Student Profiles

Kathleen Nester

Kathleen Nester

Communicative Sciences and Disorders
Graduation Year: 

“It’s the perfect combination of science and helping people.”

Kathleen Nester chose Saint Mary’s for the small class sizes, the beautiful campus, and the College’s dedication to making a difference. “At Saint Mary’s, a student is not just another number. I was impressed by how much the College cares about service and using our talents to help the community.”

Uncovering her potential

Kathleen found her niche as a communicative sciences and disorders major. “It’s the perfect combination of science and helping people.”

Kathleen completed her clinical hours — a requirement of the major — at the Readiness Center in Benton Harbor, Michigan. “It was very rewarding to use what I’ve learned in my classes in the community and see the difference speech therapy makes.”

It’s unique to have clinic experience as an undergraduate, Kathleen says, and it speaks to how well the students here are prepared for their profession. “What you learn at Saint Mary’s is to look at situations holistically. There’s an emphasis on making the therapy real for the client rather then just drilling flash cards.”

Serving to live her dreams

Kathleen has been actively involved in service outside of her major as well. She created a club called Lend a Hand that benefits the Center for the Homeless in South Bend through drives and volunteer opportunities. She also served as student Mass coordinator for Campus Ministry and commented on the impact of that experience. “Serving at Mass helped me to grow in my faith and learn the reasons why we do certain rituals.” Kathleen is applying to master’s program in speech pathology. Her dream is to start a nonprofit preschool for children in poverty. The spring semester of her senior year, she’ll work one-on-one with Susan Latham, associate professor and chair of the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, in an independent study to make her dream a reality.