John G. Rangos, Sr. School of Health Sciences
Speech-Language Pathology major, Special Education minor
Student Government Association Senator, Best Buddies mentor and hockey fan
"I felt like Duquesne was where I wanted to be," says Janelle Gans, a second-year Speech-Language Pathology major and Special Education minor. She discovered Duquesne when she was looking for a program that would offer her a master's degree and give her the best campus experience.
Growing up in Dublin, Oh., Janelle always had a passion for helping people with special needs. She recalls volunteering with the Miracle League, an organization that provides baseball opportunities for children with mental and physical challenges. It was after this experience that she began researching careers that would enable her to continue to help people. After some searching, she learned about speech-language pathology.
"I just found it online and I thought, you know, this is something that could be interesting and also provide me the chance to work in the special education field." She went on to complete an internship where she worked with a speech pathologist at a local rehabilitation facility.
Pursuing speech-language pathology as a major allows Janelle the freedom to work in different settings, a school or a rehab facility, for example. And, the work may include different types of clients such as students, adults or seniors. She is in the Pre-Professional Phase of the program and looks forward to getting more experience collaborating with faculty and in a work setting.
Before enrolling she says, "when I talked to the faculty, I could really tell that they wanted what was best for me and that they were willing to help me with what I needed, not me having to do something for them, that was really important."
Janelle looked at other, bigger universities but the opportunities available to her in the classroom, with campus organizations, and in Pittsburgh set Duquesne apart and ultimately won out for her. "There's plenty to do on campus. I was really happily surprised about how many clubs and organizations there are."
She is the Student Government Association's (SGA) senator pro tempore representing the Rangos School of Health Sciences, a member of Duquesne's Best Buddies chapter, Lambda Sigma Honor Society, the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) and member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. Being in a sorority has allowed her to expand her social circle and spend more time doing service work. In addition, Janelle really enjoys hockey and is a die-hard Columbus Blue Jackets fan.
Going forward Janelle is looking to explore more of Pittsburgh's neighborhoods and restaurants and to continue her work advocating for the health sciences with SGA and participating in her sorority. This summer she plans to shadow a speech pathologist back in Ohio and work at a summer camp for children.