Published on August 23, 2021 by Sara Roman  
Jessica Veazy
Degree/Year: Masters of Science in Speech Language Pathology, 2017
Current Position: Speech Therapist for Talladega County Schools, I am about to start my 5th year.
Describe your journey from Samford to your current position.
I'm grateful that Samford taught us how to be life-long learners and remember that God is using us for our roles. This makes a difference when administering services. You always want to have the most current research for your population that you are treating and treat them with integrity.
How did Samford prepare you for your career?
Samford allowed us to have multiple clinical placements. This was so valuable for the field that we work in. As a speech therapist, we can work in many domains, and Samford was excellent in preparing us for that. We gained valuable experience from the many opportunities that they placed before us.
When you created the COVID-19 video, did you expect it to go viral?
SLP video posterMy boss Dr. Quentin Lee, who was then the principal of Childersburg High School, created the idea. I was elated to be asked to be a part of it because I feel like speech therapists work the curtains a lot in the schools and are rarely recognized as part of the production. He recognized my role and the desire that I have for all students to grow, so I was asked to participate. I had no idea that it would go viral at the time. It was a whirlwind once it did, but wonderful to have our school recognized.
What is the most important thing you hope your patients learn from you?
I have been battling a rare Stage IV cancer for four years now, and I was diagnosed with it my last semester of graduate school. It was never easy, but I have always kept going. That's what I want them to learn more than anything. Not being able to communicate is frustrating, but I want them to be determined enough to keep going even though it may seem tough at times.
What was it like providing care during the pandemic?
It was challenging, but I'm thankful for my academic journey that has taught me how to be flexible and creative when providing treatment. The most important thing was to remember that all students learn differently, so as a speech therapist, your academic coursework and projects prepare you for that.
What advice do you have for students that are pursuing a career in speech language pathology?
It is an ever-changing field, so be prepared for that. It can be difficult at times when treating disorders that you aren't as familiar with, but it is also extremely rewarding. I would encourage everyone to stick with it, remember that you have classmates to collaborate with, and utilize your professors as well. You can do it!