Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMUoHP) alumna, and Alumni Association Board professional development committee chair Dawn Stanley, CCC-SLP, ClinScD, is purposely pursuing the career of her dreams as a speech-language pathologist (SLP). This pursuit has led Stanley to be a published author, lobbyist, professor, state association board president elect, active community volunteer, and content expert for RMUoHP student capstone committees.
For Stanley, part of what led to her success was knowing what she wanted from the beginning of her educational journey. Stanley’s main motivation in pursuing her doctorate was for self-gratification and to make herself more marketable beyond direct therapy. This led her to the Doctor of Clinical Science in Speech-Language Pathology program (now called the Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology program) at RMUoHP for its excellent education and affordable tuition.
“My education at RMUoHP has impacted me by broadening my knowledge on leadership, statistical data, and research,” said Stanley. “As a professor, I am better prepared to explain research designs and clinical significance of interventions within evidenced-based journal articles. I am also prepared for mentoring, coaching, leading change, and having the ability to delegate and empower.”
After graduating from RMUoHP, Stanley continued to work in a school district. Within a few months following graduation, she was hired as an adjunct professor and promoted to an assistant professor quickly after that. Aside from excelling in academia, she published an article titled “RACISM: Combating Ways To Eradicate” in the Winter 2020 edition of the Journal of the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing.
Stanley works hard to make a difference in her local community. As a licensed SLP. She offers free speech and hearing screenings to local daycare centers within her community, she volunteered to distribute masks and hand sanitizer with state senator Regina Barrow during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not only has Stanley made a difference within her community, but she has become a representative for her profession. Currently, she serves as the elected board president of the Louisiana Speech Language Hearing Association. She recently lobbied at the state capital with State Representative Dr. Carpenter and Senator Peacock for the passage for Senate Bill #34. This Bill will enact Louisiana as the sixth state to partake in the Audiology and Speech Language Pathology Interstate Compact, allowing speech-language pathologists and audiologists to practice across state lines.
Even with her successes as an SLP, Stanley isn’t stopping yet. She aspires to be a board member for the Louisiana Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology and become a volunteer on the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.
Stanley has a deep passion for the work that she does, and her driving force is to see her students make the connection from textbook theory to practical clinic sessions. Stanley invites future SLPS to start early and start with purpose: “The pursuit starts in high school! Your GPA will dictate your pursuit. This field is highly competitive; start your pursuit early–on purpose!”