Erin Foxx, SLP Class of 2023, Draws Inspiration from a Former Patient to Pursue Her Degree
After an experience with a patient who developed dementia, Ms. Foxx hopes to help those with swallowing and communication disorders.
Erin Foxx, speech-language pathology (SLP) Class of 2023, developed a close relationship with a patient in an assisted-living facility during her undergraduate studies before the patient developed dementia, thus becoming unable to communicate verbally. This inspired Ms. Foxx to pursue a graduate SLP degree to help senior patients who encounter the same struggles, and she decided that New York Medical College (NYMC) was her best choice to do just that.
What inspired you to pursue your degree?
I worked in an assisted-living facility during my undergraduate career. One lively resident with whom I was particularly close, developed dementia and lost all her verbal communication skills. It was disheartening to watch her illness take control and to see her lifestyle and relationships change drastically. I want to support all my future clients in their advanced age while also supporting the families going through these significant changes.
What has helped motivate you along your educational journey? Have you encountered any challenges along the way?
I always try to remember my ‘why’ during challenges in my educational journey. It is motivating to remember the impact that I will make someday.
After you graduate, what is your dream career?
After graduation, I would love to spend time in acute care, helping to evaluate and treat swallowing disorders, as well as speech and language problems that may be secondary to a stroke or head injury. I am also very interested in pediatric dysphagia and would love to work in the neonatal intensive care unit.
What made you choose NYMC?
When people hear that I am going to school for speech-language pathology, it is frequently automatically assumed that I will be working with children who stutter and who have difficulty producing their “r” sounds. While I do love working with children and these goals are important to address, there is so much more to our field including feeding and swallowing, working with neurodegenerative diseases and more. I absolutely love our field because as SLPs, we have so many opportunities to work with different age groups and different populations. I chose NYMC because it offers hands-on experience with all these populations, rather than having just a focus on pediatrics, like many other programs in this area.
What has been your favorite aspect of being an NYMC student?
I love being part of a small, close-knit cohort. I have developed relationships with friends (and future colleagues) as well as the faculty and clinical educators that I will value for life.
What faculty member has had the greatest influence on you here?
Dr. Monica McHenry [Ph.D., CCC-SLP, professor of speech-language pathology] has made the greatest impact on my education here at NYMC. Dr. McHenry’s approach to education and teaching could make me fall in love with any subject within our program, even if it is something that I am less passionate about. She constantly encourages her students to think like a clinician and she treats her students like her own colleagues—with the utmost respect.
What advice would you give applicants or incoming students?
Manage your time early on and find a work-life balance. Graduate school can be daunting but is 100 percent manageable and worth it if you can find a happy medium.
Outside of your studies, what are your hobbies or interests?
Outside of school, I enjoy spending time outdoors in the sunshine and staying active. I also love to spend time with my family.
Are you a part of any student organizations or interest groups?
I currently work in the Admissions Office and connect with the incoming applicants. I enjoy sharing my experiences with them to help them make the most informed decision that they can.
What is a fun fact about you?
I am proficient in the Spanish language as I have taken it throughout high school and college.