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Arnold School of Public Health


COMD student Emily Metze wins national award to support career in academic-research

July 31, 2017 | Erin Bluvas, bluvase@sc.edu 

Growing up in Lexington, Emily Metze always knew she wanted to be a Gamecock. In 2015, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, but she wasn’t done with UofSC.

During her undergraduate program, she had volunteered with Team Therapy, a family-centered pediatric therapy clinic, and fell in love with the field of communication sciences and disorders. “I immediately knew I wanted to be a speech-language pathologist that worked closely with other types of professions, such as physical and occupational therapy, to provide the best care to my patients,” Metze says.

While preparing her graduate school applications, Metze spent time during her gap year working as an applied behavioral analysis therapist at Carolina Coast Behavioral Services. In this role, she provided behavioral therapy services to pediatric patients with special needs, such as autism and seizure disorders, and partnered with classroom teachers to create appropriate environments for patients. It was excellent preparation for the collaborative, interprofessional practice setting she would join when she began the master of speech pathology program in the Arnold School’s communication sciences and disorders department.

(Dr. Werfel) has increased my knowledge about the hearing loss population and research tremendously and takes time to ensure I understand what she has taught me and assures that I can use the knowledge in my clinical practice.

-Emily Metze, Master of Speech Pathology Student

Halfway through her two-year program, Metze has already taken advantage of the department’s research and clinical expertise and opportunities. Working in the Written Language Lab with assistant professor and literacy/language expert Krystal Werfel, Metze has been conducting research on children with hearing loss.

“Dr. Werfel has been the most influential mentor I could imagine,” says Metze. “She has increased my knowledge about the hearing loss population and research tremendously and takes time to ensure I understand what she has taught me and assures that I can use the knowledge in my clinical practice.”

Metze also looks up to Gina Crosby-Quinatoa and Jamy Claire Archer, clinical instructors with department’s the USC Speech and Hearing Research Center. “They both specialize in hearing loss and have taught me how to work with people who have amplification or are preparing to receive amplification,” says Metze.

Outside class and clinical settings, Metze is already preparing for the services and leadership roles that come along with becoming an academic researcher in the field. This past year, she represented her department on the Dean’s Student Advisory Council for the Arnold School and held the title of vice president for her department’s chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association. She will serve as president for the student-run organization during the 2017-2018 academic year.

I would also like to pursue a Ph.D in my field, so that I can conduct research on literacy and language skills in children with hearing loss.

-Emily Metze, Master of Speech Pathology Student

As a result of her commitment to the field in multiple areas, Metze was recently recognized with a Students Preparing for Academic-Research Career Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She will use the $1,000 stipend that accompanies the award to attend the organization’s annual convention in Los Angeles this fall where she will present research findings from her work in the Written Language Lab.

The award is further confirmation that Metze is on the right path to becoming a leader in the field. But first, after her 2018 graduation, she plans to build additional clinical expertise in the field working with children who have hearing loss. “I am hoping to become certified in auditory verbal therapy once I graduate and gain more experience with this population,” Metze says. “I would also like to pursue a Ph.D in my field, so that I can conduct research on literacy and language skills in children with hearing loss.”


Previous Arnold School winners:

COMD student Sara Straley wins national award to support master’s thesis research

Two speech-language pathology students win national awards