Loyola University Maryland will benefit from a $250,000 planned gift from Barbara Ness, M.S. ’95, a former clinical supervisor at the Loyola Clinical Centers (LCC), to establish a scholarship fund for speech-language pathology/audiology graduate students who are training at LCC.
Through the Ness Family Endowed Fellowship, one scholarship will be awarded each year with preference given to first-generation college students who demonstrate financial need. The scholarship will be the first of its kind available to Loyola speech-language pathology/audiology graduate students.
Ness sees the gift as an opportunity to continually support LCC.
“I don’t have a direct impact on students, families, and kids anymore on a day-to-day basis, but I’m fortunate enough to be able to leave a financial legacy to help someone else who is going to contribute to the field in the future,” said Ness.
In addition, Ness is donating $5,000 a year for three years, beginning in 2014, for the development of new and innovative pediatric programs at LCC focused on speech, psychology, and literacy. She also gave LCC a $2,000 gift to support the recently launched Ready, Set, Read! reading readiness program.
“We are deeply appreciative of Barbara’s extraordinary generosity and her years of service to students and clients at the Loyola Clinical Centers,” said Janet Simon Schreck, ’91, M.S. ’93, executive director of LCC. “There is an increasing need for people with degrees in speech-language pathology to ensure the aging population and children with special needs have access to care.”
Professional speech-language pathologists habilitate and rehabilitate children and adults with a wide variety of communication difficulties, including speech, language, literacy, and social needs.
Speech-language pathology was a third career for Ness. She was a psychiatric social worker for nearly eight years before she left the workforce to take care of her children full time. Ten years later she wanted a new profession where she could interact directly with children, so she went back to school and received her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Loyola in 1995. After graduation she was hired by the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore to work in school-based autism programs and provide home services for medically fragile children. In 1998 she returned to Loyola, this time as a clinical supervisor teaching speech/language clinical skills to first-year graduate students training at LCC. She retired from Loyola in 2013.
Ness and her husband split their time between Baltimore and Maine, where she volunteers in children’s programs at a botanical garden one day a week. She has run into two of her former clients while helping run a nature program there.
“My experience at the Loyola Clinical Centers connected me with the most amazing parents and children I ever met—and those people were an inspiration to my life,” Ness said. “I worked with absolutely fantastic students and with really engaged and creative faculty. I loved what I did, I learned more than I could ever teach anybody.”
A dollar amount for scholarships awarded through the Ness Family Endowed Fellowship will be determined at a later date.