Anna Hayes Graf | Dean’s Award of Merit; Joe T. McCrary Endowed Scholarship and Outstanding Senior Award

Anna Hayes GrafOther Awards: Distinguished Undergraduate Scholar

Major: Communicative Disorders 

Minor: Psychology 

Hometown: Mobile, Alabama

Favorite Experience: My favorite overall experience and success on campus was when I participated in a clinical practicum course at UA’s Speech and Hearing Center. I planned and led supervised speech therapy for a pediatric client with down syndrome as well as expressive-receptive language disorder. I also aided another undergraduate student with data collection during her supervised sessions for a pediatric client with an articulation disorder. I kept track of and analyzed both clients’ progress throughout the semester and filled out required documentation for their clinical records. I also acquired HIPPA certification for the confidentiality of health information. The amount that these children improved in such a short period of time and the clinician-client relationships I built were very rewarding. Both clients reached most of their goals for the semester, which I consider a success. This practicum strengthened my determination and excitement to enter this field and provided valuable experiences for me that I will never forget!

Favorite Class: My favorite class I took was taught by my favorite professor. This was CD 244: Phonetics, which was taught by Paul Reed. The reason I loved this class so much is because it was the first class where I got to dive into what communicative disorders offers, and I thought it was very interesting and cool. Dr. Reed is a professor who is so openly invested and enamored in his work, and he taught in a way that would have made the content interesting if it was not interesting already. Phonetics is the study of sounds, and course concepts included teaching symbols for each sound from the International Phonetic Alphabet, where exactly in the mouth that sound is formed, and how the sound is formed. It was interesting to me how something that most of us use daily could be broken down into so many specific parts. This class opened my eyes to all the populations that are not as fortunate as I have been with the gift of effortless speech, and how essential the break-down of these sounds is for some people. Dr. Reed loves everything he studies, which is what has inspired me to be so motivated toward my studies/work. Since then, I have assisted Dr. Reed in his research studying dialectical variations at the University of Alabama and in the Appalachian region of the United States. Dr. Reed served as my advisor for two years and is someone I trust to go to for advice. I am very grateful for his contributions to my undergraduate experience here at The University of Alabama.

Future Plans: I plan to go to graduate school, which will last two years, and then I plan to get a job as a speech pathologist somewhere in the United States.