A native of “The Big Apple”, former aspiring news anchor, Dr. Kyomi Gregory, shifted professional gears upon completing a bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders at the State University of New York at New Paltz State College. She went on to earn her master’s in Speech Pathology at the University of Buffalo, State University of New York, and following graduation, worked as a speech-language pathologist in the New York City public school system in addition to long-term care facilities.
Growing up the daughter of a nurse and surrounded by a household of teachers, her family didn’t quite understand the role of the speech-language pathologist – they “just didn’t get it.” After being employed in the public school system for quite some time, she recognized her ability to educate others on the roles in language and literacy. After multiple recommendations from several close friends and mentors, she realized that a PhD was definitely in her future. While submitting her tenure application for the New York City Department of Education, she on a whim, decided to apply to PhD programs across the United States. She received full funding through the National Institutes of Health to attend Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her emphasis of study was on child language acquisition and the assessment in culturally and linguistically diverse populations, specifically African American and southern white English.
Upon graduating in December 2016, Dr. Gregory applied for an assistant professor position in Salus University’s Department of Speech-Language Pathology
. She found the strong focus on both clinical experience and research capabilities were unique. “My background was focused in a clinical setting, and my clinical experience drives my research,” she noted. “This position was the perfect fit for me; making the connection between both worlds.” Additionally, she was ready to put the humidity and rural environment behind her, and get back to her roots – the big city feel.
Recently, Dr. Gregory has been exploring modern teaching methods, and employing the use of technology accompanied by traditional lecturing. “It’s important to bring new media into the classroom for students to stay focused and retain information; it’s also a great way to get them involved, as they’re always using their iPads and various applications,” she noted. Her current research interests lie in cultural linguistically diverse populations, and she believes cultural diversity is a major challenge in the speech-language profession. “The demographic of our nation is changing; there’s a push to drive differing cultures, bilingual populations, minorities, and even males, to become speech-language pathologists,” she commented.
According to Dr. Gregory, in order to reach personal goals, you must “dare to be different”. “Fear cripples you from taking chances, because you eventually think of every reason why something might not work; but what if it does,” she questioned with conviction. She is the perfect example that taking big risks and following your dreams paves the way for a bright future.