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A love of language

Lauren Leathers

December 13, 2019

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This month’s amazing student is Kristin Crear, who is studying to become a speech pathologist and plans to travel the world.

Major: Communication sciences and disorders, Spanish minor

Graduation: Spring 2020

Hometown: Alpharetta, Georgia

What brought you to UGA?

I’ve lived in Georgia my whole life and received the Zell Miller scholarship. I originally wanted to go to the University of Florida, but I liked the speech therapy program at UGA. I came here and fell in love with the community and all the people. I’m happy with my choice.

What inspired your interest in speech pathology and language?

I like connecting with people. A lot of people don’t speak English and have different cultural backgrounds and experiences. I wanted to be in the healthcare field and speech pathology is perfect because it’s a combination of learning languages and healthcare. I remember in fourth grade my friend and I came up with this language, and we’d try to speak to each other. That obviously didn’t work out, but I always thought it was cool to switch up languages with other people. I wanted to be bilingual and I figured Spanish is a good choice for a minor. I was going to double-major, but I also wanted to do sign language and didn’t have enough time for both. I hope when I’m a speech pathologist, I can work with the Spanish-speaking population.

What are your plans after graduation?

I’m going to apply for graduate school at Georgia State University, the University of South Florida, or the University of Houston to receiver a master’s in speech pathology. I want to be a speech pathologist in a medical setting, and I’m not sure if I want to work with kids or adults yet.

Who is your favorite UGA College of Education professor and why?

Katie O’Brien—she teaches this traumatic brain injury class I’m taking right now. I already like the topic, but she makes it fun and exciting. O‘Brien is just a cool person, and she’s really understanding and smart… I love her a lot.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in?

A lot! I’m involved in UGA Wesley CrossTrainers, YWCO as an after-school counselor in Oconee County Schools, and I shadow at the University Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. I also took a summer trip to the Dominican Republic with an organization called Therapy Abroad, which is for students interested in pursuing a career in physical or occupation therapy.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to watch reality TV. I also enjoy spending time with my friends, family, and painting.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

… travel to North America, Australia, Antarctica, and take a road trip through South America. I want to explore all the continents and experience different foods, cultures, and languages.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

… my first football game. I actually did not like football before I came here, but I enjoyed how excited everyone was to go. Even if you aren’t paying attention to the game, which I wasn’t at the time, being with friends and seeing everyone in the stands so spirited and excited was amazing.