Featured Alumni Profiles

Shelley Cohen

MA '81, Speech Pathology

In 1981, Shelley Cohen received her MA from the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Shelley works full time at NYU Medical Center's Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, where she is Cleft Palate Team Coordinator. She also has a private pediatric practice, which allows her to treat a variety of developmental speech and language disorders in children, and is an adjunct associate professor in our department.

How does someone know they want to become a speech pathologist?


In my case, I was interested in science and health. Speech pathology as a career first occurred to me when I was 12 and my younger brother was diagnosed with a speech articulation problem. A speech pathologist started coming to our home to treat him. When it came time for college, I knew it would be my vocation. I went to Southern Connecticut State University and got my BA. in speech pathology in 1979.

What does your work involve at the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery?


I'm the team coordinator in a program that provides reconstructive plastic surgery to children with cleft palate and craniofacial anomalies. I work with a group of specialists and evaluate the speech and language development of such children while also providing information and support to the children's families.

What do you like about being an adjunct faculty member in the speech pathology department?

Being an adjunct allows me to bring my clinical experience into the classroom and get the students excited about what's happening in the field. To witness their discoveries is so gratifying. I like having my colleagues at the Medical Center come to my class and talk about their work. What better way for students to learn about their future jobs than to have professionals come in and lecture! I inspire students by showing them all the different ways they can work as a speech-language pathologist. That is very exciting for me.