Korrin Sheahan

Korrin Sheahan headshot

”Embark on a journey of lifelong learning”

College: Communication and Information
Degree Program: Communication Science and Disorders
Degree: Master's

Why FSU?

Being the first in my family to earn their bachelor's degree, I was super excited to continue my education at my alma mater, Florida State University, by pursuing a master's degree in Speech Language Pathology to become a future pediatric speech language pathologist (SLP). I chose to continue my education at FSU to study under renowned researchers in the field of Speech Pathology, have diverse clinical experiences and opportunities, and of course attend more FSU football games! Upon admission, I was awarded the K-12 Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (KiDDs) Grant for the 2022-2023 school year. During this grant, I was given the opportunity to receive specialty training to become experienced in interdisciplinary practices to better work with children from low-income, culturally, and linguistically diverse backgrounds with high intensity needs. This opportunity has been eye-opening to understand the perspectives of other professionals that I, as a future Speech Language Pathologist, will be working with in my career.

Motivation to pursue a graduate degree

My purpose for pursuing graduate study in Speech Pathology flourishes from being an advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Through my experiences in undergrad, I knew I wanted to dedicate my career to helping people with IDD. I have had the most rewarding experience being a member and leader in Best Buddies, a non-profit organization that creates opportunities for friendship, leadership, and jobs for people with IDD. I served as president of the FSU chapter and have cherished all the amazing friendships I have created with people in the Tallahassee community. This organization has taught me the value of inclusion and the importance of implementing it into my everyday life. My best buddy of three years, Abigail, has Down syndrome and a speech impediment, making it difficult for her to communicate with others. Friends like Abigail made me realize the privilege it is to easily communicate with others, and I want to provide my future clients with this necessity.

Importance and/or impact of research and work

As a future speech language pathologist (SLP), I plan to work with children with disabilities and complex communication needs, creating a foundation focused on person-centered care, as communication is the essence of connecting with others to express our wants and needs. At FSU, I discovered my passion for research working with Dr. Michelle Therrien in the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Connect Lab for the past four years, focusing on helping children with disabilities use AAC. As I assisted with various projects, I am now working on my own master’s thesis under Dr. Therrien and Dr. Andrea Barton-Hulsey’s mentorship. My thesis is focused on illustrating person-centered assessment and treatment planning for a young adult using AAC. It will contribute to the foundation of person-centered planning, sparking meaningful contributions for clinical practice considerations for young adults using AAC through a case-study approach.

Career aspirations

I aspire to become a pediatric speech language pathologist (SLP). After some time of clinical practice, my dream is to earn a Ph.D. to become a researcher and a professor within the field.

Advice for anyone considering graduate school

Remember to focus on your purpose and your “why” for pursuing graduate school. Trust that your curiosity and hard work will lead you in the right direction.

Accomplishments during graduate career

During my time in graduate school, my research involvement allowed me to present at two national American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) conferences, where I learned and networked with professionals in the speech pathology field. Additionally, through my role as a student research scout for the Informed SLP, I have connected with “top of the license” SLPs and received guidance for my future practice. The Informed SLP helps speech language pathologists learn about clinical research and evidence-based therapy ideas for SLPs. I primarily focus on scouting academic journals to identify research articles relevant to the scope of practice for speech language pathology, with a particular emphasis on those pertaining to pediatrics.

During my graduate career, I have received the K-12 Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (KiDDs) Grant, Sertoma’s Communicative Disorders Scholarship, FSU School of Communication Disorders Graduate Leadership Award, and am currently a semifinalists for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. In spring 2024, I was a finalist for the FSU Master's in Four Competition!

Hobbies and interests outside of school

In my spare time you can find me taking one of FSU’s F45 or spin classes! I also love spending time outdoors and exploring Tallahassee’s beautiful trails.