Patti Sorkow '90

Patti Sorkow, '87

Patti Sorkow graduated from CDSS with her bachelor’s degree in 1987 and her master’s in 1990. “I just couldn’t stay away!” says Patti. “My greatest passions in undergrad were early childhood (got my first taste of CLC as an undergrad) and adult closed head injury (had a wonderful experience the summer of ‘86 at a camp sponsored by the Colorado Head Injury Foundation). I was also very lucky to experience the deaf community through my ASL I and II classes and a summer program to learn Shadow Interpreting at the Arvada Center for the Performing Arts, taught by my ASL instructor, Jaine Richards.

In graduate school, my greatest passions were early childhood and augmentative alternative communication, which was greatly fueled by my experiences at the university clinic, at Talking with Technology Camp and by my internship at The Denver Children’s Hospital under Tracy Kovach.” Patti recollected some of her grad school studies, “Academically, I remember how much I learned from my mentors and the families and the children at CLC. I was so lucky to have had some amazing and inspirational professors, such as Dr. Peter Ramig, Dr. Lorraine Olson Ramig, and Dr. Christie Yoshinaga-Itano. I do recall struggling through Dr. Yoshiyuki Horii’s speech science classes, as the 'physics of speech and acoustics' made for quite a challenge! I have learned to thoroughly embrace this information, however, through my specialized interest in listening and spoken language options for deaf/hard of hearing children.” I must add that I have greatly appreciated all of the guidance and support that Susan Moore provided to me, as a graduate student. She really helped build my interests by helping me to find my strengths and grow from them.

Since graduating, Patti’s experience in the field has been rich and varied, “Seems like I change jobs every ten years or so. I spent the first ten years of my career in a pediatric rehab hospital setting, working mostly in outpatient therapy with some inpatient responsibilities as well; and specializing in AAC. I spent the next ten years at the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and the Blind in the birth to five programs, where I learned about sensory impairments and how they impact development. This past February, I took a position at Children’s Clinics for Rehabilitative Services, a medical, outpatient clinic for children with specific diagnoses including: sensorineural hearing loss, cerebral palsy, cleft lip/palate, seizure disorders and certain other neuromuscular disorders. The rehab department is also able to treat privately. I am very excited to be using all of my previous knowledge and skills (as I continue to develop, professionally) in this new venue. I am learning A LOT of new information. It is an exciting time for me!” In the most recent decade, Patti has been hard at work learning about and providing treatment in listening and spoken language development programs with young children who use hearing aids and cochlear implants. She hopes to some day become certified as a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist.

Patti is also passionate about AG Bell and their mission; and The John Tracy Clinic and the work they do. She has also become interested in Cued Speech (National Cued Speech Association) and continues to work toward master of this visual speech system. When asked about her hobbies and activities, Patti’s busy schedule was made evident, “Who has time for hobbies?!? Just kidding! I do try to find balance in my life. I enjoy walking and jogging, reading, riding on the back of my husband’s motorcycle, RV trips with my family and spending time with close friends. I have dreams of other activities that I’d like to pursue, but those are saved for “retirement” (if THAT ever happens)”.

Hobbies aside, Patti has maintained special focus on her family. “I’m very proud of my husband and our two children who are now in high school. Her daughter is a senior her son, a freshman. I love them all fiercely”. As for keeping in touch with fellow students and mentors, Patti told about some great contacts. “I have many wonderful memories of my time at CU. My grad school class was pretty tight. We made a video about our class and our experiences. We thought it was hilarious. About five of us sat down to watch it a few years ago at the ASHA convention in San Diego. We roomed together and just enjoyed one another’s stories. I continue to stay in touch with a few people and we call on one another for support, or just to catch up, every once in awhile. I’ve reconnected with one of my best friends from my last year of undergrad (he was in grad school at the time), Dan McLellan, through Facebook. He is an inspiration, a dear friend and source of laughter in my life!” "I’ve also remained quite close with two of my mentors from CU, Sheila Goetz and Sue McCord. I attended the first Price Alumni Institutes [sponsors of this alumni website] and served as a board member for the Initiatives, as well. I was lucky enough to work for an agency that incorporated Storybook Journey into its’ early childhood programs. At the time, the Price Initiatives were providing outreach to alumni; and Sheila, Sue, and another of my classmates, Janine Randol, came to my agency to present. The team I worked with was sold after that! I have a lot of gratitude for my experiences at dear Ol’ CU!" If you would like to contact Patti, her personal email address is:

Thank you for the update on all of your good work Patti, and for serving on the Price advisory board that helped launch our alumni website!