Daughter Follows Mother’s Footsteps into SLHS

Meghan Walton with her Mom, Patty (Ogrodnick) Walton, '85

Meghan Walton was overjoyed when she received word of her acceptance into the SLHS program in pursuit of her BA. In her own words; “When I found out I was accepted into the program at CU, I was thrilled beyond belief. Ever since I can remember, the University of Colorado at Boulder has always been where I envisioned myself attending school. This is an incredible university and I can’t wait to take on everything it has to offer.” Meghan is well positioned to follow in some robust footsteps. Meghan’s mother, Patty (Ogrodnick) Walton, attended SLHS (then CDSS) from 1982 to 1985. Patty was the kind of student university programs hope to attract. Not only did she excel in academic and clinical work, she energized her fellow students by planning events that brought faculty and students together. Always willing to help and learn, she was an exemplary student. Patty is now a successful speech pathologist, gifted therapist and author of books on stuttering intervention.

Meghan Walton

Patty’s energy and success has obviously extended to her daughter Meghan who has been exposed to the field of Speech Pathology most of her life. Meghan volunteers for FRIENDS: The Association of Young People of Stutter, helping with the Friends’ day workshops held in Denver and attending their conferences for 12 years. “As I grew up, I was able to witness the impact that this convention had on people who stutter and their families. For example, professors told a young man, who desired to be a teacher, that he could never achieve this goal because of his stuttering. Through FRIENDS, he was able to gain the confidence to become a teacher, despite everything his professors had told him. Another man, whom I grew up with, dreamed of working in law enforcement. The only way he would be able to achieve this was by gaining control of his stuttering. He tried therapy many times in the past but never had success and had given up on it. My mom was able to convince him to try one more time with her help, eventually leading to his success. My friend is now enrolled in the Austin Police Cadet class". Meghan has also assisted her mother on group therapy outings, has attended the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association national convention and was a research assistant, videotaping hours of therapy for data collection. Combined with Meghan’s other high school activities, which include figure skating, Spanish language studies, and leadership roles, her pre-professional path is a valuable predictor of the kind of university student Meghan will be.

Meghan recalled attending the ASHA conference in Chicago in 2008 while she was in high school. “It showed me that there were so many more areas of speech language pathology than I realized. I went to several presentations and found all the information very interesting. I came back with a new appreciation for the field. These experiences have inspired me to become a speech therapist". Currently, Meghan is most interested in stuttering, “…because I have been exposed to it the most. I have met hundreds of people who stutter and have seen the pain that families experience and how hard it is for them to find good help. I have also seen how speech therapy can change the lives and have a positive impact on the lives of people who stutter. By becoming a speech therapist for people who stutter, I will be able to make a difference in their lives just like I see my mom do everyday. I am also very interested in cluttering because it is so fascinating. There are many different symptoms that can be related to cluttering, as well as the lack of self-awareness that makes cluttering hard to work with. I am excited to learn more about it in school". Meghan’s story, her experiences under the watchful eye of her mother, and now her chosen program of study, fulfill a valuable family legacy, for her family and for CU.