CDIS Program Honors Outstanding Community Partner with “Mentor of the Year” Award



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2022 Mentor of the Year: Alyson Rawlings

In order to prepare its graduating students to become effective speech-language pathologists in Northwest Arkansas, throughout the state of Arkansas, and beyond, Communication Sciences and Disorders sends students into the medical community and statewide educational institution for hands-on experiential learning. . This model is essential to the development of students’ knowledge and skills and is a major aspect of the program’s graduate training.

This training model is only made possible through partnerships with speech-language pathologists in Northwest Arkansas and other areas of the state and beyond. Upon entering into these partnerships, top speech-language pathologists in Arkansas agree to mentor Communication Science and Disorders students at the University of Arkansas.

Because the program’s community mentors are so crucial, the program annually awards a partner the title of “Mentor of the Year”. This award honors outstanding mentorship by a community partner. Students in the graduate program nominate mentors and vote for who they think is most deserving of this honor.

This year, Alyson Rawlings of Kids SPOT Pediatric Therapy was named Mentor of the Year. Alyson is a very effective speech therapist and mentor, and students at the University of Arkansas have learned a lot under her mentorship.

Alyson is celebrating her sixth year as a speech-language pathologist this year. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas and her master’s degree from the University of Central Arkansas. She worked in private practice in Fayetteville for four years before joining Kids SPOT in Springdale, where she served as Clinical Director of Speech Language Pathology for about a year and a half.

Alyson commented, “I’ve always had the heart of a teacher; therefore, mentoring allows me to empower, support and encourage students to become the therapist they want to be. Students I have had at the University of Arkansas have all been knowledgeable, motivated, professional and a pleasure to work with My favorite part of being a speech-language pathologist is helping people children find their voice, and nothing makes my heart happier than to see others learn to do the same!”

Congratulations to Alyson Rawlings on receiving the 2022 “Mentor of the Year” award from the Communication Sciences and Disorders Program.

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