News & Announcements
May 1, 2023
With commencement coming up on May 13, we’re taking this opportunity to highlight some of the incredible students who make the School of Health Professions such a great place to learn, serve and discover.
Today we meet Savannah Gonzales, a native of Muskego, Wisconsin, who is completing her BHS in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences.
Major: Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences
Hometown: Muskego, WI
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”Maya Angelou
What does graduating from the Mizzou School of Health Professions mean to you?
If someone told me four years ago that I was going to attend and fall in love with a college in mid-Missouri, I would’ve thought they were crazy. I never anticipated that going to Mizzou — the school in a state I had never been to and where I knew absolutely no one — was going to be the best experience that has ever happened to me. The School of Health Professions has provided me with a fantastic support system, education and a plethora of opportunities that I will forever be indebted to it for. Graduating from this school is an incredibly bittersweet goodbye. While I am sad to be graduating, I am excited for the future it has prepared me for.
What was your favorite class within your degree track?
It is difficult to choose just one, but the Language Disorders in Children course taught by the outstanding Professor Claire Willard has got to be one of my all-time favorites! The content was so exciting, and the atmosphere in that classroom was unmatched. Everything we were taught was directly applicable to our future careers, and the collaboration made it an incredibly enjoyable experience.
What activities have you been involved in along the way?
I currently work as a peer advisor and a student ambassador for the School of Health Professions! I am an executive board officer for the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association, a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, and a volunteer with Tiger Pantry and Truman’s Closet. I also previously worked for the Jumpstart AmeriCorps program through the University!
Who helped you during your college journey?
There are so many people who have helped me along the way, and I am incredibly grateful for each and every one of them. I truly believe that who I am is greatly influenced by the people in my life, and any positive attribute I possess can be credited to the amazing people I have been grateful to know.
That being said, I would not be where I am today without the phenomenal staff of the SHP Student Services office as well as the faculty of the Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences department. Cody Baggett, Adam Willard, Lindsey Hagglund, Mitchell Edge, Sarah Anthony, Ashlan Lock, Claire Willard, Christi Baker, Dr. Elizabeth Kelley, and Dr. Judith Goodman are just a few of the amazing people I can name!
What memories stand out from your time at Mizzou?
When I look back at the past three years, I feel so lucky to have so many great memories. The ones that stand out and mean the most to me are the memories of times when I was able to grow strong bonds with others that deepened my connection to this University.
I will always remember my time in the Robert G. Combs Language Preschool and every child I was able to work with — they each hold a special place in my heart. I will always remember my time talking to prospective students and their families, who trusted me with their questions and doubts about which college they should attend. I will always remember my time meeting with current students and being a helping hand for them during their time at Mizzou. Each of these memories and so many more have allowed Mizzou to feel like more than just a school to me.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I will be working one last Summer Welcome as a peer advisor with the School of Health Professions/College of Health Sciences! Then I will be attending the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to earn my master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology.
What advice do you have for current and future students?
This is probably a bit cheesy, but one piece of advice that I was given that helped me a lot was the reminder that your college experience is what you make of it. It can be easy to fixate on the factors that you can’t control, but when I focused on changing the things I could control, I was much happier. I would pass this advice along to current and future students because it is easy to get down on yourself and fall victim to comparing your experiences to those of others. However, shifting your focus to your priorities and carving your path to make it toward those goals is going to help you make the most of your time in college.
Anything else you would like to share?
One of my absolute favorite topics to talk about is the School of Health Professions, and this school is full of some of my all-time favorite people! I could go on and on about how specific people in SHP have had an impact on me and the recognition they deserve as outstanding staff and faculty members. I have no doubt in my mind that attending the University of Missouri was the best decision I could have made for my undergraduate education. If I could go back and do it all again, I would!