Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Grade Profile: New Approaches, Better Support

This article is part of a series focused on the grades of the Dalhousie Class of 2022. Spring Convocation runs from May 24 to June 3 in Halifax and Truro. Read all of our profiles here as they are published, and visit the Convocation website for more information.

Name/Preferred Name: Atiya Purifati Fune

Pronoun: he/her, ale/la


Master of Science, Speech-Language Pathology

Bachelor of Science, Psychology with French Literature and Language Minor (University of Alberta)

Where are you from: Medicine Hat, AB

How important is it to you to get this degree?

Completion of this degree marks the end of a wonderful period of growth and fun in my life, and the start of a fun and rewarding career! I am excited to complete this degree but very sad to say goodbye to my time as a student.

What were the highlights of your degree?

The clinical experiences during my degree have reminded me why I love the field and taught me how to get better at it. From my practice at the Dalhousie Accent Clinic, to my internship with Conseil Scholar Acadian Provincial, to my externship with Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia, I was gifted with new perspectives, experiences, and connections.

What will you remember about your time at Dal?

My time at DAL, especially in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders (SCSD), was a great fun for the relationships I built on the program. It was inspiring to learn from some of the wonderful practitioners and pioneering researchers in this field. SCSD also did a great job of giving the students ample opportunities to get to know each other. Walking into class during my third year after returning from online classes, I was always very excited, as it felt like I was going to hang out with my friends. Spending so much time building such strong relationships was something I didn’t take lightly, and will always be so, thankful for that!!

How was your journey to the team and the event?

Growing up with several family members who were teachers, I have always had a passion for education. When I began my Bachelor of Science at the University of Alberta, I wasn’t entirely sure of my future career path, but I always hoped to be a positive adult role model in children’s lives. Eventually, my mother suggested speech-language pathology to me as a career path that I might be interested in. I hired a speech language pathologist in my hometown, applied for DAL, moved to Halifax, and never looked back!

What subjects/research/works did you become passionate about during your education?

I am very fond of bilingual language development and education! I grew up going to French immersion, studied French during my undergraduates, did a bilingual internship with the Conseil Scholar Acadian Provincial, and concurrently with this degree completed a Certificate in Francophone Practice for Speech-Language Pathology through the University of Alberta did. I also completed my undergraduate research project on bilingual language development under Dr. Patricia Cleve. It is very important to me to be able to provide the best possible services to my clients, and I believe that, especially in speech-language pathology, this includes being able to support them in the language they are most comfortable with. Huh. I hope this field will grow to include more and more multilingual and multicultural practitioners so that we can truly meet the needs of those who need our services.

How did COVID-19 affect you during your studies?

During my first year at DAL, my time in Halifax was cut short due to COVID-19, when I flew home to Alberta to be with my family. Although classes were online the following year, I returned to Halifax where my friends and I spent the year supporting each other through online school. I am grateful for the perspective it gave me and the lessons it taught me, but I am sorry for the time it took from me and the hardships it caused those close to me.

What’s next for you?

I have accepted a position as a speech-language pathologist with Conseil Scholar Acadian Provincial!

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