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Student Spotlight: Bridget Rennard, John and Janet Farmer Scholarship Recipient

July 16, 2021

Interview by Kelsey Pritchett

Bridget Rennard

MHS Student in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences
Recipient of the John and Janet Farmer Endowment Scholarship
Hometown: Chesterfield, Missouri 

Why did you choose Mizzou?

I chose Mizzou because of the different clinical and research opportunities available through the Speech, Hearing and Language Sciences department. I also chose Mizzou because the financial aid offered through my graduate research assistantship made graduate school more feasible.

What made you interested in speech-language pathology over other degrees?

I knew that I was interested in the health professions, and I was originally interested in physical or occupational therapy. However, after shadowing an outpatient speech therapist, I was intrigued by how someone could lose some of their language abilities after having a stroke or traumatic brain injury. I started taking introductory courses for speech-language pathology at my undergraduate university, and I wanted to keep learning more. I also liked that there are so many different areas of speech-language pathology and that there are a variety of populations I could work with. 

What research have you participated in at Mizzou?

I got involved with Dr. Elizabeth Kelley’s lab through my graduate research assistantship this past year. I like analyzing the various language behaviors we see in the transcriptions we’re working with in our current project and previous projects. I enjoy working with Dr. Kelley because she always has a clinical purpose to her research, and I think that there is often a gap between research and intervention in our field and others.

How will the John and Janet Farmer scholarship impact your experience at Mizzou?

The Farmer scholarship will allow me to continue working in Dr. Kelley’s and Dr. Smith’s lab on our Early Head Start project. I’m interested in researching the different types of questions that mothers ask their children during free play sessions and whether these questions support the child’s language development. This scholarship will allow me to continue to work on this research project and incorporate a clinical aspect to our findings as well. I’m also hoping to use some of the funds to travel to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention in the fall.

What is your favorite course you’ve taken in the Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences department?

Two courses: Developmental Language Disorders & Acquired Language Disorders and Augmentative and Alternative Communication. I liked those courses because what the professors taught was very clinically centered, so I could connect what I was learning to working with my clients in the clinic. 

What does your future look like as a speech-language pathologist?

I’m not sure whether I want to work with kids or adults yet, or which setting I am the most interested in. I’m excited to experience different settings in my outplacements. I participated in the Accent Modification Project this past semester, and I can see myself working more in accent modification in the future.