Graduate School

Cara Lynn Julian: Helping People Find Their Voice

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Hometown: Hubbard, Ohio

Age: 23

Major: Speech-Language Pathology, MS

Undergraduate Education: BA, Speech and Hearing Science, The Ohio State University, 2013

She left her comfort zone of Ohio to study a field that captivated her years ago. Graduate student Cara Lynn Julian has found her place in ECU’s Speech-Language Pathology program, which has brought her from her first anxious day in clinic through a variety of patient experiences to rewarding research opportunities. She has seen her patients’ progress and her own, which speaks loudly and clearly about her dedication to her studies and her enthusiasm for the Pirate Nation.
cara julian

How did you choose your area of graduate study?

I was inspired to study speech-language pathology when a young boy I used to babysit, John, was diagnosed with autism. By seeing John’s speech and behavior improvements through the help of a speech-language pathologist, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in speech-language pathology so that I could also help children communicate. After observing John’s SLP, I also observed another SLP in an adult facility and fell further in love with the field.

What do you find most challenging/rewarding about your graduate school experience?

The most challenging and rewarding aspect of my graduate school experience has been working in the campus clinic. I will never forget how I felt on the first day of clinic when I was told I would be planning and completing a therapy session alone. I admit that I was scared and I questioned my abilities as a clinician, but looking back on that day, I am thankful for the learning experience. Since that day, I believe I have grown both as a clinician and as a person through the diversity of my patients and the guidance of my supervisors. Observing my clients’ improvements throughout the semesters and hearing their relatives comment on their progress has ensured me that I have chosen not only a great field, but a wonderful academic institution.

What is cool about your area of study and why should people care about it?

There are so many cool factors for speech-language pathology, but I would have to say that the coolest factor is that we are able to work in a variety of different settings with people of all ages. Everyone should care about speech-language pathology because SLP’s work to improve important life skills such as swallowing and communicating wants and needs.

Tell us about any academic awards/recognitions/publications you may have achieved:

The Tanya Johnson McDowell & Riley Floyd Scholarship 
Clinical Scholar Research Assistantship

What recognition are you most proud of and why?

I am very proud to be a clinical scholar and to be given the opportunity to participate in research. The financial assistance that ECU has provided me has and will continue to help me finance my graduate education.

What would you say to someone considering ECU as a potential graduate school?

I would tell someone considering ECU’s graduate school that coming to ECU was one of the best decisions of my life. I was extremely nervous to leave my comfort zone in Ohio, but attending ECU has been an extremely rewarding experience. I admit, I had never heard of ECU before applying to graduate programs, but once I visited ECU I fell in love with the program and knew that this was the right place for me. In fact, after visiting ECU with my mother, her eyes filled with tears as she told me that she knew that ECU was the perfect fit for me and that she had lost me to North Carolina.

Hobbies: Exercising, going to the beach, watching movies, spending time with my family and friends, reading, baking 
6:00am-7:45am Workout
7:45am-8:00am Check Facebook and post to my iR4 buddy
8:00am-8:45am Get ready for the day/make protein shake
8:45am-12:00pm Attend to ECU's Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic duties
12:00pm-12:15pm Eat my packed lunch while checking email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.
12:15pm-1:15pm Finish any other clinic paperwork/meetings
1:15pm-2:15pm Work on class assignments in the Laupus Library
2:15pm-2:45pm Work on research project
2:45pm-4:50pm Attend to clinic duties
5:00pm-7:00pm Class
7:00pm-7:45pm Cook and eat dinner at home
7:45pm-8:30pm Work on class work and emails
8:30pm-8:45pm Call to check in with my family in Ohio
8:45pm-9:00pm Pack my lunch for tomorrow
9:00pm-9:15pm Lay out my outfit for tomorrow
9:15pm-? Say a few prayers & read a novel on my iPad until I fall asleep
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College & Dept.: Allied Health Sciences; Communication Sciences & Disorders

Year: First-year

Clubs & Organizations at ECU: Clubs & Organizations at ECU

Internships: Elementary school in Fall 2014 and in-patient facility in Spring 2015

Favorite class: Voice Disorders & Dysphagia

Professor who has influenced you the most: Dr. Kathleen Cox

Dream job: Explorer (travel the world)

Your words to live by: "Take one day at a time." "Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day." - Alice Morse Earle

Significant life lesson you've learned while at ECU: The most significant life lesson that I have learned while at ECU is that I should not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for guidance or support from others. When I first moved to Greenville, North Carolina I did not know anyone and I was very afraid of asking how to succeed in the program. When my parents and sisters left Greenville to head back to Ohio, I had never felt more alone in my life, but now sitting at my computer less than a year later, I could not feel more support or love from the people I have met here. Within the first week of graduate school, I realized that in our program everyone supports one another both in and out of the classroom in order to succeed in the program and in life. Not only have I made life-long friends with girls who were once complete strangers to me, but I have learned that the professors within the CSDI department are some of the kindest people that I have ever met. The CSDI faculty’s genuine support and enthusiasm to help students succeed at ECU is unique and heartfelt. Though I am hundreds of miles from my sisters and parents, I truly feel that I am part of a CSDI family and I could not be more thankful for the kindness and generosity that ECU has shown me.