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CDIS Program Honors Outstanding Community Partner With ‘Mentor of the Year’ Award

April 12, 2022

2022 Mentor of the Year: Alyson Rawlings

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2022 Mentor of the Year: Alyson Rawlings

In order to prepare its graduate students to become effective speech-language pathologists in Northwest Arkansas, throughout the state of Arkansas, and beyond, the Communication Sciences and Disorders sends the students into the medical and educational community throughout the state for hands-on experiential learning. This model is critical to the students’ knowledge and skill development 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 regions of the state and beyond. When entering these partnerships, Arkansas’s strongest speech-language pathologists agree to mentor University of Arkansas Communication Sciences and Disorders students.

Because the program’s community mentors are so crucial, each year the program awards a partner as the “Mentor of the Year”. This award honors outstanding mentorship from one community partner. Students from the graduate program nominate mentors, and vote for who they believe to be most deserving of the honor.

This year, Kids SPOT Pediatric Therapy’s Alyson Rawlings has been named the “Mentor of the Year.” Alyson is a highly effective speech-language pathologist and mentor, and the University of Arkansas students have learned a great deal under her mentorship.

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

Alyson commented, “I have always had a teacher’s heart; therefore, mentoring allows me to empower, support, and cheer on students in order for them to become the therapist they wish to be. The students I have had from the University of Arkansas have all been knowledgeable, driven, professional, and a pleasure to work with. My favorite thing about being an SLP is helping kiddos find their voice, and nothing makes my heart happier than seeing others learn to do the same!” 

Congratulations to Alyson Rawlings on being awarded the 2022 “Mentor of the Year” by the Communication Sciences and Disorders Program.

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