Western Michigan University Student is recipient of second annual Voice Aerobics® Student Scholarship.

Scholarship recipient, Kaley Gerke

Scholarship recipient, Kaley Gerke

The Voice Aerobics® graduate student scholarship is awarded annually to a student who demonstrates positive character traits and intention to make a positive contribution to the field of Speech-Language Pathology. The 2013 recipient is Kaley Gerke, a first year graduate student at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

With nearly 100 applicants this year, my decision was harder than ever.  I read and re-read the applications, struck by the compassionate comments and clarity of purpose reflected in the responses from young women just embarking on their careers.  Applicants were restricted to 50 words or less when completing the initial statement:  “I have selected the field of Speech Language Pathology because.”

I know it’s difficult to write a response in 50 words or less, having written many 50 word abstracts in my career, but Kaley did manage to respect the word limit, and in doing so provided a succinct glimpse of who she is, using words like “determination,” and “empathy,” to self-describe her character, and of her passions stating that she hoped to be a therapist “a patient will look back, feel, and say, she truly cared. She made a difference.”

The student scholarship award was begun as my way of giving back to a profession that I love, to support student clinicians who represent the future of the field, and as a way of affirming the continued success of my business.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to contact me and submit an application. Acceptance of applications for next year will begin March 1, 2014, with a deadline of April 30, 2014.

Mary Spremulli, MA, CCC-SLP, Owner, Voice Aerobics, LLC