Megan O'Connell

Hometown: Carmel, IN
College: Health and Human Sciences; Liberal Arts
Major: Speech,Language, and Hearing Sciences (SLHS); Spanish; Linguistics
Degree: Bachelor's

“As more Spanish-speaking people come to the United States, including Indiana, it is important to be able to meet their medical needs as equally and effectively as possible.” Megan O’Connell points out that better communication about even simply things can make a big impact on the care a patient receives. Having been to Peru previously for an internship with the schools Villa Caritas and San Pedro, whose speech pathologists also work in clinics in downtown Lima, Megan will return as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant this year. She already lived abroad in both Denmark and Spain, and recognizes “the economic, intellectual, and social benefits of being bilingual and bicultural” and will share this with her students as she teaches English in Peru on a Fulbright Student grant.

Megan currently works as a translator in the Purdue Audiology Clinic and has worked as a research assistant for the Infant and Speech Lab. She has presented at the Indiana Speech-Language-Hearing Association Conference and served as the SLHS representative on the College of Health and Human Science’s Educational Policy and Curriculum Committee. In addition, she has published her research in the Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement. She also works as an ESL teaching assistant at the Lafayette Adult Resource Academy. In 2013, her work and contributions to her discipline earned her the Kevin R. Richards Clinician’s Achievement Award in December 2013. 

Dennis Bowling, Assistant Dean & Director of Academic Advising at Purdue, writes that Megan “thrives when working in unstructured situations [where] her strong work ethic and creativity allow her to work independently” and challenge herself. Dr. Elizabeth Diaz, Director of International Programs, notes that she has encountered “few students as mature, engaged . . . and profoundly interested in global leadership [and] intercultural learning” as Megan.

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