Hailey Kingsbury (Class of 2021)

photo of Hailey Kingsbury

  • senior honors major in Speech Pathology and Audiology
  • minors in Disability Studies and Comparative Religion
  • from Naperville, IL
  • audiology intern, Miami University Speech and Hearing Clinic
  • member, Sign Language and Autism Lab
  • CAS Dean's Scholar (2020-21); 2nd-place poster winner, OSLHA Conference (2019)
  • Vice President & 2-time Chaplain, Kappa Phi; Educational Programming Chair, National Student Speech Language Hearing Association
  • Girls on the Run coach, Kramer Elementary School
  • studied abroad, Miami's MUDEC campus in Luxembourg (Spring 2020)
"College can be overwhelming, so enjoy yourself, get involved, and remember that everything you do doesn't have to be related to your major. Seek out opportunities both within and outside the classroom, because you never know where they will take you."

Why Miami?

"Miami has a really strong undergraduate speech pathology and audiology program, so that was what initially attracted me to it. My older sister went to Miami, also majoring in speech pathology and audiology. My family joked that I chose Miami before she actually did because I went on all the college visits with her!

"In the speech pathology and audiology program, you get involved in clinical work starting your sophomore year. These observations are an important foundational experience for graduate school. Along with the clinical focus, the department has numerous research opportunities made available for undergraduate students.

"Miami has an energetic positive atmosphere, and it is a great community to be a part of. I would describe my first year as exciting, joyful, and adventurous. Miami has so much to offer, and I can sincerely say that it is a second home to me."

Best Miami Experiences

Hailey Kingsbury performs a Pure Tone Audiometry Test.

"I have known since I was very young that I wanted to study speech therapy, but it wasn't until freshman year that I actually switched over from speech pathology to audiology. That happened over winter break, when I was observing some speech pathologists in public schools, and it just really clicked for me that my passion lies within audiology. For me, it is the perfect combination of scientific practice and enduring client connections.

"Taking American Sign Language (ASL) courses, serving as an undergraduate assistant for three ASL courses, and teaching ASL at Kramer Elementary School really instilled in me that I want to incorporate my love for ASL with audiology. This objective evolved over time for me to actually figure out my specific niche within my major, but I would say Miami definitely fosters that love for me in figuring where I want to go.

"After graduating, my ultimate goal is to obtain my clinical doctorate in audiology. I would love to work with children with cochlear implants with a focus on serving members of the Deaf community. I want to be able to incorporate the perspectives of the Deaf community into this more medical field — hence avoiding the patient and professional power dynamic.

"Having had clinical experiences since my sophomore year, I feel that Miami is really preparing me well for graduate school. I've been working as an audiology intern in the Miami University Speech and Hearing Clinic since fall 2019 with clinical instructor Dr. Constance Szymczak. Due to COVID-19, I'm unable to assist in the clinic currently, but I plan to continue in the spring. I assisted with hearing aid evaluations, the fitting of hearing aids, and various other kinds of hands-on experience.

"Outside of my major, one of my favorite experiences was studying abroad in Luxembourg at MUDEC this past spring. I did an independent study of teaching English in the international schools and obtained my TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification. Unfortunately, my study abroad was abbreviated due to COVID-19, but I developed upon those skills and now teach English online to children in China!"

Miami and the Liberal Arts

Hailey Kingsbury and fellow members of Kappa Phi at a Miami hockey game

"At Miami, the speech pathology and audiology major has highly qualified professors that teach specialized courses while serving clients in the Speech and Hearing Clinic. They have worked in every setting, and it's very valuable to have access to their expertise.

"The audiology aspect of the major, where I'm focused, deals with diagnosing, assessing, and rehabilitating people with hearing loss and balance disorders. Having access to hands-on clinical experiences such as fitting hearing aids, performing hearing tests, and working with individuals' rehabilitative processes has been valuable.

"These clinical experiences have been particularly useful for me. I have also had the opportunity to observe speech pathologists and create lesson plans for sessions. These activities have helped me solidify my understanding of the field and put information learned in class into application."

Conducting Research in an Autism Lab

Hailey Kingsbury and colleagues with poster presentation at Miami's Undergraduate Research Forum (2019)

"One of the most valuable experiences I have had at Miami is being a research assistant in assistant professor of speech pathology and audiology Aaron Shield's Sign Language and Autism Lab. I started during the fall of my sophomore year and have been able to explore my interest in ASL and its expressive diversity. This year, I am carrying out an independent research project as a CAS Dean's Scholar that investigates how deaf children with autism spectrum disorder produce linguistic facial expressions in ASL.

"During my sophomore and junior years in the lab, I coded spoken language samples of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), analyzed the data for linguistic patterns, and collaborated on a manuscript summarizing my team's findings. In March 2019, my lab team presented our research at the Ohio Speech Language Hearing Association conference, where we made second place out of all the undergraduate and graduate research labs in the state. Seeing our research come all together in a comprehensive presentation was an extremely valuable and amazing experience.

"My involvement in research has given me a glimpse into the importance of ASL within the Deaf community and various linguistic features of this language. Often there's a notion that sign language is not a real language, but actually it's a true developed, complex language. It's my goal as a clinician to provide my clients with the greatest possible access to language. My research has taught me that both spoken and manual languages can be taught concurrently, and I plan to incorporate this approach into my professional work.

"My research experiences have made me not only more knowledgeable about my specific area of study, but also more understanding of how to conduct research in general. Miami trains you to learn specific skills that are also applicable in a larger field. This has really instilled in me that I want research to be a part of my life, so after I get my clinical doctorate, I may someday go back and get my PhD."

Advice to Students

"Look into the major that you want to take here at Miami to see all of the opportunities that it has. Get in contact with those professors, since you will most likely have them in class. What solidified my decision to major in speech pathology and audiology was knowing all the opportunities that I'd have. Having connections with my professors made me more excited about my field of study.

"College can be overwhelming, so enjoy yourself, get involved, and remember that everything you do doesn't have to be related to your major. Seek out opportunities both within and outside the classroom, because you never know where they will take you."

[August 2020]