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Catching Up with Alumni
Mariah Roley ’17 on Speech-Language Pathology
By Sophia Lorusso (she/her), Junior English Major.
Pictured above: Mariah enjoying time outdoors.
Mariah Roley, a 2017 SOU graduate with a BA in English, is now a speech-language pathologist. Speech-language pathologists work to assess, prevent, and treat speech disorders for people of all ages.
During her time at SOU, Mariah was in the SOU Honors College as part of their inaugural class. The Honors College helped Mariah build her resume; she also learned valuable leadership skills that she uses every day.
SOU’s English majors are given a wide variety of classes to choose from. In Mariah’s experience, she was able to take ENG 490, The English Language, a course that covered speech pathology. From then on, she knew speech pathology was what she wanted to pursue.
“Writing skills are essential in navigating the real world.”
— Mariah Roley
While working on her English degree at SOU, Mariah learned valuable writing and reading skills that aid her every day. She says, “Writing skills are essential in navigating the real world. Also, keeping up on important literature has also helped me stay relevant and talk to my older kids about what they are learning and figure out ways to make therapy more interesting and keep them engaged.” Being an avid reader herself has given Mariah the ability to relate to clients of many ages.
After graduating from SOU in 2017, she first completed a Communication Sciences and Disorders post-baccalaureate program at Pacific University with the goal to go to graduate school and become a licensed speech-language pathologist (SLP). Also before graduate school, Mariah was able to shadow a speech-language pathologist in her community and get hands-on learning about what it means to be an SLP.
This experience was valuable for Mariah, and she urges anyone interested in this field to reach out to your community to get hands-on experience:
“Shadow a speech-language pathologist in the community for a day. There is more to it than articulation in schools. For instance, I had no idea that SLPs work with cognition or swallowing disorders. It is a wide field, and you are constantly learning!”
In 2021, Mariah earned her MS in Speech-Language Pathology at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Shortly after graduation, she landed a position in Denver, Colorado working as a speech language pathologist with a pediatric home healthcare company.
Mariah’s clients in the pediatric department are children from ages 1-17 years old. She works for a home healthcare organization, so her daily schedule consists of seeing 5-7 children per day doing in-home therapy. She helps her clients with all sorts of communication skills like receptive/expressive communication, articulation, cognition, and more.
“Professors are your most important resource.”
– Mariah Roley
Mariah expressed immense gratitude to the SOU English faculty for guiding her through her undergraduate degree and finding her ultimate career path.
“Honestly, I think that whatever you choose, the professors of this major are going to be your most important resource. They were always there for me. They are a wealth of knowledge and were always so helpful whenever I had questions. Even now, I know that I could still go to any one of them and they would be there to answer any questions I had.”
The SOU English faculty are always open to answering any questions and help guide our English majors through the abundance of career paths that are available.
If you’re interested in sharing your story with the English Program blog, or if you know someone whose story we should feature, please contact email@example.com