Kelsie Brucia ‘13 came to Pacific for reasons shared by many students – a program that is accelerated and focuses on shaping students into trained and prepared individuals for the real world. “Throughout my time at Pacific, I have made personal and professional growth. The faculty and staff provide encouragement, confidence, and knowledge to their students and fully prepared us for every aspect of this field,” says Brucia.
Brucia earned her bachelor’s degree in communicative disorders at California State University at Fullerton and is currently in the speech-language pathology class of 2013. When she entered CSU Fullerton, she initially chose to study child development because she was sure she wanted to teach first grade. During one of her classroom observations, Brucia took one of her children to speech therapy and realized speech therapy was what she wanted to do.
“I absolutely fell in love with the field,” she said.
The speech-language pathology graduate program further confirmed her interest in the field. Brucia recalled being “overwhelmed with so many feelings” at her first day of clinicals at the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorder Center but felt “a sense of accomplishment and confidence” once the therapy session was done.
Her successes didn’t come without challenges. During her undergraduate years, she was once told she would never get into graduate school. “If I could give one piece of advice, it would be to never give up. I decided at that moment that I would never let somebody tell me I couldn’t do something. I worked and studied harder than I thought was possible and proved to myself that I could do it,” commented Brucia.
She also finds inspiration and motivation from her mother. Her mother is her “biggest fan” and believed in her when she didn’t believe in herself. At School, Brucia found comfort in her program and felt each faculty member truly cared about the students but Professor Simalee Smith-Stubblefield ‘83 “made me feel welcome and at home. She creates such a positive atmosphere and inspires me to become the best speech therapist I can be”, she added.
Brucia also finds inspiration through her clients. She described an adult client who had an “uplifting personality” and was so “determined to make progress that he had multiple speech therapy sessions in one day”. Her client’s dedication to making progress made her feel “honored and privileged” to be his speech therapist.
After graduation, Brucia hopes to spend a few years in a hospital environment then later in a school environment or open up a private practice to serve underprivileged families.
Brucia was born and raised in Fairfield, California and grew up playing many sports including competitive soccer, softball, dance/cheer, cross-country, and more. She trained on an Olympic development soccer team. While at Fullerton, she also worked at Disneyland for six years as Tinkerbell, a parade dancer, acrobat, and guest relations hostess. Brucia has traveled to Japan, England, France, and Canada. Her family owns an opera house in Italy.
By Dua Her '09