Caroline Abourezk '94

Caroline Abourezk graduated from CU with a BA in Communication in 1989 and a MA in CDSS in 1994. During her time in grad school Caroline remembered that her interests were still evolving. "I particularly enjoyed studying voice and phonetics. I did an independent study analyzing acoustic properties of native and non-native English speakers. It was a fun project and, looking back, I probably should have expanded it into a thesis topic.” Caroline shared three particularly fond memories about her CDSS days, "studying in the audiology booths, driving to school everyday with a friend, and chatting and joking with Brenda, the clinic secretary. Dr. Gail Ramsberger gave me some feedback once: she said my efficiency and desire to complete a task when working with a group could be perceived as me being ‘curt’. That was good, useful feedback. I've always remembered it and try to keep it in mind when working in a group or team setting.”

As for her classmates, Caroline writes that she has “kept in close contact with two classmates from grad school who have become my dear friends. We see each other in the summers when I'm in the US and talk by email when I'm in Japan. These two friends were my teammates in grad school and I feel like we all helped pull each other through the tough times. I don't think I could have gotten through grad school without them! They continue to inspire me, both personally and professionally.”

Caroline has been working in Japan for the past sixteen years at the American School in Japan, an international school with a 100 year history, whose past visitors include Neil Armstrong, Gen. Colin Powell, Herbie Hancock, Yo-Yo Ma and President G.W. Bush. What Caroline loves most about our field “is the variety of work we get to do. It's never boring. I love to help kids with articulation, narrative language, auditory processing, and critical thinking. Recently, I've been interested in and learning more about working memory issues. I'm very interested in bilingual issues, bilingual language development, Japanese language development and the differences in motherese and typical parenting styles between Japanese and American mothers.” She looks forward to one day adding some private work and parent trainings to her caseload, lamenting, “it's just a matter of finding the time!” For a glimpse at Caroline’s workplace, The American School in Japan and stories about how the school has reached out to victims of the Tohoku earthquake visit their website.