Loyola University Maryland

Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences

Spotlight On...

Ms. Katrina Centanni
Graduate Student, Class of 2016


Manalapan, New Jersey

Educational Background

Bachelor of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from Loyola. Currently completing a Master of Sciences in Speech-Language Pathology from Loyola.

How did you become interested in SLP?

I became interested in speech-language pathology after taking an intro class with Dr. Schoenbrodt during my freshman year. The passion that she showed for this field was truly inspiring. I knew that I always wanted to do something that would allow me to help people and to make a difference in someone’s life. This field allows me to make a difference through doing something that I enjoy.

Why did you choose Loyola?

After completing my undergrad at Loyola, I knew I didn’t want to go anywhere else for grad school. The professors provided me with a great foundation that allowed me to learn in an environment with continued support and guidance along the way. It was evident that each professor wanted students to do well and succeed. I knew that I wanted to continue my graduate schooling within the same environment, and that Loyola would provide me with the tools necessary to become a great clinician.

What Loyola professor/supervisor has had the greatest impact on you and why?

It is extremely difficult to pick just one supervisor that has had the greatest impact on me. Throughout the past year and a half, I’ve had seven different supervisors (Mina Goodman, Erin Stauder, Kathi Shute, Andrea Atticks, Meg Fregeau, Jen Hood, and Theresa Alexander) who have all impacted me in various ways. I have learned so much from each and every one of them about working with a variety of clients within various settings. They all provide their students with guidance toward more independence in developing and executing treatment sessions along with encouragement for more analytical thinking. They also have some of the best stashes of chocolate, which helps keep a grad student sane throughout the day!

What has been your favorite experience at Loyola so far?

One my favorite experiences at Loyola so far has been participating in the Intensive Treatment for Aphasia Program (ITAP) this past summer. This intensive four-week program allowed clients with various types of aphasia to develop functional goals that they wanted to achieve. ITAP took place three days a week for six hours per day and consisted of a combination of both individual and group sessions, which allowed all of the clinicians to develop a great rapport with the clients. At the end of the four weeks, the clients performed one of their goals in front of the rest of the members. It was incredible to watch each member achieve their goals and to observe the impact it had on each member and their families.

Do you have plans after graduation?

After graduation this May, I hope to complete my clinical fellowship year within a medical setting in Maryland

Do you have any shout-outs?

To the entire class of 2016! I wouldn’t want to have experienced this journey with a better group of people. They say that laughter is, and always will be, the best form of therapy, so thank you for helping me laugh through the most stressful times! I know you’re all going to do amazing things throughout your careers! To my family, friends, and boyfriend for their continued love and support throughout this challenging process!

Ms. Danielle Leporace
Undergraduate Student, Class of 2016


I grew up in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, which is a small suburb just north of Philadelphia. Throughout my elementary and high school years, I was a cross country and track runner for 15 years. I traveled across the United States to compete at Nationals every year.

Undergraduate degree

I am a Communication Sciences and Disorder Major with a focus in Psychology at Loyola University Maryland

Campus/community involvement

I am President of the National Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) Loyola’s Chapter. I have also participated in fundraising events such as Relay for Life.

Why did you choose Loyola?

I think the moment I visited the campus is when I knew Loyola was the right fit for me.  The more intimate campus, its commitment to Jesuit philosophies, and the positive spirit of both students and faculty created an environment that made me feel right at home.  While many freshmen will typically experience periods of adjustment during their first few semesters, I have to admit that my decision to attend Loyola has never wavered.   I feel very fortunate that I was able to attend Loyola University and enjoy so many wonderful experiences both personally and professionally.

How has Loyola’s undergraduate program shaped you?

As an incoming freshman, I was somewhat nervous about not “fitting in” on campus. However, as it turned out, those feelings faded away rather quickly. I never really had an appreciation for Jesuit teachings until I became involved at Loyola.  During freshmen orientation I learned that the university stressed the development of the “whole person”, meaning that Loyola believes that its students should pursue a wide array of interests and opportunities as a way of building character and expanding one’s mind.  I took this philosophy to heart and pursued many opportunities that involved leadership, spirituality, and service to others. I know that all of these different experiences have instilled in me a new way of thinking and approaching life’s many challenges, a mindset that will surely benefit me for years to come. 

How did you become interested in SLP?

My inspiration to become a Speech Language Pathologist evolved through my experience as a hospice volunteer at my local hospital. My mother is a hospice volunteer manager at Abington Memorial Hospital and she encouraged me to volunteer over the summers. During one of my hospice visits, I met an elderly woman who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).  The attending nurse informed me that the woman had been a teacher for over forty years. I noticed that she felt defeated because she was trying so hard to communicate with little success. I began to try different methods of communicating to help her feel more at ease.  I started to read to her in the hope that one of the topics would peak her interest. I observed how she would slowly try to form certain words and respond to some of the details of the story. It was essential for her to regain her speech, no matter how difficult. I realized later that this was my “ah ha” moment, one that led me to pursue a career in Speech-Language Pathology. 

What Loyola professor has had the greatest impact on you and why?

The SLP program has definitely shaped me as a student and professional.  Many of the professors have provided me with great insight into the SLP profession. These insights have helped me tremendously with my career path, and I believe that my transition from undergraduate to graduate school will be much smoother because of their commitment to SLP students.While there were several professors who have inspired me, Dr. Caesar has had the greatest impact on my experience here at Loyola. She has not only provided me with many incredible opportunities to excel in the SLP arena, but she has also motivated me to go beyond traditional expectations. Through her guidance, I was able to participate in the Undergraduate Student Research and Scholarship Colloquium at Loyola University and the ASHA Convention in Denver, Colorado.  No doubt, I feel very fortunate to have Dr. Caesar as both a teacher and mentor at Loyola University Maryland

What has been your favorite experience at Loyola so far?

In November 2015, I traveled to Denver, Colorado and participated at the ASHA (American Speech Hearing Association) convention. Our research on Language and Learning in School-Age Children and Adolescents was selected for the poster presentation segment. It was an incredible experience as I was able to converse with many SLPs and Audiologists across the country and learn about the latest technologies and research initiatives that are impacting the SLP and Audiology arenas. 

What advice would you give someone interested in pursuing a major in SLP?

Be passionate about your career choice and specialization. More importantly, do not hesitate to pursue opportunities outside of the classroom, even if they push you to go beyond your comfort zone.

Plans after graduation?

I plan on attending Graduate school in the Fall and pursue my Master’s Degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences.


I would like to thank my parents for encouraging me to pursue my career in Speech Language Pathology. Moreover, I would like thank all of my teachers at Loyola University for helping me to think more “out of the box”!  Finally, I want to thank all of my friends for helping me to create some amazing memories these past four years.



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