Kayla Villalpando ’13, ’14 graduated in December from the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences with a master’s in speech-language pathology (SLP). Villalpando originally came to University of the Pacific as a Division I soccer player where she also received her bachelor of science in speech-language pathology. She loved Pacific so much that she decided to apply to the 15-month SLP master’s program.
“The professors really made my experience at Pacific extra special.” Villalpando said “I also enjoyed the family feel of the speech-language pathology department.”
Villalpando was inspired to study SLP because of experiences with her niece’s speech therapists. Born with a rare chromosome disorder, she received care from a variety of therapists. Villalpando marveled at the therapists’ positive impact on her family’s life. She witnessed firsthand the difference speech therapists can make on their patients’ lives. Villalpando strives to have the same impact in the community as she begins her career. She recently accepted a position in Stockton where she will be working in early intervention in a hospital setting.
“SLP is the most rewarding decision I’ve ever made,” she said. “I’d recommend studying SLP at Pacific because of the professors and the clinical experience the program provides.”
Villalpando has exciting plans for the near future. Her professional goals include earning her Certificate of Clinical Competence, transitioning into acute impatient SLP care and continuing to learn and grow as a speech-language pathologist. She also hopes to get married, start a family and run a marathon. Originally from San Jose, Calif., Villalpando comes from a large and boisterous family with five nieces and nephews. She can often be seen walking her dog Coco, as she takes her everywhere.
By Matthew Muller '14