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October 13, 2006

CODI department performs community service at conference

Judy Fellows, department head of communicative disorders, and 44 senior and graduate students volunteered at the annual Conference on Aging sponsored by C.A.B.L.E. (Communities Acting to Benefit Louisiana’s Elderly). Their participation enabled 450 senior adults from the area to experience “a day of learning.”

Jillian Morgan, a graduate student from Canada, said, “I was able to benefit personally from the experience. I have spent the majority of my life working with, and adoring children. The brief encounters I had with some of the participants at the conference reminded me that the elderly have wonderful energy, and valuable wisdom that is exciting to be around.”

Lexie Parnell, a graduate student from West Monroe said, “The C.A.B.L.E. Conference is a wonderful opportunity and benefit for the elderly in our area to socialize and be educated all at the same time. I was really blessed this year by the C.A.B.L.E. conference. I was able to greet people and interact with them, which is something I really enjoy.”

Molly McPartland, a graduate student from Washington state, said, “The C.A.B.L.E. Conference was a great way to get involved in the community, which is very important in our profession (speech-language pathology).”

Stephanie Swillie, a senior from Vicksburg, Miss., said, “When I chose this profession, I made up my mind that I solely wanted to work with children. I had no desire to work in the nursing homes because it would be ‘too sad.’ However, my mind may have changed after working a few hours with seniors at the C.A.B.L.E. conference. Not only did I learn about the elderly population, but it also allowed me to catch a glimpse of how some of my future clients may act. I took joy in these people…I admire them because I know they have such a great story to tell. I must admit, you may be seeing me working at a nursing home one day.”

Morgan Smith, a senior from Monroe, said, “I had a wonderful time at the conference. It brought joy to my day and reinforced my dream to work with the elderly one day. If I brightened the day of one of the seniors, then I am satisfied. I have learned to appreciate the little things in life and that you can still live life actively when you get older.”

Kristen Cox, a senior from West Monroe, said, “I had such a good time last Friday at the C.A.B.L.E. Conference. It was a great opportunity for our class to help the community, represent our school and department, and for us to work together as a group.”

Fellows said, ”The CODI students have volunteered at this conference since its beginning eight years ago. I believe that it is a good opportunity for them to give back to the community through a service project. One of the most profound things I believe the students discovered this year was that attitude is everything. Their positive attitude throughout the day made it more pleasant for them as well as the participants. Despite overwhelmingly busy schedules this semester, the students willingly volunteered their time for this worthy endeavor. I am very proud of them.”

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