This article is part of a series focusing on the grads of the Dalhousie Class of 2022. Spring Convocation runs from May 24 to June 3 in Halifax and Truro. Read all our profiles here as they are published, and for more information visit the Convocation website.
Name/Preferred Name: Attiya Purificati Fuñe
Pronouns: She/Her, Elle/La
Master of Science, Speech-Language Pathology
Bachelor of Science, Psychology, with French Literature and Language Minor (University of Alberta)
Where you’re from: Medicine Hat, AB
How significant is it for you to receive this degree?
The completion of this degree marks the end of an amazing period of growth and fun in my life, and the beginning of a fun and rewarding career! I am excited to have finished this degree, but so sad to be saying goodbye to my time as a student.
What were the highlights of your degree?
Clinical experiences throughout my degree reminded me of why I love this field and taught me how to be better in it. From my practicum at the Dalhousie Accent Clinic, to my internship with the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, to my externship with Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia, I was gifted with new perspectives, experiences, and connections.
What will you miss about your time at Dal?
My time at Dal, specifically in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders (SCSD), was so much fun thanks to the relationships I made in the program. It was inspiring to learn from some of the amazing clinicians and leading researchers in this field. SCSD also did a great of job of giving students ample opportunity to get to know each other. Walking into class during my third year after the return from online classes, I was always so excited, because it felt like I was just going to hang out with my friends. Getting to spend so much time building such strong relationships was something that I did not take for granted, and will always be so, so thankful for!!
What was your journey to Dal and to this program?
Having grown up with many family members who were educators, I have always been passionate about education. When I began my Bachelor of Science at the University of Alberta, I wasn’t completely sure of my future career path, but I always hoped to be a positive adult role model in children’s lives. Eventually, my mom suggested speech-language pathology to me as a career path that I might be interested in. I job-shadowed a speech language pathologist in my hometown, applied to Dal, moved to Halifax, and never looked back!
What topics/research/work did you become passionate about during your education?
I am so passionate about bilingual language development and education! I grew up going to French Immersion, studied French during my undergrad, had a bilingual internship with the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, and completed a Certificate in Francophone Practice for Speech-Language Pathology through the University of Alberta, concurrent to this degree. I also completed my graduate research project regarding bilingual language development under Dr. Patricia Cleave. It is so important to me to be able to provide the best possible services to my clients, and I recognize that, in speech-language pathology especially, this includes being able to support them in the language in which they are most comfortable. I hope that this field will grow to include more and more multilingual and multicultural clinicians so that we can truly meet the needs of those who require our services.
How did COVID-19 impact you during your studies?
My time in Halifax during my first year at Dal was cut short due to COVID-19, when I flew home to Alberta to be with my family. Though classes were online the following year, I did return to Halifax where my friends and I spent the year supporting each other through online school. I am grateful for the perspectives it gave me and the lessons it taught me, but regret the time at Dal that it took away from me and the hardships that it put those close to me through.
What’s next for you?
I have accepted a position with the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial as a speech-language pathologist!
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