Welcoming new students on the AAC Collaboration Project

With the start of the new academic year, we want to recognize the students who joined the Penn State AAC community as part of the AAC Collaboration Project—Andrea Christoforou (CSD), Alana Joachim (CSD), Alyssa McGurrin (CSD), and Emily McKeown (SPLED).


The AAC Collaboration Project is a training grant that provides funding support to prepare Masters-level students as either speech-language pathologists or special education teachers with the skills needed to provide outstanding services to children who require AAC.

In addition to the standard requirements of the Communication Sciences and Disorders or Special Education programs, the four students are completing additional coursework on evidence-based practices for children who require AAC, as well as extended collaborative practicum experiences in evidence based practices for children who require AAC.       

As new students on the training grant, they shared what they are most excited for:

I am most excited for the numerous learning opportunities. Whether that be taking AAC courses and learning from different professors and my peers, or participating in AAC-related research, I look forward to the countless invaluable experiences that will help me grow into a well-rounded Speech Language Pathologist.

Andrea Christoforou 

I am most excited about the opportunities to collaborate with a wide variety of professionals to help support people with complex communication needs. Also, I am looking forward to being mentored by some of the most knowledgeable professionals in this field. I am grateful for this incredible learning opportunity and excited for what is to come. 

Alana Joachim

I am most excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with other SLP and SPLED students. Since we will be working so closely in our future careers, I am excited to begin building these relationships.

Alyssa McGurrin

I am most excited for the multiple student teaching opportunities that I will experience in the next two years. These placements will provide me with important hands on experience and prepare me to effectively teach students who utilize AAC upon graduation. 

Emily McKeown

Please join us in welcoming our new students! We look forward to their contributions to the AAC field!

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