with a trans clinician, which makes the work more enjoyable and impactful.
Tell us about your work at Northeastern:
I taught a transgender health course through Bouvé College last spring and it drew a large inter- professional group of students. Teaching this course was a great experience.
I am currently a Snell Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor and teach the DEI course in the CSD Department. This was an elective course this summer. It allowed me to learn about the excellent quality of teaching the Department and meet the students with discussion points that will always need to be addressed. The MS SLP students were very engaged and responsive in a class where conversations can be uncomfortable. This will be a required course in the program of studies next year. I am also starting a gender affirming voice program in the Northeastern University Speech-Language and Hearing Center
In addition, I am working on a grant project with Emily Zimmerman and Sarah Young-Hong “Transgender Health Equity and Belonging: Cross-campus Education, Consulting and Resources”.This project aims to attract and retain transgender students, staff and faculty, teach current students, staff and faculty best practices in transgender inclusion, and ensure students on all campuses receive culturally responsive care from health services.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
I’m just so honored, as a physically disabled, intersex, transgender person, to be in a position where I can use both my lived/community experience along with my scholarly expertise to impact future clinicians in our field. I can’t wait to serve transgender students on campus, both through the voice clinic and grant work. Really, I couldn’t be more excited for everything this opportunity holds!
Your work is so relevant and timely. We are honored to have you here. Best of luck for a great year!