Moriah Miller, a communication disorders major, possesses practical ability and natural compassion, her professor says.
The best speech-language professionals, Nancy Carlino said, are the ones with a primary focus: What the patient needs.
“I tell my students that it’s a very noble profession,” said the assistant professor in Cal U’s communication disorders program. “When we have a student like Moriah Miller, I think ‘Oh, that’s good for the future.”
Miller is graduating this semester with a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders, and her blend of practical ability and natural compassion shines through, Carlino said.
“She is quiet, unassuming, thoughtful, and she has the ability to think beyond the surface level. She has natural skills that allow her to relate to her clients.”
Carlino advised Miller on her Honors Program addendum, which is an opportunity for a student to earn honors credits for a project that extends beyond the typical coursework.
Miller’s research paper focused on racial disparities in the medical field, citing examples, effects and solutions to make care more equitable. She drew on personal experiences with friends as inspiration for the project.
“It was a very well-researched and well-written paper,” Carlino said. “I gave her guidance, but it was her project. I was pleased that her paper indicated the faculty at Cal U emphasize the need for cultural competence. We teach that across our curriculum: You have to leave your biases outside the therapy door to meet client needs.”
Said Miller: “I felt it was important to point out some of the experiences that minorities have when seeking care,” Miller said. “I wanted to be a voice for other people.”
Undergraduate communication disorders major at Cal U assist graduate students and professors at the Speech and Hearing Clinic and the Learning and Language Center Preschool program.
Miller said the experiences there solidified her decision to major in communication disorders, with graduate school as a definite next step.
“I want to work with infants and children, but I’ll work with anyone — I just want to help people,” she said. “There such power in the ability to communicate.”
Four years at Cal U have been transformational, she said.
“There definitely were hard parts, but it’s been worth it to see where I’ve grown and what I’m capable of. Since I posted my thesis and gotten feedback, it’s made me proud of myself and my accomplishments. I have an introverted side, but I’ve learned to come out of my shell a little bit more.
“My biggest goal is to help people, to educate them and to give people confidence. I know what it’s like to have trouble communicating with people, and I don’t want anyone to feel that way.”