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Reflecting Back and Looking Ahead with Annika Canta (BS ’20)

Annika Canta wearing a purple NYU sweatshirt.

Meet Annika Canta, who recently graduated from our Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD) with her bachelor’s degree. 

In addition to earning a full-ride scholarship to study speech-language pathology at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, Annika graduated from NYU with the honor of winning several awards: NYU CSD’s distinguished Combined Strengths Award for Excellence in Academics, Research, and Service, the Steinhardt Undergraduate Student Government Department Award for NYU CSD, and NYU Steinhardt’s Ida Bodman Service Award.

We sat down with Annika to hear more about how her NYU Steinhardt experience prepared her for the future and the advice she has for other CSD students thinking about applying to graduate school.

Congratulations on your amazing accomplishments! What inspired you to study speech-language pathology in the first place?

Thank you so much! I give a lot of credit to my high school guidance counselor who introduced me to the field of speech-language pathology when I was applying to colleges. I knew I wanted to work in healthcare, specifically with children, and this field seemed to align with my interests the most! When I got to NYU, I quickly realized how many facets of the field I'm interested in, which really affirmed my decision to study speech-language pathology.

How do you think your time in the department helped shape your career path? 

Before starting the program, I was sure I only wanted to work with the pediatric population and didn't think I would be interested in research. Yet, two of my most memorable experiences at NYU have been volunteering with adults with aphasia and being a research assistant in Dr. Tara McAllister’s Biofeedback Intervention Technology for Speech Lab. Both experiences have really influenced my career goals and I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to explore the field and expand my interests. 

What is the most important lesson you learned from NYU CSD that you'll be taking with you?

There is always something new to learn. The field of communicative sciences and disorders itself is ever-evolving, and it's important to keep up-to-date with new research – not only to remain informed but also to be a responsible clinician. On that same note, there is always something new to explore and questions that have yet to be asked!

What is your favorite memory from your time at NYU Steinhardt so far?

One of the coolest experiences I've had at NYU Steinhardt was participating in the Dean's Global Honors Seminar. I took a class called "Dance as an Art Form" in New York, then went on a trip with my class to Tel Aviv, Israel and explored the culture through dance. That has been one of my favorite parts about my time at NYU: I get to pursue my other passions, like dance, while studying CSD.

What are you most excited to learn about in graduate school?

I'm deeply interested in neurogenic communication disorders and am excited to learn about what can be done to help individuals who have them. I'm also really excited to start the practicum sequence, of course, and get first-hand experience in a clinical setting.

What advice do you have for undergraduate students interested in eventually applying to a graduate program in speech-language pathology?

Form connections with your professors! Don't be afraid to ask them questions about anything – coursework, their experiences in the field, the research they are conducting, etc. Not only will that be helpful come time to ask them for letters of recommendation, but eventually they will be your mentors and colleagues in the field. 

Research the programs you want to apply to, what they have to offer, and how they align with your interests and learning styles. Most importantly, don't sell yourself short when you are applying to graduate programs. You have worked extremely hard and your applications should (and will) show for it!

Undergraduate Degrees in CSD

BS, Communicative Sciences and Disorders

This interdisciplinary undergraduate major explores normal communication as well as communication disorders.

BS, Global Public Health / Communicative Sciences and Disorders

This interdisciplinary degree combines an exploration of global public health outcomes with foundational knowledge of speech, language, and hearing processes and communication disorders.