Lauren Castro left Colorado to embark on the Baylor journey in 2005, and feels blessed to continue traveling down this path as a graduate student. Initially drawn to the Christian community Baylor offers, she visited the campus and discovered a challenging environment, friendly faces and a hometown feel. “I can honestly say that the Lord opened doors for me at Baylor, and it is His work in my life that has kept me here for graduate school,” Lauren says.
The graduate program in speech pathology consists of one year, followed by a full time internship. Lauren found this unique setup particularly appealing because it combines all students into courses in which older students work with new students and offer them insight into the program. She enjoys the cozy feel of the selective program because everyone really gets to know each other, sharing their struggles and accomplishments.
Lauren is grateful for the unique opportunity to work in a variety of clinical settings, gaining exposure and practice in language, literacy and articulation in preschool, elementary and hospital settings. “I am finding my clinical hours some of my most beneficial time in graduate school because I'm getting to learn on the job about practical application of material that I have learned or am learning in my classes,” Lauren exclaims.
She attributes much of her satisfaction with the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders to the strong rapport between professors and students. “I am appreciative of my professors because they invest so much of their lives into this program and the education of its students,” Lauren says. Always willing to provide help, guidance and instruction in and out of the classroom, she claims they are among the best. They create a warm and open environment through sharing personal stories about themselves, their families and early experiences as clinicians.
Moving from metropolitan Denver to idyllic Waco involved a bit of transitioning for Lauren. However, she quickly found that “the time in Waco is about the people you're with, not the places you go.” She knows the countless friendships she has formed will last a lifetime.
Learning the vast span of the speech-language pathology field has been the most exciting surprise about her graduate school adventure. Lauren now understands the importance of taking anatomy and physiology courses as an undergrad, as they relate to the application of the medical side of the field. She enjoys being able to “connect the dots” through her graduate experiences and coursework.