Please tell us how did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and uncommon career?

Shivani Bhakta ‘15 began her fascination with speech-language pathology when her cousin received speech therapy for a cochlear implant. While studying linguistics with psychology at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) she volunteered at the Speech and Audiology Clinic in its early childhood intervention program.

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Tell us about your career path?

Bhakta pursued her master’s (M.S.) in speech language pathology from University of Pacific. She chose Pacific for its small class size. She also was impressed with the School’s outstanding faculty, accelerated program and experiential learning requirement. “I appreciated how the graduate program coordinated and provided all types of clinical experiences for the students,” said Bhakta. She is a student clinician at University of the Pacific’s Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic. Bhakta and the other student clinicians facilitate weekly meetings and guide discussions for Pacific’s aphasia community group which is led by Larry Boles, PhD, CCC-SLP, professor of speech-language pathology. The group provides a forum for clients who suffered from strokes and strives to help them regain communication skills through interactions with family and friends. Learn more about Dr. Boles and the aphasia group here.

What are your future plans?

In the future, Bhakta hopes to contribute to her profession through research; and providing clinical opportunities for future speech-language pathology students. She also plans to volunteer her time at community outreach events. Last year she participated in the “Night at the Ball Park” which was organized by alumnus Benjamin Reece ‘01, ‘08. The event gives families with disabilities the chance to attend a baseball game free of charge. “It was nice to bring together families and give them opportunities to share similar experiences. Overall, a goal of mine is to be involved with or create a group that provides events like this to clients and their families,” said Bhakta.

Where do you work?

Iam a speech language pathologist at Baby Steps Therapy / School Steps Inc.