ANCDS Fellows Interview: Brenna Scadden Nelson

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Name: Brenna Scadden Nelson

Like many aspects of 2020, this year’s ANCDS annual meeting, hosted virtually and spaced over a few weeks, looked different than it has in the past. As a student fellow, this was my first experience with ANCDS, and I could not have been more impressed! In a virtual happy hour with Dr. Carroll-Alfano and the other student fellows, we talked about the backdrop of this year’s meeting: COVID-19. Many of the Ph.D. candidates discussed efforts to restart research and network in the midst of a pandemic. The master's students talked about altered internship timelines. These discussions highlighted the shift our entire field has experienced over the past year. Like many of us, the ANCDS leadership invested a lot of time and effort into making a virtual format work when it may have been easier to simply try again after COVID-19 is over. Dr. Hoch, Dr. Ellis, Dr. Meulenbroek, and Dr. Baylor each challenged how I think about neurological communication disorders; I am excited to apply what I learned from them in my own clinical practice and research endeavors. Additionally, I was assigned to Heather Coles as a student fellow and enjoyed the opportunity to learn from her experiences, add to my list of articles to read and discuss current projects related to my own interests. I am extremely grateful to be part of a field that prioritizes mentoring and community even in the midst of what has been, for many of us, a difficult year. I look forward to continuing to learn from, and eventually contribute to, the academy.

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