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Student Spotlight: Hannah Smith

What is your major?
My major is Speech and Hearing Sciences.

Where are you from?
I am from Okanogan WA.

What is your tribal affiliation?
I am an enrolled tribal member of the Coville Confederated Tribe.

Tell us about your academic/career goals or why you chose your career path?
I hope to become a certified Speech-Language Pathologist and work in a rural school district.

What is your favorite spot on campus and why?
My favorite spot on campus is the library because it has a treadmill. I like to read my textbooks while walking.

What advice do you have for incoming students?
College is hard and there will be a point that you will want to give up, but at this time you must buckle down and do the work because, in the long run, it will pay off.

What three traits define you?
Advocate, Passionate, Compassionate

How do you define success?
Success is always doing each task to the best of your ability.

What are you doing right now to help propel you toward continued academic or career success?
To propel myself towards my academic and career success I continue to have an open mind and willingness to learn. I also participate in a variety of clubs, health science community outreach programs, and volunteer opportunities. All these experiences are helping me get closer to my end goal.

What would you name the autobiography of your life?
The Little Things Make a Big Difference

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?
I LOVE to learn about skincare, thus if I have 30 minutes of free time I listen to a podcast about skincare.

What does it mean to you to be a WSU Cougar?
It means a lot to me to be a WSU cougar!

What or who has made the most meaningful impacts/differences in helping you succeed?
My sister has made the most impact in helping me succeed. Before I even had full memory as a young child, I was attending therapy with my older sister.  She was born with an extra chromosome – Down Syndrome, a medical diagnosis that I learned early on. Emma required from an early age lots of specialized therapy, she is sixteen months older than me, and my mother had no choice but to take me to therapy as well.  From when I started having memories, I remember therapy being an exciting adventure.  First off it usually involved a trip. We lived in a rural town in north-central Washington.  Often, we had to drive three to five hours one way for therapy. This is how I met the most influential person of my career choice.  Gay Lloyd Pinder became a part of our family early on.  I absorbed so much information from her just by being part of her therapy. She was also the first person who is deaf that I had ever been around. She taught me and my sister some sign language and how to properly communicate with people experiencing deafness or partial deafness. Having learned early on this essential communication skill continued to benefit me throughout high school on to college.  My passion for working with the special needs population continued to grow and I received a citizenship award in 2018 for my volunteer work at Whitworth University with special needs kids. My passion for the field of Speech-Language Pathology was solidified after experiencing the positive impact this therapy had on my sister and our family. Additionally, after my initial interest was piqued, I pursued more discussion with professionals in the field to better understand Speech-Language Pathology. After my first year attending Washington State University, I was confident in my pursuit for the Speech-Language Pathology undergraduate program.