Caitlin Winkelman (left) with Morin Beausoleil.
The Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney has a strong focus on teaching and research. The Senior Lecturer and Course Director of BAppSc (Speech Pathology) is responsible for the following areas of teaching and service: articulation and phonology, motor speech disorders, evidence based practice in speech pathology, and normal communication development. Research focuses on examining treatment for moderate-severe speech impairments in children. Within this area there are a number of aspects explored including (a) treatments for Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) (also known as dyspraxia), (b) disorders of speech which cause impairments to production of polysyllabic words and longer linguistic units, and (c) the comparison of phonological and articulation treatments to demonstrate relative effectiveness and efficiency.
Why are you participating in the "Augustana in Australia" program?
The chance to live and work in Australia was the dream international program for me. As a Communication Sciences and Disorders major, getting hands-on experience is one of the best ways to learn my field of study. Gaining useful experience in an internship pertaining to my area of study is an amazing opportunity. Australia is also a chance for me to cultivate my independence. I have the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone by living and working in a world that is unknown to me.
What value do you hope to add back to the internship site?
During my undergrad experience at Augie I have had the opportunity to administer speech and language intervention as a student clinician to children with speech and language disorders. The relationships I formed with my clients and their family members have been very important to me. My professors and supervisors have instilled in me the significance of these relationships and their importance in the overall efficiency of speech intervention. I think my patience and genuine care for the progress of the clients I work with are qualities I can bring into my internship.
What do you hope to learn on your internship?
I believe that being placed in a real-life career environment and interacting with others in my internship will teach me so many things that I could not discover otherwise. Surely, in a different country there are certain things that they do differently regarding speech therapy or teaching methods in general. I think it will be a great learning experience to be exposed to different approaches and to work hand-in-hand with professionals in my field.
Where do you plan to travel during your term "down under?"
I have always wanted to go to Fiji, and it is off the coast of Aussie. So that may be something I will look at for Spring Break, but we will have to see how reasonable flights and lodging would be for that trip :) I also think that we attend a surf camp as a group and travel to see the Blue Mountains. I am hoping to go to as many of the beautiful beaches as I can.
What do you anticipate to be the highlight of your experience "down under?"
From what I've heard from people who have been there, the beauty of the landscape and the culture of Australia is truly incredible. So just being in such a beautiful place and experiencing a world so different than what I know will be an amazing experience.