Say hello to Maggie Barilka, a first-year master’s student in our Communications and Sciences Disorders program and also one of our fabulous Student Ambassadors! We sat down with Maggie recently as she answered our “fast five” questions to give us a glimpse into her life at TC:

Why did you choose TC and your specific program?

I am originally from New Jersey and have always wanted to live in NYC—since I was a little girl! When I started looking at graduate schools, I knew that it was the perfect time to move to New York! In addition to the beautiful location, I knew that some of the leaders in my field were at Teachers College. I wanted the opportunity to be able to learn from them directly during my graduate experience. I chose Speech Pathology as a profession because it allows me to help individuals every day. As a singer, I have always been very interested in voice, and I am so excited to combine my love of singing and voice with a career in Speech-Language Pathology. I also absolutely adore children, and being an SLP provides lots of opportunities to work with young people!

What are your personal and/or professional goals after you graduate?

I am super interested in being in a pediatric medical setting to help children with voice and swallowing disorders. My absolute dream job would be to work at CHOP(Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)!

Describe one of your most memorable experiences at TC thus far.

One of my most memorable moments at Teachers College has to be the socially distanced brunch I had with some cohort members near campus. After brunch, we walked through campus, took pictures, and hung out in Low Plaza on Columbia’s main campus. Since we have been remote since I started at TC, it was terrific to finally meet some of the people I talked to for hours every week on Zoom! I look forward to the Fall when we will all be together again, this time for class and clinic!

What’s your favorite class that you’ve taken at TC?

My favorite class I’ve taken at TC is Dysphagia, also known as the ‘dysfunction of swallowing course,’ taught by Dr. Michelle Troche and Dr. James Curtis. It is notoriously a challenging class for SLP graduate students, but I loved the case studies we did throughout the course, and I learned a lot. I am excited to use what I learned in my externship this Summer at Mount Sinai Hospital!

If you could describe your TC experience in 3 words, which would you choose (list why if preferred)

Crazy, rewarding, and fun!

Although it has been a crazy year being online as a full-time graduate student, it has been so rewarding to provide care to our patients. I feel so grateful to be entering a profession I genuinely love!

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