Graduating Greyhounds 2015: Jordan Differding

By Brigid Hamilton  |  Photo courtesy of Jordan Differding, M.S. '15

Spotlight on

Jordan Differding


Minneota, Minnesota

Graduate Program

Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology

Communication/Spanish Major, Pre-Medicine Minor at St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minn.


Emerging Scholars program

Externships: Milton J. Dance Head and Neck Cancer Center at GBMC, Gwynn’s Falls Elementary School, and Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH)

GBMC and JHH Cleft Lip and Palate Team in collaboration with APROQUEN of Managua, Nicaragua (the photo below was taken on the trip to Nicaragua in February)

Jordan, fourth from left, in Nicaragua for a cleft lip and palate medical mission trip in February.

Plans after graduation

I will be working at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., focusing on swallowing, speech language, and cognitive disorders.

How I chose my path

I chose the path of speech-language pathology after I volunteered for a year in Costa Rica with a program call FrancisCorps. I volunteered in a school for blind and deaf students and students with multiple disabilities. While working with a group of deaf and hard-of-hearing students, the teacher was providing speech therapy and I found it to be extremely intriguing and knew this is what I wanted to do.

After I returned from Costa Rica, I enrolled in a post-baccalaureate program and completed the prerequisites I needed for my Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology. I was accepted at Loyola and my experience here has only solidified that I chose the right path.

Favorite Loyola memory

My favorite Loyola memory would be assisting a client with expressive aphasia to write, practice, and give an emotionally moving speech for the Loyola Clinical Centers’ 10th anniversary celebration. It was at the start of my Loyola experience where I was honored to be able to stand next to her as she brought down the house as an advocate for those experiencing similar situations.

This memory is what I have looked back at over the last two years; it is what has motivated me during my time at Loyola and will continued to do so as I enter my career.

The professor who had the biggest impact on me and why

The person who has had the biggest impact on me is Andrea Atticks. Andrea was one my supervisors at the Loyola Clinical Centers during my first semester, and she has continued to be a mentor to me over the past two years.

Andrea pushes her students to grow and develop into independent and thoughtful clinicians. Andrea wants her students to succeed, and she does this by providing a positive, supportive, and enriching environment for each of her students. She exemplifies and models what it means to be a clinician through her dedicated and talented clinical style and through the relationships she forms with her clients.

Over the last couple years, I have met a lot of her previous students, and it is without a doubt that many of us would not be where we are if we did not have her as one of our supervisors.

The speech department is lucky to have such a skilled and humbled member as part of their community (and she has a pretty great candy dish in her office, too!). Thanks, Andrea!

My strong truth/how the Jesuit college experience shaped me

I believe these past two years of being a member of the Loyola community and greater Jesuit community have instilled in me how to best live out many of our core values. My time here at Loyola has taught me to strive for academic achievement and to help others identify their own gifts and talents through acts of service. I have learned that I must meet others where they are on their journey and always look at the big picture.

Finally, I have been taught the importance of how to embrace the diversity within my field, our community, and in the greater community outside of Loyola. Many of these qualities are the qualities that have shaped meand ones that I hope to carry over into my career as a speech-language pathologist.

Shout outs to…

A special shout out to a few special people that have a been a solid support system for me, specifically my family, Pat Cassidy, and Kathleen Sweeney.

I also have to give a shout out and thanks to all my classmates and the faculty within the speech department for two fun-filled years.

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