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Amy  Herren, MS, CCC-SLP

Clinic Coordinator, Center for Speech and Hearing
Communication Disorders

aherren@semo.edu
(573) 651-2803

Office: Center for Speech and Hearing, 130  


I see the teaching process as a partnership, where my role is an experienced guide who helps students navigate new, unfamiliar terrain safely, while still allowing them independence in exploration and discovery.

What area do you teach?

Clinical Methods

Education/Degree(s)

B.A. Spanish, Southeast Missouri State University
B.S. Communication Disorders, Southeast Missouri State University
M.S. Speech-Language Pathology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Your philosophy of teaching:

As a clinical educator, I enjoy collaborating with our students as they develop their skills as emerging clinicians. I see the teaching process as a partnership, where my role is an experienced guide who helps students navigate new, unfamiliar terrain safely, while still allowing them independence in exploration and discovery. I encourage students to know why they are doing what they are doing and to provide support for the clinical decisions they make, so they have experience applying critical thinking to the clinical work they do. Our field is constantly changing, so the ability to shift one's thinking to accommodate new information essential. My goal is to help students be creative, independent, and empathetic clinicians who have the tools to access or develop resources, understand the evidence base, and effectively meet the varied and complex needs of our clients

Why did you decide to teach?

Also, as a practicing speech-language pathologist, I had the opportunity to supervise student clinicians and participate in staff education initiatives, and these experiences led me to down the path to being a clinical educator. While I enjoyed working with clients directly, I felt I could make a greater impact for them working in clinical education, helping future clinicians feel equipped to handle the complex challenges they would encounter in the field. I also felt strongly about the philosophy underlying clinical education--that it should be a positive, supportive, collaborative experience leading to the development of independent, sound, empathetic clinical decision-making processes--and I wanted to play an active role in shaping that. I have always been fascinated with the concept of critical thinking, where you have develop, evaluate, and defend an argument to justify your decision-making, all while grappling with your own limitations and biases. Teaching in our university clinic allows me to foster the development of critical thinking in students, while still providing me with opportunities to further my own learning and expand my clinical experiences.

Credentials/career path

I am a proud SEMO alum and am grateful to be back "home!" After earning my undergraduate degrees at SEMO, I moved to Nashville, TN where I completed my Master's at Vanderbilt University and worked as a research assistant studying language disorders in children. I completed my clinical fellowship in Speech-Language Pathology in 2012 at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and continued practicing in the outpatient pediatric setting until 2017. At CCHMC I specialized in pediatric language disorders and alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) and advocated for culturally responsive practices in service delivery. I joined Southeast in 2017 and have enjoyed my roles as a clinical educator and coordinator of our community-focused training clinic, the Center for Speech and Hearing.

Professional Highlight

When the Center for Speech and Hearing became a United Way Funded Community Partner in 2019.

Award/Honor/Recognition

2020 College of Education, Health and Human Studies Award for Service

Organization with which you are involved

Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
ASHA Special Interest Group 10, Issues in Higher Education
Midwest Clinic Directors
National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association, SEMO Chapter Co-Sponsor

Best advice for students

Remember that learning is a process with many ups and downs, and becoming a competent practitioner is a lifelong process. Be kind to yourself on this journey! Try to identify ways you can live out your desire for competence each day, rather than thinking of competence as a milestone you achieve. You can never know it all, and instead of focusing on everything you don't know, think about the incredible learning opportunities that await you! But if you do feel overwhelmed, we're here for you!

Contact

Jayanti Ray, PhD
Interim Chair
Communication Disorders
Phone: (573) 651-2155
jray@semo.edu
Office: Grauel 112F

Center for Speech and Hearing
402 N. Pacific
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701