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advocate AND adventurer

| Judy Berthiaume

With a mom who was a teacher and a dad who was in the medical field, Haley McKee grew up understanding the importance of being an advocate for people of all abilities, ethnicities and cultures, so pursuing a career in a helping profession was a given. Once she discovered UW-Eau Claire's communication sciences and disorders program, she knew she'd found her academic niche and her future career. Communication is an important part of everyone's life, so she looks forward to helping people with disabilities develop the skills to communicate with their loved ones and the world around them.

As a Blugold, she's already embraced her role as an advocate for people with communication disabilities. She's worked with children and adults who have communication disabilities as a student clinician in UW-Eau Claire's Academic Intervention Clinic, a research assistant in The Reading Clinic, and as a respite care counselor for Easter Seals Wisconsin Camps. Each experience has left her energized and excited for her future as a speech and language pathologist.

While she's enjoyed the academic challenges UW-Eau Claire offers, she's also embraced the many outside-the-classroom experiences she found as a Blugold. She studied abroad in Europe and participated in a social and environmental immersion program in Guatemala, adventures that have piqued her interest in learning about new cultures and places.

Haley also found a different kind of adventure on campus through her work in the Admissions office helping to recruit future Blugolds, as well as her work with the Orientation team to help the university's newest students successfully transition to life as a Blugold. Through these efforts, Haley has found that she loves putting her time and talents into helping to build and nurture a campus community.

So while she plans to begin her career working in a hospital in outpatient care so she can work with a diverse client base, eventually she hopes to teach communication sciences and disorders at a university. Teaching would allow her to pursue her interests in both CSD and student affairs, two passions she discovered during her four years as a Blugold.

As an advocate AND adventurer, Haley McKee is making a difference in the lives of people who have communication disabilities, helping to build the Blugold community, and finding ways to better understand other people and cultures … and that's pretty powerful!