Emerson College Communication Disorders: A Year in Review

One year ago today, I put down my deposit to attend Emerson College’s MS in Communication Disorders program. Little did I know the amazing year ahead I had in store. Here is my year in review at a Communication Disorders student.

Finding my Roommates

I was born and raised in Connecticut and I attended undergrad at the University of Connecticut. Deciding to come to Emerson was the first time that I had left Connecticut on my own. While many of my peers came from further than I did, it felt like a huge step for me. I was so nervous about meeting people and figuring out roommates and housing. Flash forward to today, I live with 4 other girls in my program in an apartment in Brighton, MA. We first connected over the summer through the accepted student’s Facebook page. We came from all over New England, New York, Chicago & South Carolina. It’s been really great living with people who are going through the same program! We ride the T together and we have a built-in study group!

Getting my 2nd Year Buddy

In the summer, first-year students are sent a survey to fill out! Then, they are paired with second-year students who share similar clinical or personal interests. This second-year serves as a mentor or “buddy” as you’re transitioning to grad school. I feel so lucky that I was paired with Lauren Pappalardo! Over the summer, she was an amazing resource for any questions that I had and since then, we’ve met for coffee about once a month or so to catch up. She made my transition to grad school smooth and comfortable!

My First Semester

My first semester of grad school was a whirlwind. I met my incredibly kind and supportive cohort, got to know the amazing clinical and academic faculty, and started working with clients in Emerson’s on-campus clinical training facility- the Robbins Center. I worked hard but I also had a lot of fun. Keep reading for some of my favorite moments!

Clinical Work at the Robbins Center

One of my favorite parts of my first semester of grad school was the clinical work. Emerson’s in-house clinical training facility is called the Robbins Center and services clients of all ages with a variety of disorders. In the Robbins Center, you get 100% supervision by Emerson’s amazing clinical faculty. I felt so supported and encouraged throughout my time at Robbins by both the clinical faculty and my peers. I learned so much and felt very prepared to begin my external clinical placements the following semester!

Second Semester

My second semester is wrapping up in a few weeks and I can’t believe how fast time has gone by! This semester, I have my first external clinical placement. I am working in a middle school and loving it. My peers are in external sites all over the Boston area and I love learning about what everyone is doing.

Talent Show

One of the most talked-about events of the spring semester was the first annual CD (Communication Disorders) talent show. This event started a small “eh maybe it’ll be fun” idea and blossomed into something that truly nobody would have envisioned. The talents ranged from singing, acting, and magic tricks to limbo, ventriloquism, and a Rubik’s Cube. It was truly an unforgettable event and an amazing way to unwind after a stressful midterms week!

Boston Outings

This semester, I tried to make it a point to explore the wonderful city we’re in! Emerson is located right in the heart of downtown Boston and its close proximity to many T lines makes it an easy afternoon break to visit some wonderful sites.

At the New England Aquarium with my classmates! The aquarium is a 20-minute walk from campus or 15 minutes away via public transportation.

Thanks for joining me on my trip down memory lane! As the year comes to an end, I can’t help but be thankful and grateful for all the amazing people I’ve met and the things I’ve learned. It only makes me more excited for what is to come. Emerson truly feels like home!

Alyssa Barzach
First-Year Student
Emerson College
Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders