The University of Georgia
Stewart, Jordan

UGA's Amazing Students

Jordan Stewart

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December 7, 2006

Graduate student Jordan Stewart is dedicated to helping others communicate better. She is a clinician in the UGA Speech and Hearing Clinic where she works with a variety of clients ranging in age from infants to adults. She is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and also works as a teaching assistant in the ASL courses. Currently, she is co-president of Hear My Hands, the UGA ASL club, is the graduate student representative for the local chapter of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and is a student member of the Georgia Speech-Language Hearing Association. She is also an active volunteer at Athens Regional Medical Center in the Rehabilitation Department assisting an outpatient speech-language pathologist. After graduation, she wants to work as a speech-language pathologist at a hospital, possibly returning to graduate school someday to get her Ph.D., teach, and practice in the university setting.

Expected graduation:

December 2006

Degree objective:

M.Ed. in Speech-Language Pathology

University highlights, achievements and awards:

I am a member of the National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association, and I have been the graduate student representative for the past two years. I assist NSSLHA by planning events and acting as the correspondent between the undergraduate and graduate students in my major. I am currently working to set up a discussion forum which will allow the undergraduate students to converse with the graduate students about their expectations and experience in graduate school. I am also currently undertaking a project with American Sign Language Instructor Judith Oliver, in which we will survey health care professionals in the Athens area about their views of deaf culture and how their views affect clinician-patient relationships. I am also active in the Wesley Foundation Methodist Student Union where I am on the prayer leadership team. Being a part of the prayer ministry allows me the unique experience of being a disciple of a Wesley intern as well as learning how to pray for our campus and city. I am co-president of Hear My Hands, the American Sign Language club on campus. Our club helps hearing and Deaf people come together at community events to have fun using American Sign Language. Our annual Amateur Night is a chance for students and people in the community to translate songs from English into American Sign Language and perform before an audience. My sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, continues to be an important part of my life, as well. I am a member of the AOII Atlanta Alumnae Chapter and currently serve as the web site advisor for the Lambda Sigma chapter here at UGA. I have recently been accepted as a member of Pi Lambda Theta, an international honor society and professional association in education, and I am a student member of the Georgia Speech-Language Hearing Association. This semester I will be completing my clinical practicum work at Athens Regional Health Care, working with adult patients who present with neurogenic and voice disorders.  This spring, I will also be presenting at a conference for medical transcriptionist to help educate them about the majority of foreign accents and language patterns they may encounter in their work environment.

Hometown:

Naperville, Illinois

High School:

Naperville North High School

Current Employment:

I work as a graduate assistant in the Department of Communication Sciences and Special Education. I work as a teaching assistant for the American Sign Language classes on campus. I assist by planning activities for class, as well as providing academic support for my students. I enjoy teaching and helping students learn about ASL and deaf culture. I also work as an assistant in the Speech and Hearing Clinic office to prepare client information, schedule evaluations, and assist with other clinical needs. This past summer, I also worked as a Sunday school ASL interpreter for elementary school-age children at Compass Church.

Family Ties to UGA:

My father, Steve Girard, graduated from the Terry College of Business with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He is a guest speaker at the School of Risk Management and Insurance on an annual basis.

I chose to attend UGA because...

...my father was a bulldog, and I was raised to cheer for red and black. I was always the unique one in Illinois who had Southern ties. I considered going to UGA as an undergraduate, but was not ready to move so far from my family. However, after my sophomore year in college, my family moved to Atlanta, bringing my dad back closer to his college roots. I stayed in Illinois to finish my undergraduate degree, but when looking for graduate institutions, UGA was on top. After visiting campus during spring break my senior year, I could not resist the beautiful campus and academic excellence. I am now proud to call Athens my home, and I love being a full-fledged bulldog!

My favorite things to do on campus are...

...using the rock climbing wall at the Ramsey Center . The climbing crew is a fun, encouraging bunch of people. After a long day, I love just concentrating on a specific route and trying to challenge myself. I also love to walk through north campus really early in the morning. UGA has such rich history and I like to imagine what it was like when the university was just being established.

When I have free time, I like...

... cooking with my roommates and having friends over for dinner parties! I enjoy helping AOII out with their web site. I also enjoy scrapbooking and organizing! I also volunteer at Athens Regional Medical Center assisting an outpatient speech-language pathologist. This semester I also had the great experience of volunteering for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk in honor of one my closest friends.

The craziest thing I've done is...

...traveled to Costa Rica on a mission trip with the Wesley Foundation. Our trip had a “fun day” scheduled at the end to take a break and enjoy a fun activity. Our group drove several hours through the narrow, winding roads of Costa Rica, making our way to the rain forests surrounding the active Arenal Volcano where we were to go zip-lining. We geared up and climbed up hundreds of feet to a platform built around a huge tree. Looking down over the canopy and a rushing river below, we hooked onto the line and flew across. It was amazing! There were 7 different platforms we glided to as we made our way through the rainforest. By the end, I was even zip-lining upside-down, Superman style! This great adventure has inspired me to go skydiving in the near future!

My favorite place to study is...

...the Five Points Jittery Joe’s. I am a self-proclaimed “regular” and cannot go a night without enjoying a spiced chai! I first got hooked on Jittery Joe’s when I would meet my discipleship partner there for our weekly morning meetings. I learned a lot about God’s love for me during those meetings and have continued associating that confidence with the coffee shop. It always gives me that extra “push” to study hard. Plus, admiring the unique and ever-changing artwork on the walls is part of the experience, always spawning great conversation.

If I knew I could not fail, I would...

...move to Washington , D.C. and get my American Sign Language Interpreting Certificate from Gallaudet University . I love ASL and deaf culture and would love to be able to provide a much needed service. I also would love go to Italy and attend culinary school.

After graduation, I plan to...

...obtain a position in a hospital practicing as a speech-language pathologist and specializing in child feeding and dysphagia. I would also love to take advantage of the many opportunities speech-language pathology offers by seeing patients who present with aphasia, dysarthria, right hemisphere deficits, and other neurogenic disorders. After gaining some experience in the field, I would like to return to academia, obtain my Ph.D., and work as a clinical supervisor or professor in the university setting.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...

...the last night of finals week Spring semester of last year when I pulled an all-nighter, doing my best work under pressure to finish my term paper. After spending the regular 5 hours at Jittery Joe’s, they kicked me out due to their midnight closing time. I transferred to the SLC to grab another cup of chai and continue working on my paper. At 6 a.m., I finally finished just in time to watch the sun rise over Sanford Stadium. The windows of the sky boxes reflected the sun, making the whole stadium glow. I walked outside to admire this spectacular sight and caught a chill from the early morning temperature. As I walked back inside the SLC, the same Jittery Joe’s manager who had closed the previous night wished me good morning and generously gave me a free chai in honor of finishing my paper. With that well deserved cup of tea in hand, I enjoyed a crisp morning walk through campus, ending at Aderhold to triumphantly turn in my paper for my 8 a.m. class.